Chances are you have found an image online and have wondered where that particular image originated from or which famous person is in the image. Ever since the Internet was born, you could join some forum and post said image in hopes that some random person may be able to identify it. But what if no one can identify the image, you’re left out in the cold. Well not anymore; thanks to reverse image search, you will hardly be left in the dark about a pictures origin again.
So what exactly is reverse image search? Instead of using keywords to find images, you use an image to find either similar images or internet pages that contain that image or a similar image which generally can lead you to whatever information you are looking for.
Generally, whatever reverse image search you use, it will require you to upload the image and then it will search against a database for images related to that specific image. There are multiple reverse image search websites available and we will cover a couple below.
This reverse image search service is one of the simplest to use. It requires you to install a plugin for your browser (Opera, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari are all supported). Once the plugin is installed, you can use reverse image search right from your browser by right clicking on any non-flash image and then choosing the “Search Image on TinEye” option.
From the creators of TinEye, Idée provides more robust search features that may be suitable for professionals such as those trying to monitor copyrighted images or trying to trace an image to the original owner. The service is paid and as such is not perfect for hobbyists, but is the best reverse image search option for any professional.
Many people may not recognize it, but Google launched a reverse image search service back in 2011. The service requires you to upload an image to Google’s server which is then searched across millions of webpages. It is not the most accurate but in our time of using it, there has only been a few times when we were not able to identify an image using Google’s service.
In order to use it, you need to go to images.google.com and drag the image you would like to search from a folder on your computer into the search field. Alternately, you can choose the browse option which will allow you to browse to the image’s folder location and upload it from there.
We’ve personally found reverse image search to be extremely valuable, from trying to find a higher resolution version of an awesome photo, to identifying some unnamed hot girl in a random photo to pinpointing the exact location of beautiful scenery, reverse image search is a life saver and once you start to use it, you too will get hooked. Just keep in mind that tracking down information on an image may take a bit longer than you thought.