Reverse Image Search - Made Easy




As the name suggests, reverse image search is a search engine feature that takes image files as input to retrieve similar images or relevant data. We can find information on unidentified objects just by uploading images instead of keyword searches.

Why Should We Run Reverse Image Searches?

The internet contains an infinite amount of data and it is important to ensure that we don't violate copyright regulations when we use it. A simple reverse image search can enable us to spot fake images and along with websites that posted them.

1. To avoid falling prey to cat-fishing:
Cat-fishing is a deception tactic where a person creates a fake identity on social media. This is also a common phenomenon on dating sites and a quick reverse image search on the profile photo can expose these conman.

2. Discover recipes:
Everybody finds themselves craving for momos or some traditional sweet they had at a friend's house. A quick reverse image search can help you discover these recipes.

Google's Im2Calories is a new calorie counting app that analyses photos of meals that the user has taken to estimate the meal's calorie count. This is a smart addition to a reverse image search.

3. Track your images:
If you want to track images that you published online, the best way is to perform a reverse image search to see websites where these photos are used. This way, you can fight image theft if the user doesn't abide by your copyright rules.

4. Finding information about unidentified objects:
Science students often rely on a reverse image search (RIS) to identify plants and animals. For example, you can upload the picture of a tree in your backyard to get information about its scientific name, the process of maintenance, etc.

5. Track down unlabeled items:
You often find fashion products on the internet and wonder "where can I buy this". You can also track down unlabeled items that you found on Pinterest or Tumbler, using RIS.

6. Protecting the authenticity of artwork:
Copying artwork is just as easy as cat-fishing and applying RIS on your artwork and help you keep this plagiarism in check. 

Here Are Some Easy Ways to Do a Reverse Image Search

Reverse Image Search is easy to operate on a desktop computer. Just log in to images.google.com —> click on the camera icon (or search by image command) —> Copy paste the image URL (or) drag and drop image existing in some other folder on the device.

Source: images.google.com

VOILA! You can immediately find relevant information and similar images.

Source: images.google.com



Google Image Search Is a Little More Complicated on Smartphones.

The same images.google.com link doesn't work on mobile versions of Chrome and Safari. We should first change the browser mode to "Desktop version". Tap on the drop-down menu (three-dot menu on the top right corner) and check on "Desktop Site". This will turn the selected tab in the browser to desktop mode, where the same image search process like the desktop can be implemented.


Chrome app provides another option for RIS. When you find an image on google search, we can long-press on the image to see a pop-up menu. This menu has the option "Search Google for this image", which can redirect the web page into another image-based google search. 

Source: images.google.com

This option has limitations, as it cannot take image input from your device storage.

Source: images.google.com

Digital inspiration is a blog that offers reverse.photos— a Google Add-on. RIS can be done on this site just as easily as Google image searches on desktop. We need to enter the web address on chrome and the site appears with options to "upload image" and "show matching images".

Bing

Bing is another popular search engine from Microsoft. There is a camera icon by the search box on www.bing.com/images. Here you can upload an image URL, or a picture from a hard drive, just like Google does on the desktop. 

Source: bing.com

This same process can be applied on mobile, but first, we should allow camera access when the notification pops up.

Source: https://www.bing.com/images/search?view

Bing also allows you to click a photo and find information on it immediately.



TinEye

TinEye is a popular third-party search engine which allows image search by URL, upload, drag and drop options on desktop. It is easy to operate on mobile too, by just clicking the upload icon. You can use it 150 times in a week but should purchase a paid version to use beyond that.

Source: tineye.com



Apps For Reverse Image Search

Search by Image: this app allows the users to edit the picture before uploading it for image search.
There are some other apps available only on the App Store.

Veracity: as the name suggests, this app can help you identify your image even when changes are made to it.

Reversee: This app sends your pics directly into the Google Images database to search for similar images.

Hope these resources come handy next time you do a Reverse image search.

Written by - Saija Bhumireddy

Edited by - Anusha Vajha

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