- An Interview With Cris DeRaud: TinEye Fan
As most of you know we launched TinEye, our image search engine, in closed beta and since its launch it has garnered quite a following and fan base. This has been tremendously helpful to us…what better way to improve an image search engine than have a very involved community sending you feedback on a daily basis?
We thought that you would like to meet some of our fans and community leaders. We are introducing a series of interviews and today we are starting by interviewing Cris DeRaud! Cris agreed to chat with us as a member of SXC but he is not employed by SXC nor does he represent the viewpoints and opinions of the SXC administration.
Cris DeRaud is a photographer and a community leader within SXC, a photography exchange website. Cris was one of the first photographers to use TinEye and his feedback to our team has been smashing. We love it when we see eye to eye with our users and when speaking to them makes us feel like they were a fly on the wall in our boardroom!
Cris, welcome to the TinEye community. We are happy to have you. So…
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to photography?
I’ve had an interest in photography since I was 7 years old. My father was a semi-professional photographer. He built a darkroom in the house and I would develop his film and make prints in his darkroom. There was room for only one person so I had to learn how to do the procedures well enough to be on my own. I actually got pretty good at it by the time I was ten. We moved to Germany then, in 1964, and we had to leave the darkroom behind.
In 2004 I bought a Minolta Z2 and Microsoft Digital Image Suite and started experimenting with the process of making digital images. I produced a few good shots with that setup but the more advanced setup of a DSLR, various lens and premium imaging software opened the door for more creativity.
How did you hear about SXC and what attracted you to SXC?
One day I saw an article on LiveScience and the article had a photo of something really odd and I wanted to know what it was. The bottom corner of the photo had an sxc.hu credit. I searched for SXC and discovered a stock site with hundreds of thousands of photos and a very large community of photographers. I decided to join so I could download photos to practice editing them with my software. Soon I began to appreciate the quality of the photos on the site and I looked for hints on how I could improve my photography skills and participate in the community.
I began uploading images to SXC in December of 2006. After the first couple images were approved for posting and somebody actually downloaded an image I was hooked on the feeling of creating something people actually wanted! I found myself getting and making comments, downloading photos and getting to recognize the other photographers.
The people I have met and come to know, the knowledge I have received and the reward of contributing to the site is what keeps me at SXC. Many people use the site as a springboard for entering the microstock market. stockxpert, the sister site to SXC, is a step up where you have an opportunity to license your photos. I have not chosen to make photography a business, but prefer to keep it a hobby and a pastime that I am comfortable with.
How do you typically find out where your images are being used?
I was able to find my images on the Web most often by three sources:
- The person or company who downloaded the image left me a link to the image in the comment box or they contact me by email to ask permission to use the photo in a project and inform me where the image was being used.
- My name was accredited to the photo and a Google search of my name allowed me to find my images.
- Occasionally another member of SXC would recognize my photo on the web and inform me of where it was found.
How did you find out about TinEye?
I look for new services and technologies and my main source for reliable reports is BetaNews.com. I saw an article that suggested there was a new image search technology entering into beta testing and I immediately jumped at the chance to join.
I also posted a notice in the general forum on SXC that TinEye was accepting requests for beta testers and suggested that others sign up for it too. That was on May 6th, 2008.
How do you see TinEye being able to help the SXC community? Do you have any examples you could share with us?
The photographers on SXC ask this question more than any other: “Can you tell me how you used my photo or send me a link to it?”
Each contributing photographer has a profile info box and quite often they ask that they be contacted on the use of their photos. People want to know where all those downloaded images are going. Sometimes you get a link sent to you but most often we just don’t know.
TinEye is doing an exceptional job answering the question of where a photograph is appearing. TinEye answers two basic questions for us photographers: the “where” and “how”. Where has my photograph appeared and how has it been used. To date, no other search service has returned as many image usage on the internet.
No other service has returned as many incidences of use on the internet as TinEye. TinEye finds the use of your images, the misuse of your images and teaches you what kinds of images are in demand. TinEye shows you how your images were integrated onto the web and that is valuable information when you are designing your next shot to submit to SXC.
TinEye is an invaluable tool for finding images that have been used without our permission. Some people have used our images freely as their own with little to no regard for copyright or intellectual property. If people know we have TinEye to find where our images are being used the incidence of redistribution should decrease dramatically.
In short, TinEye provides three valuable services to the SXC photographer:
- TinEye finds where and how the photographer’s images are being used on the internet.
- TinEye improves security by locating unauthorized use of the photographer’s photos and helps deter people from misusing our images.
- TinEye is a powerful training tool that teaches the photographer what kinds of images are popular for use on the internet.
Thank you for sharing your story with us Cris.
** Images Cris DeRaud
- Tux: Boy does he get around!
Do you need a TinEye account? Get it here. Go, Go! There are 500 ‘instant accounts’ available…499…498…
TinEye finds your images online, matching the “fingerprint” of your image (let’s use our pal Tux over there) to the millions of other images in our index to find where and how your image is being used on the web.
Tux is awfully cute just the way he is, but how has his little image been used around the internet? Just have a look at the Tux widget!
To see all the different ways folks have edited Tux just press play. We used just 155 of the images identified to create the Tux widget, but TinEye actually found over 800 results in mere seconds!
We like to share here at idée, so go ahead and play with it, embed it and share it with your friends. We even made a tiny Tux that you can easily pop onto your site!
Have you found a cool search with lots of variations that you think would make a good widget? Let us know!
- Everything is Visual: Introducing the TinEye Mona Lisa Widget
Because we love to have fun at the idéeplex we came up with a snazzy, embeddable widget that demonstrates the image identification technology behind TinEye: the image search engine!
What is TinEye you ask? Given an image to search for, TinEye tells you where and how that image appears all over the web – even if it has been modified.
When you want to find out where an image is being used on the web, you submit it to TinEye by uploading it, pointing to it on the web or right clicking using the TinEye plugin.
The image itself is analyzed instantly, and its “fingerprint” is compared to the fingerprint of every single image in the TinEye search index of almost half a billion images.
The result? A detailed list showing all the images and the websites using that image, worldwide.
All of the Mona Lisa images in our widget were found on the web by searching on TinEye for the first, unedited Mona Lisa image in the series. We took the results of our search and put them into this image flow interface, which allows you to scan through all the images and see the differences between them.
Give it a try, press play! This little widget is embeddable: this means that you can simply grab the code and embed it on your blog or website. Go ahead, we’re cool with you sharing and distributing it. Do you like it? You can Digg it too!
Did you know that the Mona Lisa is one of the most used images in product marketing in the world? While we only used 150 unique Mona Lisa images in this nifty little demo, TinEye actually found almost two thousand results searched over 487 million images!
Try pulling one of the Monas out of line, she’s snap right back in. Go forward, go back, stop to look more closely at an image. Interested in one? Click the corresponding url and off you’ll go to one of the thousands of websites featuring Mona Lisa in all her variations.
What is this? You don’t have an account yet? Today is your lucky day! We have 500 ‘instant’ accounts to our beta available. Sign up!
- Cool Searches from our TinEye fans
We asked, you answered!
We asked you what TinEye search just knocked your socks off? Which one made you laugh out loud? What search made you look around and say “I just have to show someone this, it’s so cool!”?
And you answered us. We’ve had hundreds of submissions to the cool searches page! Thanks to all our fans for sharing and for having as much fun with TinEye as we do.
Now, on to the searches!
Because we love robots and science fiction at the idéeplex we couldn’t pass up Steve’s “Because it’s Star Wars, dude!” search. TinEye found 99 variations on his original search image including a framed wall art version and even a half obscured poster! Great search Steve!
Checking in at a rather mind-boggling 272 matches, everyone’s favourite mom-to-be Angelina Jolie. Thanks to several of our fans for this cool celeb search. TinEye found hundreds of matches in our still small (but growing!) index of just about half a billion images including crops, colour changes, blurs, and image overlays.
It would just be wrong for us to not include a coffee search, we’re java junkies here at idée! TinEye located over 500 Starbucks images from the original search query, the standard Starbucks logo. Whether the sign, the cup or even the logo with major alterations, colour changes or mostly hidden, TinEye found them all!
Sometimes there aren’t very many results but they sure are funny. We were pleased to see that our little squirrel cowboy found a little squirrel lady friend, thanks to TinEye!
Some other fun searches included the Linux mascot:
Super Mario (without his mustache even!):
And a few fun shots from the Matrix movies:
Thanks for all the Cool Search submissions, TinEye fans! Keep’em coming!
- We like to Wordle
We love new, cool web toys here at the idéeplex. Have you tried out Wordle?
Wordle is a website that generates “word clouds” from text that you provide. Plan to set aside some time, it’s addictive (kind of like searching images on TinEye)!
Check out our TinEye Wordles.
If you have a cool Wordle leave us a comment to share it. Don’t forget to tell us about your cool TinEye searches too!
Still need a TinEye account? Pop over and request an invite.
Happy Weekend TinEye fans!
- TinEye’s “Cool Searches” – now with extra “cool”!
One of the really fun things about TinEye is coming across a surprising search that makes you say “Wow, this so cool!”
It can be a bit of a contest here at the Idéeplex, finding the most interesting results using our very nifty image search engine.
TinEye has a “Cool Searches” page that showcases some of the interesting TinEye searches we’ve come across in our travels around the web. We’ve just updated it to show you some of the most interesting versions of the images we found and to make it easier for you to replicate the search too!
Click on any of the images to see them up close. You’ll need a TinEye account to try out these searches yourself. Don’t forget to sign up!
From Uncle Sam to Hello Kitty to Buzz walking on the moon, TinEye is finding awesome variations and amazingly creative edits to the images.
We have introduced the ability for TinEye fans to submit a cool search when you find one, so we will be featuring some of these searches right here and on the TinEye cool search page. When you come across a cool search let us know by clicking on ‘Recommend as a Cool Search’ next to your query image. We review every submission we get.
Have an image that you think might make the cut but don’t have a TinEye account yet? Sign up.
Stay ‘cool’ TinEye fans, lots of exciting news coming your way soon!
- Jim Goldstein interviews Leila Boujnane for EXIF and Beyond podcast
Catch our CEO talking all about the exciting features coming down the pipe for TinEye on EXIF and Beyond with Jim Goldstein. Jim is an independent photographer specializing in landscape, travel, nature and event photography. He also produces the informative and engaging EXIF and Beyond podcast and shares insights on photography and the photo industry on his blog.
TinEye has only been in a private beta for just over a month but it has “captured the attention and imagination of the photographic community” says Jim.
Have a listen to find out about the future direction of TinEye, our “groundbreaking image search engine”.
Download the episode:EXIF and Beyond: Leila Boujnane
For the non-iTune listeners: a streaming version of Jim’s podcast can be accessed here.
Don’t have a TinEye account yet? Head over and request an invite!
- Robots Everywhere
Well, we are not the only ones in the world who love robots! Have you seen the Mozilla robot? What a beauty! If like me, you missed the Firefox launch party in Toronto (well, you know some of us have work to do!) then you are going to enjoy John Slater’s post about the FF3 new designs and branding. John is the Creative Director at Mozilla and documents some his design and branding adventures here. An awesome read for behind the scenes design, planning and roll out.
- Always improving!
Our awesome developers have been super-busy rolling out the latest TinEye tweaks and updates. Thanks to our community for sharing all your suggestions, we’re listening!
We’ve made quite a few changes here and there, some you might have noticed, some are behind the scenes but all of them are going to help make your TinEye experience even better!
We’ll keep posting updates to let you know what we’ve been up to, check back soon for more!
Here are just a few of the recent changes:
- Redesigned the main search page to feature a combined image upload and URL searches instead of the original tabs.
- A little extra help for folks installing the Firefox plugin – we added more information about what it is and detailed instructions about how to install.
- We added the TinEye video to the login page – we know a lot of you are Amber Mac fans!
- You’ll now see the Terms of Service on the login page and included in the registration process.
- We’ve added an image upload how-to page, just in case you have any problems.
- You can now submit a description with your Cool Search submissions to let us know why you think it’s cool.
And what is next for TinEye?
(hint: The first word is ‘bigger’ and the second is ‘index’! Stay tuned, it’s coming soon!)
** Photos – Jennifer
- Idée nominated for AlwaysON’s Global 250 in Innovation
Nominations for Idée? Yes indeed! We’re happy to share our recent nomination to the AlwaysON Global 250, quite the honour!
Each year AlwaysON honours the top 250 private companies from across innovation and recognizes them at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit held July 22-24th at Stanford University, California. Very exciting!
The event features the most innovative companies, eminent technologists, influential investors and journalists in keynote presentations, panel debates and private company CEO showcases. The Summit at Stanford’s goal is to identify the most promising entrepreneurial opportunities and investments in the global tech industry.
We are looking forward to the summit in July!