Tineye : Find Different Versions of an Image on the Web
By on October 5th, 2009

If you work with images quite often and want a tool to find different versions of an image on the internet then look no further than Tineye. Tineye as they name it, is a reverse image search engine. You can search for different versions of an image and whether modified versions of the same image exist elsewhere on the web.

What’s interesting to note about Tineye is that it can identify images without using keywords and metadata.  Tineye can be used in two ways.

Visit the Tineye website : Visit the homepage and upload an image from your computer. After the upload is complete Tineye shows you copies of your image found in other web pages. You can also add any image URL and check for similar looking images.

tineye-reverse-image-search-engine

Install the browser plugin : The second method requires installing the proper Tineye browser plugin. The browser plugin is available for Firefox, Google chrome as well as Internet explorer. Once the Plugin is installed you will have a new entry in your right click context menu so that you can search for copies of an image on the web.

tineye-browser-plugin

How it works ?

Now let’s see how the tool works and how accurately it can figure out similar looking images. I did a search on the moon landing image and the results were pretty accurate.

tineye-image-scan

As you can see Tineye was able to accurately find different copies of the image. This includes cropped images and images of different colors. Even heavily edited images were also presented in the scanned results.

The tool supports JPEG,PNG and GIF images and works best if your image is at least 300px in either dimensions. The maximum allowed file size is 1Mb.

If you get a large number of search results you can sort the similar images according to best match’, ‘biggest image’ and smallest image’.

How Tineye can be useful

In brief,Tineye can be a really useful tool.You can use it to :

  • Track whether anyone is using images from your website/blog without your permission.
  • Find similar copies of an image on the web.
  • Find modified versions of an image with a higher resolution or a different color.

Note that you can easily block the Tineye crawler from crawling your website’s images. Just add disallow “TinEye” to your robots.txt file.

Want more? Check out other image manipulation tools.

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Author: Amit Banerjee Google Profile for Amit Banerjee
Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee

Amit Banerjee has written and can be contacted at amit@techie-buzz.com.

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