Military Wiki

To do an eyeball search is to look for something specific, such as in a mass of code or data with one's own eyes, to perform a visual check. Also known as vgrep or ogrep, i.e., "visual/optical grep", and in the IBM mainframe world as IEBIBALL.[1] The most important application of eyeball search / vgrep in software engineering is vdiff.

In various disciplines it is also called the "eyeball technique" or "eyeball method" (of data assessment).

"Eyeballing" is the most common and readily available method of initial data assessment.[2]

Experts in pattern recognition maintain that the "eyeball" technique is still the most effective procedure for searching arbitrary, possibly unknown structures in data.[3]

In the military, applying this sort of search to real-world terrain is often referred to as "using the Mark I Eyeball" (or "Mark 0", "Mark 0 Mod[el] 1") device, the U.S. military adopting it in 1950s.[4] The term is an allusion on military nomenclature: Mark I, Mark VIII, etc.


  1. Jargon File, version 4.4.6, 25 Oct 2003
  2. Srinika Jayaratne, Rona L. Levy (1979) "Empirical Clinical Practice", ISBN 0-231-04188-8, p. 110
  3. Hans-Jürgen Zimmermann (2001) "Fuzzy Set Theory--and Its Applications", ISBN 0-7923-7435-5, p. 278
  4. "Contemporary Geodesy" (Proceedings of a Conference Held at the Harvard College Observatory - Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA, December 1–2, 1958). P. 68 says: "Now the first type of optical tracking, the most elementary, is that using merely the naked eye — as I heard a Navy man say the other day, 'Mark I eyeball' ".

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).