Are there photo search engines online yet?

Are there photo search engines online yet?

What I mean is this: to do a normal google search, we type in a word or a few words and off it goes.

is there a way to grab a photo, say of George W. Bush, and then ask a search engine to find all the same photos on the web, exact same photo?

I would call this a photo search. Has anyone invented this kind of technology yet? are they working on it? is it a doable idea?

For example, say you have a photo of a long lost friend. you input the photo itself, and if that photo also exists somewhere on the Web, the search engine will take you there. YES? NO?

I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but there is a little search engine called that has a picture search, press the ‘images’ button thingy.
Not sure if that helpful to you.

For example, a search for “George” and “SARS” - 2 subjects close to your heart, finds :


wow, mathewh, you made my day! thanks! i never knew about that. wow! so amazing. when did this thing get invented. thank you, google.

but i am still looking for an even more startling invention. is there a way to input the actual photo, as a photo, and then do a google search based on the pixels inside the photo or graphic.

But, wow, matt, you have started me off a new life! thanks. goodbye sars, goodbye maoman~

Oh no… what have I done ? Will google ever be the same again ? :smiling_imp:

As well as Google images there is also a Yahoo search for images (although I believe it is based on Google). enables you to search for pictures, audio and video.

There are probably search engines that can search for images using images, but I don’t know how reliable their results would be. If you find one that can do this let me know.

A few more: – gives links to a range of image search engines

i feel like rip van winkle alseep for 20 years and suddenly you guys tell me of this whole new paradise of pic searches. absolutely amazing! and now wix tells me of audio and video searches too. wow.
i am gonna google all night, all weekend…bye…!

Actually, Formosa, I remember seeing an article about technology similar to what you are talking about three or four years ago, i.e. the idea was to analyse the colours and structure of an image and then search out similar images, e.g. put in a Union Jack and you would get all the other Union Jack images followed by all the Basque national flags, British naval ensigns, old flags of Hong Kong etc. I think probably the technology is still in gestation, but it is bound to become available eventually. All the Google picture search does is to look for text that is near images, image alt tags and image file names, i.e. it is still a text search. It can be quite handy if web page authors use descriptive file names, alt tags and/or put some explanatory text near their images.

Some companies trying to develop image search technology:

I worked for Ulead in Taiwan for two years. They have this kind of photo searching server software that they sell to protect companies and schools from incoming photo attachements with porn. The software actually analyzes the pixel content of the photo and detects shapes, patterns, colors and tones. You can also take the software and search a database of images based on a key image. Basically take a picture of Elvis, feed it to the search engine, and tell it to find “all like images” … it is pretty cool. It will find other guys hold guitars or people wearing similar clothing or whatever, but it actually does find like images. Therefore, unlike Google, it is searching the content of the image, rather than just the file name.