Reverse Image Search

Reverse Image Search is a tool that many are not familiar with, but it's very useful for artists.

Have you ever seen a beautiful picture on a website or social medium without mention of the author's name or pseudonym?

It happens a lot to me and I usually really want to know who the Artist is, so I can see more of their art. We couldn't do much to solve this issue until a few years ago, but today several platforms have developed what we call Reverse Image Search. It's basically a search engine where you can upload a picture and it will allow you to find all its iterations on the web.

This was first done by TinEye ten years ago. The engine was rudimentary, but it did its job, albeit on a small niche of the web. The idea was great and in the span of a few years, the biggest search engines, such as Google, Bing and others had adopted this technology.

Now we have different kinds of search engines, some more specific, other more generic. At the bottom of the article you will find links to some of the most interesting ones.

Research software seems to be getting better better and some are starting to recognise images even if they have been edited or inserted into different contexts.

Unfortunately they are still limited, as the softwares for now are still unable to access pages within websites that require login.

You're probably wondering why a blog on copyright and intellectual property would mention such a topic.

Readers of this blog are mostly artists and will probably find it interesting to know about this kind of tool.

Ever thought to search for your artworks on a search engine?

I regularly pick my artworks which have the highest number of interactions on social media and search the web to find where and how they're being used and whether they are referencing me as the artist. If I find them in places that I find inappropriate for this kind of artwork, or see that they are not crediting me as the original artist, I request for i t to be deleted.

It can take some time as the results are many and checking the use of an image in every website becomes problematic and is time-consuming. In any case, the system is testeed and I can assure you that just through the Google Reverse Image Search tool alone you can find a high number of matches.

Google: certainly the best known search engine and probably the one which reaches the highest amount of pictures.

Image Raider: this one is also very efficient, a third-party search software which can really find a lot of results.

Bing: much more selective search engine, it will show less results compared to the previous two.

SourceNao: this is not very efficient, not because it's bad but rather because it's extremely sectorial. It only looks for strictly Japanese-styled images and searches on websites such as Pixiv, Danbooru and other similar ones. It's exceptional for finding Asian artists.


Blog Header: illustration by Mega-Ne 2018

Character: ZeroTwo, Darling in Franxx, Trigger 2018

About the Author

Luca Donnarumma

Luca Donnarumma

Co-Founder, (He/Him)

Biography under review.