Have you heard of reverse image search before? If you have never heard of it before then do not worry because you are not alone. Some people do not even know that this exists. Perhaps because of doing research, you have come across the term ‘reverse image search.’ You would like to know more about it and you have come to the right place.
What Is Reverse Image Search?
This is basically known as CBIR or Content Based Image Retrieval. This is a type of technique wherein an image is connected to a content. The sample image will be used in order to retrieve content and information about a certain topic. This means that you do not need to use a lot of terms like with normal queries to gain information about what you are searching for.
This can be beneficial if you are trying to eliminate some keywords that will not work when searching for products online. If you have a product that you are trying to sell, using the reverse image search will allow you to know what keywords are not needed anymore.
With the use of a reverse image search, you can get the following:
- Figure out content that is closely related to the given sample image.
- Get to know how popular an image is.
- Find versions of the image that has been manipulated and derived in order to be used for other products or tasks.
- You can also locate the current destination of the image.
- It will give you the ability to search for the same image but with a higher resolution.
Just imagine if you have uploaded a picture that you have taken for your website. With the use of reverse image search, you can figure out if there are other websites that have stolen your image and are using it for your own. You can then report the website because you have rights to the images. If in case your original image is used but it has been changed a bit, you can still use the reverse image search to locate where those images are being used.
Some Algorithms Used for Reverse Image Search
There are some algorithms that are being used in order to make reverse image search possible. Some of these things include the following:
- Scale Invariant Feature Transform – This works by checking out the local features of the images so that they will be detected easily. This was started in the year 1999 by David Lowe. This algorithm can be used provided that the features that are being looked for are still easy to detect and are not manipulated to resemble other images instead.
- Vocabulary Tree – This is also known as Bag-of-words. Basically, an image that is being searched for will be treated as words. This means that each feature of the image will be transformed in word form. The image that will be used with this algorithm has to be well defined. It has to pass three steps namely: feature detection, feature description and codebook generation. Once the three steps have been passed, this type of algorithm will be used well.
- Maximally Stable Extremal Regions – This works by checking out the correlation of a certain image with other images that are similar to it. This is also known as blob detection. This can take a long time depending on the number of similar images to the one that you have uploaded for checking.
Uses in Some Search Systems
How will you be able to use reverse image search when you are using some popular websites? This will not be a problem anymore as you learn more about it.
Google is known to be the most popular search engine site in the world. If you want to search for information, you know that this is the one that you are searching for. Aside from precious content, you can also use Google to search for images.
- Simply upload the image that you are going to use for reverse image search although you may also place the image’s URL.
- The submitted image will then be analyzed by Google using their own algorithms and will be compared to billions of other images that can be found in the big world of the Internet.
- After checking with different images, it will start to give similar results. Through this you can check if the image that you have submitted for checking have some matches online.
What do you usually use Pinterest for? This is something that you can use if you want to search for various images of the things that you are interested in. For example, if you are interested in tattoos, you will see images of tattoos uploaded by other people on Pinterest. This also uses reverse image search that can be useful for you.
- Upload an image of the item that you like to check.
- There are different factors that will be considered while the image is being checked out. The features of the image will be checked and even salient pixels and signatures will be extracted to be compared with the images that other uploaders have put up on their very own Pinterest board.
- It will then give a wide range of images that have similar features to the one that you have uploaded.
- This can be beneficial if you are searching for fashion items and you want to find other items that almost look the same with what you have uploaded.
When it comes to reverse image search, you know that TinEye is one of the most popular ones that you will see. Any image that will be uploaded on the site will be matched with all of the other images that are available in the World Wide Web.
- The moment that you upload an image, TinEye will create a unique data base about your image.
- The image will then be compared and contrasted with all the other images that can be found online.
- The search results will show if there are similar images that have been edited to look different from the original. This can be helpful if you are trying to see if another website the image that you have uploaded for their own purpose.
How to Reverse Image Search with Your Laptop/PC
Here is a detailed process of the things that you have to do to accomplish reverse image search with the use of your laptop:
- Choose the search engine site that you are going to use. You can use Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox. It will be best to use their latest versions for more accurate results.
- Upload an image that you want to check. You will most likely select the image from your computer especially if it is your own image that you are searching for. Uploading can be different depending on the search engine site that you are using.
- You can drag and drop the image if you are using Chrome or Firefox.
- With Internet Explorer and Safari, you may need to search for the image URL and place it on the search engine box.
- Click on search and wait for other images to appear.
- If in case you are trying to search for an image that can also be found within a search engine site (not from your computer,) you need to right click on the image and click on ‘Search for similar images.’
The process that you have to follow is quite easy, right? You do not need to go through different images one by one because all the similar ones will be available in one easy click.
How to Reverse Image Search with Other Gadgets
The reverse image search that you can do are the ones that you can use your laptop for but let us say you want to use your smartphone or perhaps your tablet to do reverse image search. Do you think that this will be possible?
You can once again use Google to find results that are similar to what you will find in your laptop. You can do the following steps:
- Make sure that you have the Chrome App downloaded on your smartphone or tablet.
- Use the Chrome App to make your search.
- Look for an image that you want to scrutinize more.
- Tap on the image to make it larger.
- Press and hold on this image.
- Wait for the prompt that says ‘Search Google for this image.’
- You will then be given results of the same image. Through this, you can check similar looking items or you can see the image in different forms, used in various websites.
Whenever you use Google for the images that you are searching for, it will save your search to make it easier for you to look for it again in the future. Do you think that you understand how to do reverse image search now? Perhaps you have gained more information about it. Share what you have learned so that a lot of people will benefit.