Reverse Image Search Engines

Below is a list of reverse image search engines — not just typing in a term, and coming up with results, but linking or uploading an image and finding similar (or other instances) of the same images online.  The value of these tools for visual artists lay in finding similar reference images quickly, (either for subject matter or palette choice), as well as checking out if your work is being used online un-beknownst to you.  Here’s what I’ve found:

TinEye works to find the exact image, and seems to be the best out there for doing so.

Idee has 3 searching options on their landing page: color based, combination (image recognition + text tags), or straight-up image matching from an upload/URL.  The last option wasn’t working well for me, but other examples online gave pretty good results.

GazoPa trumps Idee in composition/subject matter results, returning images in percentage of how much it matches the original

RevIMG has a clumsy design and doesn’t return a lot of hits at once

Google Image — once, through searching, you find an image that you’d like to find more of, you can click on the “Find similar images” link below the target hit.  It doesn’t do a bad job, but again, you have to first search for the right image, not upload or link to an exact one.  This would be nice for browsing.

SnapTell, very adeptly named, this one is for mobile devices, and the idea is that you Snap a picture, and your device Tells you what it is/where to buy it online.

Did I miss any?


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