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!
good spotting @I’d Eat It!
At the TinEye HQ we love Photoshelter’s CEO photography rant, we love it so much that we want everyone to read it, share it, print it on a giant poster and display it on Time Square. Seriously. Best photo rant ever!
Don’t we all love photography? The answer is no. There is a percentage of photographers who hate photography. They do not appreciate photography. They do not consume photography. They don’t look at photo books or photo magazines. They hate the guy with the iPhone taking Instagram shots. They hate the guy who just bought the D4 because they don’t have one. They hate people using digital because film is what real artists use. They hate photographers who embrace social media because images should stand on their own. They hate Getty, Corbis, the AP, day rates, photo editors, assistants, rental houses, camera stores, point-and-shoots, iPads, zoom lenses, padded camera straps, wheeled suitcases, younger photographers, older photographers. The photo of so-and-so on the cover of whatever it’s called sucks. That guy copied the other guy, he sucks. Terry Richardson sucks. Chuck Close sucks. Vincent Laforet hasn’t taken a still in 17 years. Kodak hasn’t been managed well since the 70s. Blah, blah, blah.
Allen Murabayashi shows you how and why to love photography. For real.
If you are a TinEye fan and have registered to use TinEye (registration is free and comes with benefits – so what are you waiting for?) you have likely noticed the History feature. This feature keeps track of all the previous searches you complete on TinEye. Pretty handy if you are searching for specific images or need to search for the same image more than once. The TinEye History feature is meant to help with that.
We realized that we never mentioned the fact that the TinEye History feature will only keep track of the searches you have completed in the past 365 days. Any searches performed over 365 days are of course not available. So keep that in mind.
And as always, any searches performed while not registered are not stored. Let us know how you are using the TinEye History feature and if there is anything else you would like to see done with the feature. Of course keeping track of searches performed over 365 days is probably something fans would like but what else?