Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reverse Image Search Engine - A Technological Wonder

Cross posting from my Quiz Blog as this will be of interest to everyone, not limited to quizzers.


Hello Quizzards,

First I would like to take this rare opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the constant support and encouragement that keeps infusing a fresh lease of life into Inquizzitive, time and again!

When I started this blog, in December of 2005, I knew my biggest challenge was my employer. Yes Google. No, they didn't have a problem with my maintaining a little known trivia blog. It's just that Google had killed the joy of online quizzing as any 'dry' text question would just be copied, pasted into the Google search bar and voila you had the answer staring at you in the snippet of search results 1, 2 or at most 3. A big win for Google, a big blow to online quizzing.

That's what prompted me to start the pictorial connection of quizzing in Inquizzitive. However, I always knew that this format too would be 'cracked' one day, and the tool that would help in doing so would be a RISE (reverse image search engine). Yes, a search engine where you can somehow upload an image and it magically tells you what the image is. I knew it was a few years away, how many I didn't know. Today I do.

A friend and fellow quizzer, KingM (he prefers to be a little anonymous online) answered today's 'very tough' question by first looking for a RISE and then by using it smartly to get the clues. When I learnt about this, I was quite shell shocked and wanted to get into denial by moderating his comment where he has mentioned the product. Then I realised what a brilliant technological advancement this is and instead of trying to suppress information and innovation (in vain) let me introduce you to TinEye.

Let's say we take this picture of Mahatma Gandhi from this Wikipedia article.

Now let's assume you

1) know the url from where I took this image and
2) You just have the image but not the url

All you need to do is go to www.tineye.com and in case of

1) Just paste the url  or 2) just upload the picture in the search field and the reverse search engine will throw up a result as shown below



Yes, it's that simple!

As of now it has some teething problems, and doesn't recognise all images as smoothly as it should but I am sure in the coming days this will become a technology as solid and reliable as search is today. As a technology enthusiast I applaud this achievement! As the owner of Inquizzitive, I take this up as a challenge to continue giving you questions that will keep you engaged in spite of the new tools at hand!

With that I introduce TinEye, the RISE to you! Go ahead, play with it!
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