Talking tech since 2003

TinEye is a reverse image search engine that uses some pretty cool technology to find where images came from, how they are currently being used, if there are any modified versions, and even to find any higher resolutions copies of a particular image.  TinEye does not use metadata, keywords, or even watermarks but rather their own proprietary image identification method.

You can use TinEye in two different ways. You can either upload an image to their servers (if you have a local copy) or provide a URL to a specific image or web page which TinEye will then use to compare with their index. When you submit an image to be searched, TinEye creates a unique and compact digital signature or ‘fingerprint’ for it, then compares this fingerprint to every other image in our index to retrieve matches. TinEye can even find a partial fingerprint match.

TinEye does not typically find similar images (i.e. a different image with the same subject matter); it finds exact matches including those that have been cropped, edited or resized.

TinEye is a great resource, especially for artists and photographers who publish their works online. This tool can be extremely helpful in finding usage of your works without permission.

Additionally, TinEye has a browser plugin for Firefox and Internet Explorer as well as a bookmarklet which can be used on any browser.

Have you tried TinEye?  What did you think?  Leave a comment!

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