- TinEye Image Analytics
At the TinEye headquarters we are constantly thinking about image search features for our reverse image search engine and of course how to make TinEye the best reverse image search engine in the world. We like building useful software for our fans.
So listening to you all sending in feature requests, ideas, suggestions etc. one feature constantly makes it to the top of the request list (after a larger index) and that is what our fans call an image alert. This basically would be a service that would allow TinEye users to find out of where their images are appearing on the web via an automated notification mechanism. Similar to Google Alerts but for images.
So today I would like you to tell us what comes to mind when you (our TinEye fan) think about when you think about image alerts and how would such a feature make your image searches easier.We have heard that as a professional and amateur photographer you would like to find out where your images are appearing and figure out if they are being used according to how they were licensed. But surely you would probably want to use an image alert service for more than just a copyright tracking tool! At least we think so because we believe analytics to be an incredible tool to drive your decision making (why fly blindingly to your destination, when you can get a compass to direct you?).
How we envision an image analytics service is simple (in principle): you would upload a set of images to the service and get a notification each time your image is spotted on the wild web. But as we are gathering data for this service we can’t help but think about what other features could make you love TinEye even more. We have a number of ideas but we would love to hear from you all. So drop us a line in the comments and tell us about your dream features for an image analytics service.
We are listening. And would like to engage in a conversation with you all.
- TinEye now accepting image collection submissions
TinEye has just one goal in life: To connect images and information. Whether that means finding the original author of an image, finding out where an image has been used on the web, or finding out more information about an image in general, TinEye wants to help you find the information you’re looking for. And the bigger our database of images, the better!
We have been crawling the web relentlessly over the past several months. In October ’09 we grew by 21.5 million images. In November we grew by 22.5 million images. In December we leaped up another 65 million images. And in January alone we’ve added 44 million images and the month is not over yet!
In addition to our regular web crawling, we have started adding entire specialized image collections. Last week we announced the addition of the iStockphoto and Photoshelter stock photo collections to TinEye. Why? Because we want to make it easy to attribute any stock image to its original author, and facilitate sales. And we plan to add new and different specialized image collections over the coming weeks and months. Maybe even yours?
So… calling all companies dealing with large image collections on the web! TinEye is officially accepting your image collection submissions. Here are some of the things we are looking for:
- Stock and editorial photography collections
- Art and illustration collections
- Product image indexes and catalogs
- Archival or historical image collections
- You tell us!
If you are an image provider or deal with large image collections as a part of your business–and if you want more people connecting with your images–then we want to hear from you! Preference will be given to collections containing over 1 million images, and to companies with an existing image management and delivery procedure.
To add your image collection to TinEye, please contact us. Help us connect your images to you!
- Who created that image? TinEye adds the iStockphoto and Photoshelter collections.
We are happy to announce that TinEye our reverse image search engine has grown its index again adding over 32 million images including the entire iStockphoto and Photoshelter image collections. This is great news for photographers, image buyers and anyone interested in copyright compliance and attribution.
Today the TinEye index sits at just over 1.2 billion images – yes, that’s billion not million – 1,267,565,027 to be exact. As we grow we have been looking at how to answer just one question:
- who created that image?
Why is this important? Simple: Attribution. Creators want to establish authorship of their work and also know where their images are used. TinEye facilitates both.
As TinEye’s index grew, TinEye became the defacto image registry. Every day TinEye answers the “who created that image” question and connects images to their source. TinEye does this without keywords or metadata. Simply use an image to find an image. This is what we like to call the beginning of the attribution movement.
To start we are adding the world’s stock photography images to TinEye to connect all images available for licensing to their creator and distributor. And that’s just the beginning.
Every day TinEye helps image authors by:
- linking images to the original author – this is about attribution
- allowing image buyers to find the proper distributor of an image to purchase it
- showing how and where images are being used on the web
- protecting against image theft
Maybe you are a designer and you’d like to purchase an image for a project and you have a thumbnail or comp image but you’re not sure where it came from. Maybe you’re in love with a certain awesome image and would like to see the author’s other work. Maybe you want to see who else on the web is using an image… maybe you’re the image author. It does not matter: TinEye connects the dots for you.
At TinEye, we want to index every image in the world to help you find what you are looking for. iStockphoto and Photoshelter are a pretty awesome step towards that but it does not stop there. We will be adding a series of stock photography collections in the coming weeks so please stay tuned. If you are interested in having your image collection added to TinEye, get in touch.
- TinEye makes the headlines (again!)
Yesterday the National Post poked fun at the cover of the new City of Toronto “Fun Guide”. The image of a smiling family on the cover was photoshopped to replace the original man in the photo with someone else.
Compare the original image with the Fun Guide version by rolling your mouse over the image below.
- CamStand Fakorama
Note 1 (June 2): As @InvisbleGreen pointed out; the images could actually be licensed and the photographer simply lying about their origin. So a blatant lie but not theft per say.
Note 2 (June2): the photographs have been removed from the website without explanation so they were likely never licensed. See the website screenshot at the end of this post.
Note 3: Daryl Lang from PDN Online picked up my blog post. Read the comments to his story. Very enlightening. Not only were the photographs on The CamStand not taken by the photographers who claimed to have taken then but the photographer profiles were also plagiarized! We have to thank David for his incredible detective work!
I am at a loss for words as to why anyone would pass someone else’s work as their own. A word of advice: you are going to need to become a more sophisticated image thief if you really don’t want to be found. Between the community (I was tipped by a photographer that I will credit once I hear back from him) and tools like TinEye you are going to have to up the anty. Seriously up the anty.
Mr. Kent Arlington from Kent Manufacturing Company manufacturer of The CamStand which is basically a camera stand: I am not even sure you exist but I can tell you that the macro photographs that you claim are your first attempt at macro photography are actually someone else’s work and they certainly were created a long time ago, not on June 1st, 2009.
Let’s look at “your” photographs:
TinEye tells me the above photograph which you mention having shot yesterday is actually an istockphoto photograph created by zimmytws and uploaded to istockphoto on February 19, 2007. Here are the TinEye results:
The TinEye search results:
Maybe the first image was just a mistake. So let’s look at “your” second photograph:
I still want to believe that may be one, at least one of the photographs you claim as yours, are actually yours. But no. All my hopes were dashed:
Your coin photograph is also an istockphoto image uploaded by Alina Vershinskaya on July 28, 2007.
And your strawberry photo? Well it belongs to Joanna Pecha and it was upoloaded to istockphoto on March 15, 2009.
I don’t know what to say except: stop stealing being unethical and claiming that a photograph is yours when it is not. You will get caught. And I am just going to assume that most of the photographs on your website The CamStand are fake and stolen come from istockphoto. A brief look at this page confirms it again: I suspect there is no Heather Fields photographer and if she exists she is stealing lying as the photograph are from istockphoto contributors:
The original which was shot by Jared Hudson and the TinEye search results:
Does the camera stand you are selling really exist? Kent Manufacturing Company: you need to clean up your act. Thanks and bye for now.
New blog post with removed images!
The CamStand website also includes a list of contributing bloggers who are photographers. You can see their profiles here:
These bloggers include Mr. Kent Arlington and Ms. Heather Fields. Their profile photographs are actually istockphoto photographs:
- German EverywhereGirl?
By now you are all (too) familiar with the EverywhereGirl… but the Praegnanz.de blog in Germany seems to have found the German Everywhere Girl. All these stock photography business images are becoming all too familiar!
- Will the real Obama Hope photograph stand up?
I am sure you are wondering what does image recognition have to do with Obama? Me too! A couple of days ago – this is super old news for the blogosphere! – James Danziger posted about how he spent months searching for the original photograph that Shepard Fairey used to create his Obama Hope image. I am sure you have all seen the Obama Hope work?
Reading James’ post (which I linked to a couple of days ago) I thought boy if only he had access to the image recognition we take for granted within the Ideeplex walls, his months of research could have been shortened to minutes (James, meet TinEye. TinEye meet James. Now be nice)! But I digress: upon hitting publish on my short post, I received a comment from Waldir who pointed me to a series of Flickr photograph where Stevesimula identifies another photograph as the original. Bam! Would the real Obama Hope photograph please please stand up? No really! Sometimes the most obvious things are the ones that escape you: well, champion how about using our image recognition technology and comparing all the contenders? I mean we can surely spot the fakers? That’s what we ended up doing yesterday but unfortunately I did not have time to post about it. So the results are in and the winner is: Mannie Garcia who shot Obama for the Associated Press.
Stevesimula was the first one to complete his own analysis and came to the above conclusion before we did, we basically took our sophisticated image recognition technology and confirmed his finding.
Tom over at Phillynews did an awesome detective job to locate the original Obama photograph. Read his sleuthing!
Here is what we did: we took the Obama Hope poster and matched it against the two potential source candidate images. For this we used the image comparison engine of TinEye‘s bigger, more powerful brother: PixID. If you thought TinEye can compare images, you should see what PixID can do! PixID takes a detailed look at the patterns of the pixels images, creating digital fingerprints of the source and target images. It can find a small partial match in the fingerprints, even if the images have been heavily transformed. Edits can include crops, flips, rotation, skews or as in this case – literal posterization of the image.
PixID can also calculate a sub-pixel accurate transformation matrix that shows how the images best align to each other. We used that to produce the images shown below. Basically Mannie Garcia’s photograph was the best match.
Below you can view the results. As you mouse over each poster, it will swap to the best possible alignment of the source image we compared it to. If you toggle the images back and forth, you can see the real winner is obvious.
This is the Reuters images which was initially identified by James as the correct match for the Obama Hope poster.
As you mouse over the image to the right, to toggle between the poster and the aligned photograph, you will see that the alignment seems a bit off. Clearly Obama’s head and ears do not line up well at all! So what’s going on? It turns out that the mathematically best alignment possible was to have the lips and nose line up properly (take a look and you will see that they do). If you force the head and ears to line up, then the nose and mouth will be way off. Either way this is not looking like a good match to us.
- Mystery solved without TinEye’s help!
James Danziger over at The Daily Beast chronicles his search for the photographer who took the initial photograph that Shepard Fairey used to create the Obama Hope image we are now all familiar with. Great little article, and all this without TinEye‘s help!
- Shepard Obama!
From Rene Wanner: In 1989, Shepard Fairey (b. 1970) began to paste stickers all over town with a face and the mysterious message “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” or “Obey Giant” . Since then, his palette, geographic range and activities have increased enormously, and when he offered to support Barack Obama’s campaign with some posters in January 2008, he readily got permission from Obama to do so. Within a day, he had finished a design, one with the text “PROGRESS”, and another with “HOPE”.