What Are Bounding Boxes? An Easy Overview in 2021


Bounding boxes are a well-known and commonly used image annotation tool in machine learning and deep learning. Annotators are asked to outline the item in a box using bounding boxes in compliance with the machine learning project specifications. It’s also one of the least costly and time-consuming annotation approaches available. In this article, we will discuss bounding box, object detection in image processing, its algorithm, and annotation tool. 

In this article let us look at:

  1. What is a Bounding Box?
  2. Using the Bounding Box for Object Detection
  3. Common Use Cases

1. What is a bounding box?

A bounding box is an abstract rectangle that acts as a reference point for object detection and produces a collision box for that object. These rectangles are drawn over images by data annotators, who identify the X and Y coordinates of the point of interest within each image. This helps machine learning algorithms find what they’re looking for, evaluate collision paths, and saves precious computational power. In deep learning, bounding boxes are one of the most commonly used image annotation techniques. This approach will save resources and improve annotation performance as opposed to other image processing approaches.

2. Using the bounding box for Object Detection

The computer wants to know what an object is and where it is to detect it in an image.

Self-driving vehicles, for example. Other vehicles will be numbered, and a bounding box will be drawn around them by an annotator. This assists in the preparation of an algorithm to identify various types of vehicles. Autonomous vehicles can easily traverse busy streets by annotating items such as vehicles, traffic signals, and pedestrians. To make this possible, its perception models depend heavily on the bounding boxes.

It’s worth noting, though, that a single bounding box doesn’t guarantee a flawless prediction quality. Enhanced target tracking necessitates a vast range of bounding frames, as well as data augmentation techniques.

3. Common Use Cases

  • Object Localization for Autonomous Vehicle Driving: The bounding boxes are typically used in training self-driving car vision models to identify different types of artifacts on the road, such as traffic signals, lane barriers, and pedestrians, among other items. Both identifiable obstacles can be conveniently annotated with bounding boxes to help robots recognize their environments and drive the car safely while preventing collisions, including while driving into congested streets.
  • Ecommerce or Internet Shopping Object Detection: Things sold online are also used to annotate with bounding boxes to recall what clothing or other accessories buyers are wearing. This methodology can be used to annotate all forms of fashion accessories, allowing visual search machine learning models to identify them and give additional knowledge to end-users.
  • Detection of Car Loss for Insurance Claims: Types of vehicles like cars, bikes, etc., that have been damaged in an accident will now be tracked using bounding box annotated images. Machine learning models that have been trained with bounding boxes can learn the intensity and position of losses to predict the cost of lawsuits so that a client can provide an estimate before making a lawsuit.
  • Detecting Indoor Items: Bounding boxes are also commonly used to detect indoor items such as beds, desks, benches, cabinets, and electrical devices. It lets computers get a sense of space and the kinds of items that are out there, as well as their location and dimension, making it easier for the machine learning model to identify those items in a real-life situation. The use of bounding boxes in photographs as a deep learning tool assists in the interpretation of objects.
  • Robotics and Drone Imagery for Target Detection: Image annotation is often frequently used to mark items from the viewpoint of robots and drones. Autonomous devices such as robots and drones can classify several objects on the planet using photographs annotated with this technique. The wide variety of items that can be collected in the bound box makes it easier for robots and drones to identify and respond to related physical objects from afar.


The bounding box is a common image annotation technique for using computer vision to train AI-based machine learning models. It’s easy to sketch and assists in annotating the object of interest in images so that machine vision can recognize it. It is used for target recognition in a range of applications, including self-driving vehicles, helicopters, surveillance cameras, autonomous robots, and other machine vision devices. It is useful for counting the number of barriers in a crowd that are at the same level.

A Bounding box annotation is a type of rectangle superimposed over an image that is intended to include all the main features of a given object. The key aim of implementing this annotation strategy is to reduce the quest spectrum for certain object attributes, thus conserving computational resources while also aiding in the resolution of computer vision problems.

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