TinEye is a reverse image search engine. It finds out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version. TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology rather than keywords, metadata or watermarks. It is free to use for non-commercial searching.
TinEye regularly crawls the web for new images, and also accepts contributions of complete online image collections. TinEye has indexed millions of images from the web to help find users are looking for; it finds exact matches including those that have been cropped, edited or resized. There are currently 3 ways to perform a reverse image search on TinEye: upload an image, browse for an image on the user’s computer and upload it to the site, enter The URL of the actual image or the page containing the image. TinEye can use either of these to find the image on the web and display results.
There are browser plugins for Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera. With the plugin, right-click on an image and select “Search Image on TinEye.” The results will then open up in a new tab. A bookmarklet is also available.
When an image is submitted to be searched, TinEye creates a unique and compact digital signature or ‘fingerprint’ for it, then compares this fingerprint to every other image in the index to retrieve matches. TinEye can even find a partial fingerprint match. Those fingerprints use only the image itself, and not its name or surrounding text.
- Open TinEye.
- Perform an image search by uploading an image, entering an image URL, or dragging and dropping an image file.
- Show students or colleagues how TinEye could be used to properly cite images and to ensure good digital citizenship.