Google has announced a new “Search by Image” feature that allows you to start with a photo to conduct your searches online.
Google uses a photo either via link or uploaded to the service and tries to find similar results. Here’s how Google explains it:
Google uses computer vision techniques to match your image to other images in the Google Images index and additional image collections. From those matches, we try to generate an accurate “best guess” text description of your image, as well as find other images that have the same content as your search image. Your search results page can show results for that text description as well as related images.
Some searches are better than others.
One situation where I found it quite effective though is tracking down stock photography usage. If you shoot stock photos, you can find several uses of your image just by pasting the image URL into the Image Search box and see where else it has been used online. Again, some results are better than others.
While this new feature also has the ability to help photographers track down unauthorized image usage, it looks like it could use a little more refinement and some more image indexing before it’s ready for prime time when you’re actually trying to find similar images.
Has anyone else tried this new feature? What are your thoughts on the search results?