I am really excited to be speaking at the next Toronto Girl Geek evening. I remember attending one of the first Girl Geek dinners in London in 2005. It was organized by Sarah Blow, the founder of Girl Geeks. That evening was pretty much magical: I met Robert Scobble and Maryam Scobble. I also met Hugh MacLeod, Ben Metcalfe, Henriette Weber Andersen and a lot of awesome attendees whose names I can no longer recall unfortunately! It was a surprising evening, full of technology discussions, blogging, changing the world conversations and great wine – I vaguely remember a wine sponsorship there! Next week the Toronto Girl Geek evening is all about Algorithms. And that’s of course something I am super excited about!
Not only am I speaking but TinEye will be hosting in our offices. I would suggest that you get a ticket, but I hear it is sold out! Can’t believe that there are that many people interested in hearing about algorithms!
Inspire more women and girls into a career in science, engineering or technology by supporting Girl Geek Dinners. Perhaps your company could host the next one?
A while back we introduced a commercial version of TinEye: a paid search alternative for professional, commercial or high-volume users. While the free version of TinEye only allows you to do a limited number of searches per day and is for non commercial use only, the commercial version of TinEye allows you to purchase as many searches as you like–for commercial or non-commercial use.
We initially launched the commercial version of TinEye as an API only. Using it required integrating the TinEye API with your web service or application. However what our users may not know is that we also provide a user-friendly interface for commercial accounts.
This means that you can create a commercial TinEye account and use it to search for images in the same way that you are used to doing at tineye.com. Upload an image, or cut and paste a URL. There is even a separate browser plugin for commercial accounts so that you can right-click on any web image to search for it.
So let’s get started! Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to get you or your company set up with a TinEye commercial account and start searching… the easy way.
Go to the TinEye commercial website. This is different than the regular TinEye website, and all of the commercial activities are completed there, including searching and checking your account.
Click the Sign up tab to sign up for a commercial account. Fill in all of your details, and if you are using TinEye commercially, don’t forget to provide the URL for your company website. You will receive an email verification as soon as you’re done.
Check your email for a message from TinEye and click the verification link! You will be asked to log in with the email and password that you just used to sign up.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll find yourself on the Welcome page. Don’t click away yet! There’s some good-to-know stuff here to help get you started. You can get back to this page from wherever you are on the site by going to About > Welcome (but you need to be logged in!).
Before you can start searching, you need to buy a search bundle (you need to be logged in to actually buy a search bundle, but you can see the pricing even if you’re not). Transactions are handled via PayPal or credit cards; as soon as you’re done you’ll be directed back to your account summary page on our site, which will show what you just purchased.
You’re all set! Click on the Search tab to get started. Then simply search the way you would normally do on tineye.com. Upload an image from your local drive to search for it, or point to a web image or web page by pasting the URL.
To make searching even easier, get the browser plugin for TinEye commercial accounts. It lets you right-click on any web image to search for it (currently available for the Firefox and Chrome browsers only). To install, go to the Search page and select the API plugin for your browser. Remember you can only see this page when you are logged into your TinEye Commercial API account!
Note: The browser plugins for the regular version of TinEye found at tineye.com/plugin will not work with your TinEye API account. You must install the commercial version to perform searches that will work with your prepaid search bundle.
And that’s it folks, happy searching!
We are super fond of hackathons in the TinEye HQ so when we heard about Random Hacks of Kindness Toronto was gearing up for its bi-annual event in June, we decided to land a hand as a sponsor. TinEye will be hosting RHoK Toronto for the opening night and we are excited to welcome you all in our TinEye HQ.
What is Random Hacks of Kindness?
Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is a joint initiative between Microsoft, Google, Yahoo! NASA and the World Bank. The objective is to bring together subject matter experts around disaster management and crisis response with volunteer software developers and designers in order to create solutions that have an impact in the field.
“RHoK’s model starts from identifying, defining and refining problem definitions provided by subject matter experts and local stakeholders. This ensures that volunteer time is focused on solving real problems for real people.”
The mission here is of course to make the world a better place. :)
RHoK has hosted 4 global events to date, in 45 cities around the globe with over 4000 participants. During the RHoK 4 global event in December 2011, over 120 problems were addressed by 110 technology solutions. Solutions developed by the RHoK community have been used by organizations such as the World Bank, governments, emergency responders, and citizens.
As RHoK Toronto was gearing up for its bi-annual event on June 1-3, we took a peak at their planning ahead of the event on June 2nd. The first evening was the Pitch Night and Design Jam evening on May 15th which was held at Bento Miso a Queen West co-working space for tech and game developers. We listened to a number of pitches from participants. Each pitch was followed by a Q&A which allowed further definition of the problem to be solved and a bit of a dive into the issues at hand, and perhaps what an ideal solution would be. At the end of the pitch presentations participants joined the pitch (or problem) they were most interested in solving.
At the end of the evening the following problems (projects) were defined:
- a platform to record, transfer and review ultrasound images from remote areas in Nepal. This will allow doctors and trained nurses to review ultrasound images with the aim to reduce maternal mortality rates in remote Nepalese areas.
- Microcollaboration for journalists: InvestigateNet. This project would see the creation of a web based, social-enabled tool to help journalists anywhere – even with limited access to basic information technology — to collaborate and gain access to fundamental information, and foster deeper collaborations in the process.
- Water Voices: – a 3-part project that aims to improve First Nations access to water and sanitation through a geo-spatial water database, voice-to-SMS integration of the SMS platform and an open source CMS.
- Interactive mapping platform to overlay apartment inspection data in the city of Toronto with user and organization contributed data to engage communities and in campaigns for fair housing and to expedite repairs.
Friday June 1st, 2012 – Reception!
Join us on Friday night. You will meet judges, participants, special guest and will get an opportunity to hear about the projects you will be hacking on during the wekend.
Where: TinEye 223 Queen St. E., Toronto, ON, Canada M5A 1S2
6-9pm: Meet & Greet with other participants (refreshments will be served)
Main Event! Saturday June 2 – Sunday June 3
Saturday June 2nd, 2012
- Registration & Breakfast: 9:00 – 10:00am
- Introductions: 10:00-11:00am
- Hacking: 11:00am- 5:00pm
- First Day re-cap: 5:00pm
- Hacking & GameChangers Social: 6:00pm-9:00pm
Sunday June 3rd, 2012
- Breakfast: 9:00 – 10:00am
- Hacking: 10:00 am -3:00 pm
- Pitch Competition and Judging (and prizes!): 3:00pm-5:00pm
[RHoKERS photograph (c) Bento Miso]
Don’t want to distract you all by an angry baby, but that’s exactly what I am going to do after I tell you that we have added over 15 million images to the TinEye index bringing our index to: 2,155,840,279. Sit back, relax and click play. Enjoy! Want more, drop by!
I am sure you have noticed that we have been quiet on the TinEye front for a few months now. That’s because we have been busy building our TinEye APIs and also “dog fooding” our APIs. Oh I see you are not familiar with one of our favourite expressions? Eating your own dog food? Well, we have been eating our own dog food. By that we mean using our own APIs to build internal applications which of course led us to find that they needed much improvements prior to release! But improve we did, and we are ready to preview them at last!
But let’s start with a little addition for TinEye – the tiny reverse image search with a tiny 2 billion (but growing!) image index.
Drag and drop: now you can drag and drop an image onto the search page to start a TinEye search. Handy!
And now on to what we are very excited to introduce: TinEye Services.
These are a series of APIs that allow you to add image recognition to your application, enterprise or operations. In addition to the TinEye Commercial API which we previously launched, you can now license and start working with 3 additional APIs:
MatchEngine: Finds duplicate, modified, and even derivative images in your own image collection. You can think of this API as a TinEye on steroids, but working with your own images. It deals with even more extreme image modifications then TinEye. MatchEngine is fast, extremely accurate, and easy to integrate. It of course uses image recognition and image recognition only for its image search and comparison.
MobileEngine: Build mobile application that use high-sensitivity image recognition. This is the API to integrate in any application where you want users to be able to search by taking a picture with their mobile phone camera. Why use QR codes when you can use image recognition? MobileEngine has been optimized for mobile images and is extremely fast, accurate, and a snap to integrate.
MulticolorEngine: Search through your image collection using colors. You are probably familiar with this API as it powers our multicolor search lab. Now, you can have MulticolorEngine index your image collection so that you can search it by color. Want an image that contains blue, yellow and green? MulticolorEngine can do that. This API is not limited to just a single search color, it allows you to select multiple colors as well as the weight of each color in your search. And it does not stop at that: MulticolorEngine can extract colors from an image, or set of images, and it supports full metadata searching too.
We love hackathons at the TinEye HQ and this Saturday we will be participating in HackTO. HackTO is organized by HackDays. And HackDays = hack events across Canada. This weekend HackDays lands in Toronto with 10 API and a 100 attendees! Did you know that Toronto is the 4th best city in the world to get your startup off the ground? It is!
Why such love for hackathons? Because we can see that our entire tech and startup community benefits when awesome developers (and people) get together to hack, build and tinker. If you have not joined us at any of our hackathons, it is time to remedy that.
The idea behind HackTO is simple: a single day hackathon where developers build an application using a set of provided APIs and any other API they would like to use. Completed applications get a chance to compete for awesome prizes.
This time around, there are 10 APIs to select from including our MobileEngine and MulticolorEngine. You may already know the MulticolorEngine as Piximilar. We are launching a set of TinEye APIs in the coming weeks and of course rebranding all current APIs. So stay tuned for our next announcements and get a preview at HackTO. In the meantime:
This is the API that allows you to integrate multicolor searching for your own image database or extract colors from images in your database.
MulticolorEngine searches an image collection using one or more colors. We will be providing a two APIs for the MulticolorEngine:
- A read-only API pre-populated and loaded with 3 million Creative Commons images. You will not be able to add or delete images from this collection.
- A blank r/w API that you can load up with any images you like.
To get a feel for the capabilities of the MulticolorEngine, visit the Idée lab.
MulticolorEngine is a REST API with responses delivered in JSON or XML format. The main methods are:
- color_search: Used to perform a color searches against the collection and return any matches with scores. You can specify up to 5 colours with weights in RGB or hex format.
- extract_colors: Given an image, extract up to 10 colours and their dominance.
- extract_collection_colors: extract information about what colours exist within your whole collection, or a subset of it
- add: Used to populate your image collection.
- delete: Delete images from your collection.
MulticolorEngine also supports full meta-data searching but we’re recommending you not to get into this unless you really want to – it is still in beta!
MobileEngine uses mobile variants of the same algorithms that power TinEye. MobileEngine is designed to find a match for mobile phone picture in a collection of original/target images. It can find duplicate and altered versions of images using fingerprint based searching algorithms. It can find images that have been cropped, resized, rotated, flipped, obscured, blurred etc. Some examples of use are to match a book cover to a collection of covers. Same with CDs & DVDs, stamps, currency etc. It works with rigid flat objects but not 3D soft objects like clothing, fruit, or family pets!
The MobileEngine API can be integrated with any mobile application. For HackTO this API image collections is not pre-populated which means that if you want to develop and launch a mobile image search application integrated with this API, you will need to create a database of images for your search. The TinEye team and their documentation can assist you with that prior to the start of HackTO. Get in touch.
MobileEngine is a REST API with responses delivered in JSON or XML format. Each operation is completely atomic, meaning that given a request, other requests will wait for the first request to complete before they are processed. All responses from the API will have these keys:
- status: indicates the status of the request, can be one of ok, warn, fail
- method: the method that was called
- result: list of results for the method
- error: list of errors from the API
The main methods for MobileEngine are:
- add: Used to populate your collection. There is one shared collection for everyone to use, so please use a prefix for your image names if you want to make sure that they will not be overwritten.
- search: Used to search against your collection and returns matches. Optional search parameters are min score, max number of matches and horizontal flip.
- delete: Delete images from your collection by passing a filename.
Full documentation for the APIs will be provided at the start of HackTO just to keep things interesting :)
The full HackTO schedule is now online. And if the awesome TinEye APIs are not enough of a reason to get you to HackTO, how about the prizes:
- First prize: $2,000 (cash)
- Second prize: $1,500
- Third prize: $500
Best TinEye tag line ever! This appears on a blog post from Wired Magazine’s How To wiki about tools to figure out where an image originated.
TinEye fans: we have added over 18 million images to the TinEye index. Happy searching. And don’t forget that if you manage a large image collection, you can create and submit a TinEye Image Map for TinEye to crawl your image collection!
We have been hard at work on a number of TinEye feature we will be releasing in the coming weeks and months – never a dull moment at TinEye HQ!
Today we are rolling out our TinEye Contributor feature: if an image you search for is a match with an image which was contributed to the TinEye index, it will be displayed at the top of the search results.
If there are multiple contributor matches, the sort order of the contributor images will be the same as your selected search order for TinEye. So if, for example, you have selected the Best Match sort order, all the contributors images will be sorted Best Match first.
And when there is more than one contributor image match – as in the case below – the contributor image matches are group and will need to be expanded.
Why is this sort order important? Because it will:
- help you find out if the image you are searching for is a stock photo (available for licensing for example)
- put a creators details at your fingertip
- facilitate attribution (did you know that Obama’s picture above was shot by Keith Bedford and that his coverage of Obama’s campaign was AWESOME?)
We are continuing to add images to the TinEye index by crawling and accepting large image submissions. If you are interested in having your image collection included in the TinEye index, then you need to learn about our TinEye Imagemap requirements. We would love to hear from you hi (at) tineye.com
So happy searching fans!
over 9 million images added to the TinEye index bringing the TinEye index to over 2.1 billion images. Happy searching!