What is reverse image search

Reverse image search refers to the capability of a search engine to find similar images on the basis of the provided image. It deploys most advanced image recognition technology so that it can first identify what’s inside the image file and then find duplicate or related options. Some of the most popular search engines are TinEye, Google, Bing, Yandex, Reddit and Depositphotos, providing reverse image search free of cost.With the help of these you can easily get similar looking images along with their proper details. By using the mentioned tools, you can not only upload an image file, but also can provide a photo just taken through the camera in your mobile or providing a url or through cloud storage services as well. The supported image extensions are .jpg, .JPEG, PNG and GIF.

Here is how reverse image lookup works:

This technology utilizes a technique called content-based image retrieval, also called content-based visual information retrieval (CBVIR) and query by image content (QBIC). In simple words, these two terms refer to the applications of image identification and retrieval through computer vision along with organizing digital photos on the basis of their content and then finding the most similar images in a large database. In short you can say that the original content of a sample image is analyzed in these processes rather than the metadata or keywords. A search query is generated on the basis of analysis done by taking the contents of the image into account, including color, object, background etc and then search is performed by using this query string.

Reverse Image Search use cases:

I have briefly explained below, what you can get through reverse searching an image.

Finding a location address

This technology can be used to find the address of a location image you have. In most of the cases you get the image of a building or a place for whom you want more information. Reverse image search is the best tool for getting this information because the image may have a location which is indexed through search engines. This state of the art tool is extensively in use for the purpose of identifying buildings and locations.

Finding a product hidden info:

There are a lot of cases where you get the image of a product but don’t exactly know much detail about it or even its branding. You can use the reverse image search to get your desired data in this regard. This tool is so much more effective, when you are in the market for the shopping purpose. You can just take a photo of a product and can reverse search it to get the info and reviews regarding it. In this way you can find the best product in less time and money.

Finding recipes

This is the third big problem which this technology solves efficiently. You are in a restaurant and you found an awesome product there and want to know its recipe. The only thing you have to do is take a clear photo of the product and reverse search it to find more information about it and also someone might have uploaded its recipe to internet, which you can also find. If one tool doesn’t work well in this regard, you can try another and can get the best results. It worked for me every time I used it to find a recipe.

Finding a famous person detail.

You might have gone through the picture of a famous person or celebrity and want his name or bio data, then what you have to do is, just reverse search his photo you have and you will get what you want. According to my experience, Yandex works better in facial recognition.

Reverse image search clothes:

Reverse searching clothes images is also very easy and provides outstanding results. You can use your mobile phone to just take a pic of your favorite clothes and reverse search for it and you will find its related info, its cost and from where you can get it. I found google producing the best results in this regard.

Getting higher resolution of an image:

You might need a higher resolution of an image for printing or just to use in your blog for a better user experience and SEO or for any other purpose. Just reverse search the low resolution image you have and you can get a higher resolution for that, if it is available somewhere on the internet.

Finding where your own image is being used.

Now this is the most important use of this technology and most of the people utilize it for the same purpose. You can easily find out where your own artwork creation is being used and whether the user has rights for that. You can also check the backlinks these instances are pointing to and can also contact its user if you find any sort of copyright infringement.

Finding the man behind a painting

It is a very easy task to find the artist behind a painting through reverse searching it. A painting generally you see does not hold the proper credentials like who exactly where and when created it and where its original version currently exists. But through the searching technique you can find all of this info with a great ease.

Identifying nature

You can identify pictures of animals and plants by any reverse image search tool. If you haven’t heard about a specific animal or plant before and just have its photo as an image file, then through the mentioned technique you can reverse search it and can find out its name and origin.

Reverse Image Search on mobile (android):

Google by default does not provide a definite tool for android, like it provides for desktop, but there are lots of applications available in Google Play, which you can download and utilize for reverse image search with google by using a mobile phone. Beside this, you can also use chrome browser to reverse search an image available on the web, by just tapping and holding for a few seconds on an image and some options will come up and one of these would be of reverse image search or find similar images.

Reverse Image Search with iPhone:

As I have explained before that chrome browser provides an option to reverse search an image, which on the other hand, Safari, as a default iPhone browser does not offer this feature. In order to make a reverse image search with iPhone, you have to access the desktop version of google images. To do so, follow the following steps.

  • Open imges.google.com in Safari browser.
  • After that you have to tap the share button at the bottom and then scroll left to see the available options.
  • Then you have to tap, “Request Desktop Site”.
  • And last, the page you are looking for will appear, having a search bar with a camera icon through which you can upload an image or can provide a url of the image location.


So, as the article indicates, the reverse image search is a tool through which you search for images with the help of an image, rather than entering a keyword phrase in the search box or performing a voice based search. The concept of this technology is unique and very helpful for the above mentioned points, but if you want to use it to its potential, my suggestion is not only to use one tool, but use multiple and cross check the results to find the exact one, you really want.

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My name is Nohman Habib and I am a web developer with over 10 years of experience, programming in Joomla, Wordpress, WHMCS, vTiger and Hybrid Apps. My plan to start codingace.com is to share my experience and expertise with others. Here my basic area of focus is to post tutorials primarily on Joomla development, HTML5, CSS3 and PHP.

Nohman Habib

CEO: codingace.com

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