- TinEye sleuthing & President Nicolas Sarkozy
André Gunthert’s visual exploration of President Nicolas Sarkozy images in the French press, particularly Le Nouvel Observateur. A fascinating series of observations. In French only. So this one is for all our French TinEye fans.
Original photograph and cover of Le Nouvel Observateur. Photograph by Jean-François Robert.
Photo manipulation to create the Nouvel Observateur cover.
And just for fun: some of the President’s image transformation unearthed by André Gunthert using TinEye:
- TinEye: What’s in a name?
Many of you have asked us where the name “TinEye” originated. We’ll give you a quick hint: ROBOTS.
We at Idée love robots, machines, and all things mechanical. In fact, our office is filled with mechanical friends!
So a little history: back in 2000 when we were brainstorming cool names for our image recognition technology, it was no surprise that robots came to mind. Not just any robots, but those awesome tin toy robots of yore.
Yes, futuristic robots trump our human abilities in so many ways: their tin arms are stronger, their tin brains are faster, and their ‘tin eyes’ are keener…
Et voilà, the birth of TinEye! Well not really, as when we registered TinEye in the year 2000 – oh that has a nice ring to it – there was no TinEye, no reverse image search engine and no image recognition breakthroughs yet. There was a team, excited about changing image search.
We love our reverse image search engine name today but back then, had you been a participant in our brainstorming sessions you would have seen a polarized and totally divided team. Seriously who calls a search engine TinEye? Doesn’t the expression “tin ear” mean insensitive to music or subtleties in certain situations. If we called our reverse image search engine TinEye, wouldn’t we send the wrong message right out of the gate? And so did the conversations go… and go… and go… until we bit the bullet because we have a CTO who is obsessed with image search and when he becomes obsessed with a name, well it is game over for the rest of us!
TinEye’s “eyes” may be faster and keener than us mere mortals when it comes to finding image matches in billion image collections, but there are some things that human eyes can still do better! Like choosing the right colour palette to suit the mood of an image, or knowing just where to crop a photo to make it “pop”. TinEye on the other hand is laser focused on being the best reverse image search engine possible.
Fast forward to today: TinEye is the best reverse image search engine in the world (that’s what our fans tell us!) and TinEye has entered your search vocabulary in “hey, TinEye that image.”
For those of you wondering if we were inspired by Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy: the story is awesome and the Tineyes in it are neat, but no, Mistborn was not even written when we picked our name. Bright minds think alike?
And there you have it, the etymology of our little robot TinEye!
Some shots from around the office…
[Photography by Melina]
- HackTO: Second Edition
We have been busy planning the next HackTO. HackTO is a developer event, in Toronto, where we get to play with a variety of APIs and build applications we can brag about! The next HackTO is on Saturday September 25th and is almost sold out. If you don’t have a ticket, this is your last chance. We will be announcing the HackTO prizes for best built application next week so be sure to keep an ear open!
Many of you may be wondering what the API lineup is going to look like for this round. Well wonder no more; we’ve got six fabuloso APIs here to dirty your hands and spark your imagination. And we are very excited about the line up: freebase + image recognition anyone? ;-)
Each of the following APIs will be supported by a genuine, bona fide, electrified “rep” to answer any questions you may have and support your development efforts during HackTO.
Cadmus is a real-time service that manages your Twitter, FriendFeed and RSS streams. The API lets you sort your Twitter timeline by relevance. You can also see the entire conversation around a tweet, and any related tweets that have been made by your friends. Find top conversations from within your Twitter lists, and see trending topics specifically for lists and friends.
Get documentation for the Cadmus API
Freebase is an open, Creative Commons licensed repository of structured data containing information about 12 million real-world entities including people, places, films, books, events, business, and more. Use the API to access a graph database of about 400 million facts and connections between entities. Google just acquired Freebase so if you are not familiar with Freebase, this is your chance to become familiar before you start seeing this data goodness in your Google search results!
Get documentation for the Freebase API
FreshBooks supplies online billing services, allowing freelancers and small businesses manage their cashflow and get paid faster. The FreshBooks API allows 3rd party developers to expand and build on the FreshBooks platform. Access FreshBooks account data using HTTP and XML to create web and desktop applications that integrate with a FreshBooks account.
Get documentation for the FreshBooks API
OANDA provides Internet-based foreign exchange trading and currency information services. As one of the largest non-bank Futures Commission Merchants, it has access to one of the world’s largest historical, high frequency, filtered currency databases.
PixMatch is an image matching engine that allows you to perform large scale image comparisons – if you have been using TinEye then you are familiar with PixMatch. Identify exact image matches and modifications of a query image. For HackTO, the PixMatch API will be providing access to the Internet Archive’s Open Library collection of book covers. Start thinking image recognition + book covers!
Yellow Pages Group is Canada’s largest directory publisher. The API provides access to a large database of Canadian business content and allows direct streaming of local search content including video, photos, ad thumbs and more. Get geo-localized listings for map overlays and proximity search.
Get documentation for the YPG API
I hope that whets your appetite. Now eat your greens and start thinking about applications! In our next blog post we will point to a few ideas and implementations for the above APIs to get you going.
We are looking forward to welcoming you on Saturday September 25, 2010.
- TinEye Firefox: 1 Million Downloads
Wowowow! Thank you to everyone who has downloaded our little Firefox extension… we hope it has made your lives easier, and maybe even a bit more fun!
For those who don’t know, the TinEye extension for Firefox (featured by Rock Your Firefox) adds a right-click menu items that lets you search for images as you browse the web. We also have extensions for Chrome, Safari and IE. Check them out!
One million downloads… this calls for a celebration…