Tool Tuesday features digital tools I actually use and recommend to my clients. No one pays me to say these things. I just like sharing.
A few weeks ago I was putting together a presentation and found an image on my hard drive that I really loved. Being a firm believer in obeying copy rights, I wanted to give proper credit for using the photo.
Problem was, no matter how I searched on Flickr (that’s where I find most of my photos), I couldn’t find the photo again. Then I remembered TinEye.
TinEye is a reverse image search engine. You give it a photo (via upload or URL), and it seeks out a match. TinEye finds exact and altered copies of the images that you submit, including those that have been cropped, color adjusted, resized, heavily edited or slightly rotated.
Truth is I had bookmarked TinEye a long time ago and never had an opportunity to use it. Just before my presentation I read Who Is This Man, and Why Is He Screaming? about a shy photographer named Noam Galai who discovered that people all over the world were using his scream self-portrait without attribution.
He used TinEye as his image detective to retrace his photo’s journey to advertisements, street protests, t-shirts and more in Spain, Iran, Mexico, England – about 40 countries. See Stolen Scream for his version of the story.
Noam’s story prompted me give TinEye a test run. The tool passed with flying colors, cutting my search from minutes to seconds.
In addition to the web search, TinEye has browser add-ons for Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer. It also lets you sort results and share them on Facebook, Twitter, via email and on other social networks.
WHY USE TINYEYE
I used TinEye to find out where an image came from. Other uses include:
- Research or track the appearance of an image online
- Find higher resolution versions of an image
- Discover modified or edited versions of an image
TinEye is free and fun. Be sure to bookmark it…I bet someday you’ll need it.