Tin Eye is a great tool for finding out who uses your images online…

I went to a school reunion last weekend. One of my old school friends is now a bit of a ‘business guru’ and, inspired by the 30 year interval between seeing people, blogged about change – including a picture of a yellow road sign reading ‘change ahead’.

‘I wonder how many times that sign’s been used?’ I thought to myself – and went to consult Tin Eye, an amazing image reverse search engine. You upload the image you’re interested in (a screen grab of the yellow sign picture in my case), hit a button and in seconds it will find a whole list of instances where that image has been used. Since the file names of all these occurrences are different, this operation can only be by analysis of the bitmap itself – quite some mind-boggling feat.

Tin Eye found 17 instances of this image (but I’m sure there are a lot more out there). In each case, the wording had been changed but Tin Eye found it anyway based on the overall composition of the picture. I decided to add mine to the list but be a bit more… honest about it :-)

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