Reverse image search has become quite popular with people who know about this tool. It helps journalists, artists, business houses, e-commerce sites, investigating agencies and people who want to track down images uploaded on various internet sites. Journalists see a picture on the internet and want to track the source so they can get in touch with the person who has uploaded a picture or video that is of interest to them. Artists are interested in knowing if their work is being uploaded illegally on the internet. Investigation agencies will be interested in getting in contact with the person who has uploaded a picture or video of a crime or a crash.
Inquisitive people will want to test how accurate is an image search tool. This can be quite an interesting practice.
To test the accuracy of the popular reverse image search applications, take a picture that you have on your computer. It can be a picture of yourself or of the scenery that you have photographed and have not posted it on the internet. Now go to the images search site or tool, and upload the image and click on ‘Search Similar images.’
It will return results in Google, Bing, and Yandex. If you have not uploaded the picture on the internet, all the three search engines will return similar images that are stored in their image databases. In some instances, the results can be quite funny, especially if you have uploaded your own self-portrait picture. You will laugh at the similar images returned as they will not have any close resemblance to you.
What images search does is that it tries to match similarities; like the shape of your face, the color of your hair, clothes and other factors. You cannot blame the reverse image search tools for failing to find your image as you have not uploaded the picture on any internet site!
If you have taken pictures of a place you have visited and have not uploaded them on any site; if you search by image, it will display similar pictures but not necessarily of the place you visited and photographed.
However, if you have uploaded your picture as your profile picture on Facebook or any other site, a facebook image search will display the URL on which the picture is posted.
It’s pretty accurate in searching through image databases and finding similar images. That is if the images are available on internet sites. Otherwise, it looks for similarities which do not reveal accurate results. For example, if you post a picture of yourself wearing a jacket; the reverse search will display images of men wearing jackets.
It’s a very useful tool for businesses who want to find the source of an image that is on the internet. Pinterest, eBay use picture search extensively. If you sign on to Pinterest and list the categories that are of interest to you; it has to use photo search to display images and content to show to you. Thousands of sellers place a picture or several pictures of the product they want to sell on eBay and might not categorize it. eBay has to use the reverse image to categorize the product based on the images uploaded.
Image Finder is not an exact science as yet as comparing similarities in images requires countless algorithms to be programmed to make these tools work. Plus, extensive databases are required to store images. But as more and more people are snapping pictures and posting them on the internet, this will become a very powerful and useful tool in the near future.