Google Adds Reverse Image Search
For photographers familiar with TinEye’s reverse image search engine, Google’s announcement today of a new reverse image search engine should be welcome news. For the past few years TinEye has allowed photographers to upload images to their site, which will then search for where else those images have been published to the web. Several photographers that I know have used TinEye to find copyright infringement cases and have been able to generate compensation or settlements out of the infringing use.
TinEye is pretty good, but does miss a lot of the images on the web. With search behemoth Google putting it’s weight behind this sort of tech, I’m interested to see how much better it might be than TinEye.
Apparently the new feature will be rolled out to Google Chrome users this week. You’ll know you have it when you see a camera icon on the Google Image Search page.
Using the new feature looks pretty easy. You can just drag a photo from your desktop to your search bar and go look for it. You can also use an upload or a url from another image already on the web.
Personally I think it’s exciting to see Google get into this type of innovation. But really this is just the beginning of what could theoretically be possible with a service like this.
I’d love to see Google/Flickr/Yahoo/TinEye take this tech even further. It would be great if you could, for instance, use the Flickr API to attach your Flickrstream to this search engine and have it analyze your entire stream and look for infringing use automatically. It would also be nice if there was a way that you could then filter these search results by certain criteria (say U.S. websites) in order to better identify copyright infringement and potential targets worthwhile to potentially pursue.
It would also be cool to see an RSS sort of option to monitor all of your images that could report back to you when new appearances on the web show up for the first time in image search engines.