“TinEye” Image Search Engine – What I found.
So many of us worry at times about our images, wondering who lifted them from our site, what they are being used for, etc., … and it has been nearly impossible to find your images being used elsewhere on the internet or in print unless you lucked up and found them, or someone e-mails you and gives you a heads up.
I had heard about Idée Inc. from other photographers and their “TinEye Image Search Engine”, still in beta.
I sent them a request to be put on their list, and soon got a message to give it a try.
You simply use one of your existing images to search for it on the internet and possibly some unauthorized usage. This is really cool in my opinion, and I certainly have high hopes for it.
You can easily upload one of your images to the TinEye upload page, and within seconds it will show you where your images are on the internet.
Or better yet, … and this is really cool, … you can use the TinEye image plugin for Firefox or IE, and search your images straight from your browser.
Still, even though I know that some of my images are all over the internet, authorized and unauthorized, and I know where they are, … TinEye did not find them all.
Reason being is that they are constantly indexing images all across the internet, and are sitting at roughly 500,000,000 images at this time. That is just a drop in the bucket, and they still have many images to index, so some of your images may not be found, ….. yet. It will still take some more time to index the millions and millions of images that they yet to have in their system.
But, … let me show you what I have found so far as an example, and the amazing capability that this system has. (I did find a few more images during my searches.)
Seriously, … this is very good news for everyone!
This image below is a old and simple shot of a “Palamedes Swallowtail” butterfly.
I ran a search using TinEye, … and was really surprised with the outcome!
At sometime within the past few years, I had posted a painted version of this particular image.
Every single little detail within the original had been altered, … painted over, … manipulated.
TinEye still found these painted versions on two different sites, and neither had asked for permission to use it.
Click the image for a larger view of the image and to see what TinEye gives you within their page.
You can see that TinEye shows you the thumbnail of the image or images, shows the name of the image which in this case, both of the image names had been changed, and of course it gives you the page link to where your image is being used.
Then if you wish, TinEye also gives you a toggle switch so you can look at your version of the image you are searching with, and the version that is being used within the given link/page.
Again, click the image to see the larger version.
You can now see the painted version that TinEye found using their very cool search engine, and the original version I used to start the initial search.
Like I have said already, I have high hopes for TinEye.
The drawback now with the beta version is of course, its limited number of images that they have already indexed, but right now Idée Inc. has something very powerful, something unique, and something that many photographers will find useful.
And then, … there is the question on cost.
There is no information available right now that I know of on the cost of using TinEye when it is available to the public.
If the cost is reasonable, (and it would have to be very reasonable for me to use it with the cost of everything else I have to pay for now), and when they have far more images indexed than what they have at the moment, … I will certainly use it.
I would love to be able to search my entire archive that I have with Photoshelter, but it just so happens that the Photoshelter images that a photographer may have listed there are all BMP, and they are to small for TinEye to read.
And another thought.
With the Orphan Works Bill looming on the horizon, (which should be scrapped in my opinion), TinEye could easily be used by those who are searching for the author or authors of certain pieces of work.
TinEye could be in your future!!
(and I am not getting paid to say it neither!)
Jim Goldstein conducted a interview/podcast with Leila.
Interesting, and a bit educational as well.
Check it out here.
Everyone take care,