Use Your Own Image to Search Google
One of the cool things about Google is that you can search not only for words, but for images. Now Google has added another neat tool, upload or link to an image and Google will search for images that are similar or even the same.
For example, recently someone on Facebook asked his friends to identify an insect. He had taken a snapshot of it. I grabbed the picture and then uploaded it to Google. Google then searched that image for similarities. The results were mixed, which tells me that this feature isn’t perfect yet, but it was definitely useful. For example, when I linked Google to a picture of my dog eating an ice cream cone the results I obtained included:
- Ice cream
- Similarly colored items (such as tan shoes)
Protect the Copyright of your Picture
A serious problem photographers have online is policing their copyright. It is very easy to download an image and then upload it to the web. Most of the time, unless someone stumbles across the theft, you would never know someone had stolen your picture. Well, now Google will run a search for you. If you find your image online you can then write a take down notice to the person who took your picture. (A take down notice is a letter or email informing a copyright violator to remove the item that is infringing on your copyright. In this case, your picture.)
Identify the Contents of a Picture
The image search enables you to show Google an image and have Google search the web for that item. So, if I upload a picture of a dog, when I am not certain of the breed, Google might well be able to tell me the breed of dog. See the search I conducted below to see what happens when image search is working well.
Here is How You Search by Image
1. Go to Google Image Search and Click on the Camera
2. Locate an image
3. Either use the link or upload the image to Google
4. I used a cute picture of a corgi, and pasted the link into the image search.
5. Here are the results.
- Google identified that the picture is a Welsh Corgi
- Provided me with links to relevant information
- Found the same and similar pictures
As you can see, it is easy to use the new image search. This is both a technique to figure out what a picture is showing, as well as to find out if someone has stolen your image. Pretty cool, Google.