A new web startup hopes to outdo Google and Yahoo on image searching online by offering software that creates 3D maps of people’s faces, using just a photograph.

Polar Rose is not quite ready to offer its software for use yet, but is developing it for launch next year. “The photo web of today is like the text web before Altavista, Inktomi, and Google”, the developers explain on their site.

For consumers, the software will be offered as a plug-in for Firefox and Internet Explorer. It detects people in online images, and then places a small rose on their lapel.

Clicking on the rose will bring up a window where you can enter names and the URLs of sites where photos of the same person can be found.

Then the software builds a 3D image of the face to use as reference and hopefully tag other photos of the same person correctly.

Photo-sharing sites that want to help users automatically tag photos they upload, as well as social networking sites are likely to want to use the APIs, which will be offered royalty-free.

Polar Rose will go head to head with Google Image Search when it launches; however Google's search is notoriously innacurate and the company has recently launched Google Image Labeller to try and get internet users to tag images correctly for betting searching