Last week I used an image that had been shorn of attribution by the time I found it, and wanted to find a way to credit the right person. Lars Plougmann, a long-standing reader of this blog, found the source using a tool called Tineye.
Tineye calls itself a reverse image search engine, and is a pretty good service at the beta stage. There have been so many occasions where I had found the image I wanted, but not at the right resolution. Tineye appears to solve this; at worst, it tells you that the resolution you have is the best you’re going to get, so you don’t waste time looking.
I thought it was worth sharing. Not surprisingly, I went off on a tangent while using it, thinking about how similar techniques could be made to exist for audio and video files, and the kind of uses they could be put to.
6 thoughts on “Thinking about reverse search”
Services like Shazam offer similar functionality for music – play a snippet of a track and get the full details.
TinEye is based in Toronto and run by two of the nicest and most sincere people you could meet. I love the tool and have the Firefox plugin installed, which makes it really easy to use.
James, I’ve been a Shazam user for a long time. I hear very good things about their iPhone app, but I haven’t tried that yet.
Jevon, if you do meet the people behind TinEye, do thank them for me. Great service.
I think that there is Reverse Search, but I think that we should look also for new ways to search, changing some criteria. The same company has this product that lets you search images by color.
I use it during my design processes and I love it.
They’re probably the most advanced of that batch of apps, using visual fingerprinting techniques to recognised instances of a specific image.
Another notable example is SnapTell, who have an IPhone app you can use to recognise book, album, and film covers.
I expect big things in this field over the next couple of years, but then that’s the field I’m working in so I’m biased :)
Edoardo, I agree. As we learn more about the the digital landscape, we will find better tools and better ways, new tools and new ways.
Richard, besides SnapTell, I also like some of the barcode tools coming out.