Finding an image you’ve seen before on the web is a daunting task. Last August, I embarked on an alternative search engine research project to find the top image search engines. I posted about that project here at AllBusiness, but neglected to mention TinEye (my BAD) even after I had bookmarked them.
Thankfully, I spotted a post by Celine Roque at The App Gap a couple of weeks ago and thought it would make a great post now.
Search the web for images by using an image
You upload your image and hit search. TinEye looks for that image or variations of it, not simply keywords or alt tags that might be used by someone. The engine doesn’t look for words; it looks for the image.
If you’re a brand trying to protect a logo, or an artist or photographer wanting to protect your images, TinEye may be a powerful tool in your copyright protection toolbox. Not every image in the world is indexed, of course, but as they grow, so does the database.
You can see an example of how they confirmed some image hijacking in the Obama Hope poster (this is not a new example). It shows a bit about how TinEye works as well as some explanation of the more powerful PixID technology works.
They have a neat Cool Searches page as well as a good FAQ that explains the details of how this unique search technology works and what happens to your images when you upload them to be searched (hint: they don’t keep them or store them unless you register and only if you tell them too). Plus they have created some browser plugins to make it faster for you to search for images.
Learn more about TinEye.