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We describe a novel indexing and retrieval methodology integrating color, texture and shape information for content-based image retrieval in online image databases. This methodology, called PicSearcher, applies unsupervised image segmentation to partition an image into a set of regions, then fuzzy color histogram as well as fuzzy texture and shape properties of each region is calculated to be part of their signatures. The fuzzification procedures resolve the recognition uncertainty stemming from color quantization and human perception of colors. At the same time, this unified fuzzy scheme incorporates the segmentation-related uncertainties into the retrieval algorithm. Then an adaptive and effective measure for the overall similarity between images is developed by integrating properties of all the regions in the image. An implemented prototype system of PicSearcher has demonstrated a promising retrieval performance for an online test database containing 10,000 general-purpose color images, as compared with its peer systems in the literature.