- Wikimedia Commons & TinEye
Since the launch of TinEye, we have had a great response from the Wikimedia Commons image community. Wikimedia Commons is a repository of free-content files, including images, that are either in the public domain or released under free licenses. These images are used in many of the Wikimedia Foundation’s projects, including Wikipedia.
Anyone can contribute to Wikimedia Commons, and the project is driven by volunteers; while they are careful to respect image copyright, researching the license for each image that is submitted can be a challenge. To aid in this effort, members of Wikimedia Commons have created automated plugins and image checkers driven by the TinEye search engine, to help research photos and locate the source of images.
For an interesting browse, check out Wikimedia Commons member Shizhao’s TinEye bot, which allows you to see all of the interesting images that have been uploaded to the Commons and been detected elsewhere on the web by TinEye.
- Expanding our TinEye index
We have been working away on our crawling approaches and our efforts are finally bearing fruit. For the past several weeks the TinEye image index has grown by roughly 2-3 million images per week using a series of new crawling approaches. This is a good foundation that we are now going to scale to bring you more images and current content!
You may not have noticed this since our TinEye results page rounds our image index to the nearest hundredth of a billion images (i.e. the nearest 10 million). But we’ve changed it to round to the nearest 100 thousand images so now it is easy to watch that number grow!
So check back often and keep searching! Stay tuned for further developments as well as the ability to submit your sitemaps directly to TinEye.
- Save precious time: TinEye Mozilla add-on and plugins! <3
Click, BAM. Click, BAM. No, that’s not a grenade–that’s just the peaceful sound of the TinEye plugin providing you with instant search satisfaction! If you are running Firefox or Internet Explorer and you have not installed the TinEye plugin, you don’t know what you’re missing. Just right-click on any image from wherever you happen to be on the intertubes, and TinEye will quickly and quietly search for that image in a background tab or separate window.
Firefox users update: we’ve just released version 0.5 of our plugin. It is now out of the sandbox and available directly from Mozilla! If you’ve already tried out the FF version, why not write us a review?
Oh, and for our Opera and Safari friends: Sorry we do not have a special plugin just for you, but we do have a really great bookmarklet that is the next best thing.
- Open TinEye! And other stuff…
Well folks we’ve heard you loud and clear: “We don’t want to log in to use TinEye“. Good news! TinEye is now open for anyone and everyone to use, without the need to log in or register. Our registered friends – and there are almost 200,000 of you – however, will enjoy some great perks.
And there have been some other changes too!
- Registered users of TinEye will get the opportunity to try out new features first, and provide feedback. You will also be able to link to and share your search results with friends. You will also have the option to keep a search history, including a gallery of images with search dates and the number of results found. And don’t forget that registered users can subscribe to the TinEye newsletter to stay in the loop. Now would you just go and register?!
- We introduced automatic discard of search images after one hour. If you are unregistered–or if you are registered and have disabled search history in your profile–anything you upload to TinEye for search is discarded after an hour.
- We updated the TinEye plugin for FireFox to version 0.5. This update includes a bug fix where if text is highlighted with a background image beneath it, the plugin is not activated.
- The little business of ads appearing on TinEye. Well, they have arrived because little TinEye wants some fluids (especially Robot Oil and Bourbon). You want a free reverse image search engine right?
- We made improvements to search speed and you should be able to play with a faster and sharper TinEye.
Just for the new folks: TinEye is still only searching a 1 billion image index which means if you don’t find a match for your image search it is not the image recognition technology, it is the index! But now that we have this release out the door we will go back to working on the little things: like growing our index!
So what should you be searching for this morning? Well how about the Obama Hope image that is all the rage this morning? or the little angry baby? Happy searching folks and welcome to the future of image search brought to you by the good folks at Idée.
- Will the real Obama Hope photograph stand up?
I am sure you are wondering what does image recognition have to do with Obama? Me too! A couple of days ago – this is super old news for the blogosphere! – James Danziger posted about how he spent months searching for the original photograph that Shepard Fairey used to create his Obama Hope image. I am sure you have all seen the Obama Hope work?
Reading James’ post (which I linked to a couple of days ago) I thought boy if only he had access to the image recognition we take for granted within the Ideeplex walls, his months of research could have been shortened to minutes (James, meet TinEye. TinEye meet James. Now be nice)! But I digress: upon hitting publish on my short post, I received a comment from Waldir who pointed me to a series of Flickr photograph where Stevesimula identifies another photograph as the original. Bam! Would the real Obama Hope photograph please please stand up? No really! Sometimes the most obvious things are the ones that escape you: well, champion how about using our image recognition technology and comparing all the contenders? I mean we can surely spot the fakers? That’s what we ended up doing yesterday but unfortunately I did not have time to post about it. So the results are in and the winner is: Mannie Garcia who shot Obama for the Associated Press.
Stevesimula was the first one to complete his own analysis and came to the above conclusion before we did, we basically took our sophisticated image recognition technology and confirmed his finding.
Tom over at Phillynews did an awesome detective job to locate the original Obama photograph. Read his sleuthing!
Here is what we did: we took the Obama Hope poster and matched it against the two potential source candidate images. For this we used the image comparison engine of TinEye‘s bigger, more powerful brother: PixID. If you thought TinEye can compare images, you should see what PixID can do! PixID takes a detailed look at the patterns of the pixels images, creating digital fingerprints of the source and target images. It can find a small partial match in the fingerprints, even if the images have been heavily transformed. Edits can include crops, flips, rotation, skews or as in this case – literal posterization of the image.
PixID can also calculate a sub-pixel accurate transformation matrix that shows how the images best align to each other. We used that to produce the images shown below. Basically Mannie Garcia’s photograph was the best match.
Below you can view the results. As you mouse over each poster, it will swap to the best possible alignment of the source image we compared it to. If you toggle the images back and forth, you can see the real winner is obvious.
This is the Reuters images which was initially identified by James as the correct match for the Obama Hope poster.
As you mouse over the image to the right, to toggle between the poster and the aligned photograph, you will see that the alignment seems a bit off. Clearly Obama’s head and ears do not line up well at all! So what’s going on? It turns out that the mathematically best alignment possible was to have the lips and nose line up properly (take a look and you will see that they do). If you force the head and ears to line up, then the nose and mouth will be way off. Either way this is not looking like a good match to us.
- To TinEye an image
Nothing makes me smile more than hearing users talk about TinEye-ing an image! I stumbled across this digg post a while back – totally forgot about it until this morning. I love how TinEye was the first image search tool mentioned and used to find the Awesome Spaghetti Junction photograph. And by the way the junction photograph is that of Bangkok’s expressways.
- TinEye a librarian’s friend (and superhero)
Patricia’s list of technology resources and toys included TinEye this month. Patricia is the Head Librarian for the Dentistry Library of the University of Michigan and her list includes some pretty cool technologies to try and add to your arsenal. I would add to it Multicolr – because I am biased and it is a great tool! Thanks for the TinEye mention. Always great to hear from and about our users.
- TinEye: the ‘go to’ search engine for images
TinEye fan Jeff left us a quick note to let us know that he spied TinEye in action over on Digg. The post in question – Awesome Spaghetti Junction, what city is this? – included the image below and the simple question:
What city is this?
How can you find out more about an image such as this one when the image is all you have? Simple. Use TinEye.com. TinEye is the only search engine able to find your exact image in over a billion images crawled from the web.
Digg user ka9dgx used TinEye to find the image in a National Geographic Traveler story about Bangkok, Thailand. TinEye also located the original image titled “The Veins of Bangkok” on Flickr, just one of the 26 different instances of this image found on the web.
And who took this shot? Trey Ratcliff, a part-time photographer that I first learned about back in August when I wrote this post about Copyright and Creative Commons. You can see more of Trey’s amazing images by visiting his blog Stuck in Customs.
Click the image below to try the TinEye search yourself and discovery where else Trey’s image has travelled online. Still need to get your TinEye account? Grab one here.
Image: Trey Ratcliff
- TinEye Cool Searches: Redux
With an updated index and some behind-the-scenes tweaks, TinEye is now better than ever at finding your images in our index of over a billion images. And we just updated our TinEye Cool Searches, showcasing a new crowd of fun and interesting searches for you to explore.
And from the vault of thousands of submitted searches from TinEye fans like you, here are some more Cool Searches that highlight TinEye’s unique ability to locate your images online…
The YSL t-shirt search returns several product shots:
A search for this Obama t-shirt returned this interesting combination of images. As you can see, TinEye can still find the original image even when it has been skewed:
This dog just might be the busiest dog on the web. He is the Everywhere Girl of the animal kingdom! TinEye found him sharing the Tao of Happiness, cheering on Sox fans, talking about his food allergies and more. He also popped up in support of Barack Obama and John McCain, he’s even keen on the fictitious Stewart – Colbert ’08 election ticket. He is one confounded political pup. Check out his over 100 results from TinEye:
And lastly, one of our earlier test images was J. Howard Miller’s “We Can Do It!“, commonly referred to as Rosie the Riveter. With the updated index TinEye returns over 700 results for this American cultural icon including a snapshot of an original “We Can Do It!” wall thermometer and some rather amusing photoshop edits:
Discovered your own TinEye cool search? Remember, you can submit them to us for review and inclusion to our Cool Searches page by clicking the “Recommend as a Cool Search” link on your TinEye results page.
- Multicolr Search: now 100% pure Creative Commons
What’s even better than a Multicolr search lab with 3 million interesting images?
One with 10 million Creative Commons images!
That’s right, the Flickr Multicolr search lab just received a facelift and now it works with 10 millions Creative Commons images from Flickr.
Search based on your favourite colour combinations, find fantastic images, discover new photographers and all the images you find will be Creative Commons photographs! How cool is that?
Let’s give it a whirl.
Here I’ve picked just black and white, you can see my search colours on the right side of the images, below the colour picker grid. As we go through some examples you can even try them out by clicking on any of the screenshots.
Let’s add some *pop* to that last image search by adding in a vibrant pink. You can see on the right, I’ve just selected the colour from the palette and added it to my search. To delete any colour you just click on the tiny trash can shown with the colour selection.
Interested in images with water or sky? By picking just blue tones our search lab will lead you to lovely images of the sea and air interspersed with other great finds.
Love black and whites? Key up a grey-scale set of images with just a few clicks.
And remember, you can adjust your search results by adding more of certain colours and less of others.
Here are two searches for yellow and purple images, the first is heavily weighted to the yellows, the other has much more purple. Take a quick look on the right hand side and you’ll see how it works – the more I added a specific colour, the more prominently it is represented in the images returned.
Click on any image while you are searching and it will take you right to the Flickr page for that image. It’s that simple.
Still not sure what this is all about?
The Flickr Multicolr search is just one of the Idée Labs. Idée Labs is Idée’s technology playground for visual search and image recognition. You can experiment and play with various implementations of Idée’s visual search technologies.
In addition to the newly updated Flickr Multicolr Search, you can also try out our other labs including the Alamy Multicolour Search, Visual Search and even a BYO Image (that’s bring your own) Search. Go ahead, give them all a try (they’re free)!