Sometime over the summer, and apparently without enough fanfare for it to ping my sonar, Google announced a new “search by image” service. The idea is that you can either upload an image file, or post a link to an online image, an Google will go out and search either for matches to that image, images that are “visually similar”, or if the image can be identified, links to information about that image. I finally got a few spare minutes to take a look, so I decided to try a few experiments.
Only recently did this new service come to my attention. My fellow Flickr photographer Eric Morris, aka The Rested Traveler, had posted a link on his Facebook page to a blog post where the writer used the image search to see if his images had been used without his permission. Having been the victim of photo theft before, I thought this was a good starting point.