Image Matching
January 20, 2004 5:28 PM   Subscribe

Is there an image search engine that allows me to take a given image and see if there are other copies online (the image name may be different and perhaps even resized?) (more inside)

I found an uncredited image online which I'd like to track down a better copy of. The image name is nothing unique (like 2.jpg). Is there a way (based on colors, resolution maybe?) that i can track down other copies of this image floating around the internet?
posted by vacapinta to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Not really, maybe if you linked it here somebody would recognize it and be able to point you towards a better copy. A computer is a big dumb box and so can only do what a person can tell it how to do. I'll bet that unless it's a relatively well known picture (the Mona Lisa, Starry Night, that you couldn't even describe it well enough for us to find and most of us are smarter than the best big dumb box you can find.

Even if you did figure out how to describe it you'd have to describe it in a manner that the computer already searched for. Examining every image on the internet to see if it matches your criteria would take astounding amounts of bandwidth and computational resources.

So, post it here, maybe it'll ring a bell.
posted by substrate at 6:27 PM on January 20, 2004

People are working on it.

Search google for "query by image" "search by example" "search by sketch", etc. But I highly doubt there is any public search engine implementing it. I'd guess that the best you could hope for right now is an academic (*maybe* commercial) application with a royalty-free image database.

If you can describe it, do so in as many ways as possible on Google's image search. That's my suggestion.
posted by whatnotever at 6:27 PM on January 20, 2004

Yeah, i can see that this is available for private image databases but nothing for the web as far as I can see.
posted by vacapinta at 6:44 PM on January 20, 2004

I guess i should re-ask. is there a way to find other copies online of the exact same image file, that is same size, same exif information etc. Only the name may have changed.

It seems this would be useful in finding other people that have taken images from your site and are hosting them somewhere else.
posted by vacapinta at 8:23 PM on January 20, 2004

Maybe you could search for the hex info or whatever that stuff is?

There was a visual stock photography search thing online, but I can't find it (and that was only for images close to what you had that was in their database, and commercial)
posted by amberglow at 8:30 PM on January 20, 2004

I have a vague recollection of "Yahoo Images" from the old days. It would let you search an image, and then find images with similar colors, shapes, etc.

Not sure whetever happened to that.
posted by oissubke at 8:48 PM on January 20, 2004

is there a way to find other copies online of the exact same image file, that is same size, same exif information etc.

I suppose you could try a P2P app that checks hashes.
posted by yerfatma at 5:13 AM on January 21, 2004

google might work on querying exif data. I don't know the exif format but I'd try something like:

ext:jpg "exif-token: value"
posted by substrate at 1:39 PM on January 21, 2004

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