Monday, December 30, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Comparison of Reverse Image Search Engines

Aric Toler (via Nick Heer):

However, if you only use Google for reverse image searching, you will be disappointed more often than not. Limiting your search process to uploading a photograph in its original form to just images.google.com may give you useful results for the most obviously stolen or popular images, but for most any sophisticated research project, you need additional sites at your disposal — along with a lot of creativity.

This guide will walk through detailed strategies to use reverse image search in digital investigations, with an eye towards identifying people and locations, along with determining an image’s progeny.

He says Yandex is “by far the best.”

Update (2020-01-24): Nick Heer:

At the time that I linked to the Bellingcat report, I wondered why Google’s reverse image recognition, in particular, was so bad in comparison. In tests, it even missed imagery from Google Street View despite Google regularly promoting its abilities in machine learning, image identification, and so on. In what I can only explain as a massive and regrettable oversight, it is clear to me that the reason Google’s image search is so bad is because Google designed it that way. Otherwise, Google would have launched something like Yandex or Clearview AI, and that would be dangerous.

3 Comments

It totally is and if you want reverse image search with all three engines (GOOG BING YANDEX) then “Reversee” for iOS gets that into your pocket.

Or, “this is how Leo loads manga panels from Twitter and finds an entire manga” and yes Russians love manga and Yandex yields the best results.

Yeah it's startling how great Yandex Image search is compared to everything else. Google and Bing don't even come close. Yandex seems to be the only one that can actually find the same images, at multiple resolutions, even cropped. I've even used it to upload screenshots of videos (that I've taken myself, so they don't even exist anywhere else) and Yandex can find the original video. Great for when you have a clip of something and need to find the source video. It's like magic when it works. It really makes you wonder why Google and Bing image search are so damn useless -- they've obviously put money and effort into it, but the end result isn't worth a damn. Though yeah even Bing's weird image search is better than Google.

I'm pretty sure that Google intentionally avoids making its image search too powerful, because it wants to avoid situations like where people can take a picture of somebody on the street, and then find their name and other personal detail using reverse image search.

This is one of these situations where, while the technology Yandex offers is cool, maybe it would be worth taking a step back and thinking about the implications before just foisting it upon everybody without consideration for the damage.

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