Sunday, September 5, 2010

Reverse Photo Search

I always learn something on the Tech Chick Tips podcast. Several months ago, I heard about and tucked the idea away. I got a chance to try it last night.

The Set Up
I was speaking with Vicky about potential projects for the coming school year. The conversation drifted to digital citizenship on the Internet. I wanted to share a lesson idea with her, but it was in ActivInspire. As I captured screens and put them into PowerPoint, I realized that I didn't copy the citations onto the flipchart when I made it. I wanted to upload the PowerPoint to Slideboom, but needed those citations first.

I always search for Creative Commons licensed photos and usually look for Attribution 2.0 Generic first on Flickr...but how to find it.

TinEye Reverse Image Search
I decided to give TinEye a try. Anna and Helen made it sound like you just take any image and send it to the website, so I removed all the extra words and buttons that had been on the page and took a screen shot of the image on the Mac. It turned into a simple PNG image. I uploaded the image to TinEye and WOW there were several sites that had used the same image.

An even bigger wow is that as I wrote this post I was on a different computer. Rather than go downstairs to load the image to Blogger, I opened the PowerPoint I had put on Slideboom and captured a screen shot of just part of the image. Tineye found it again! It wasn't even as sharp as the original.

There was still a little work to do. On some of the sites I found, they didn't cite their source. On others, only was cited. I had to use the logic that I would have used when I originally found the photo. I thought I would have typed Facebook, so I entered the word facebook into Flickr's search bar for the user hoyasmeg and it turned up!

No So Lucky the Second Time
I had a second image and was not so lucky with TinEye. I imagine TinEye does not search Flickr. I went to Flickr and tried to remember what I would have typed to generate the image. I don't know what my original search was, but I tried patrick parade boys since the image I wanted had two boys who were at a Saint Patrick's Day parade. No luck. Then I tried patrick parade boy and there it was!

What I Learned
First, it's easier to cite your sources when you find them. No surprise there. Second, TinEye is a great way to do a reverse image search. Third, know your patterns. I usually look for images in Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic. Finally, think through keywords you might have used and if that fails think through keywords pertaining to the image as you are looking at it.

Sounds like a good lesson for the students this year.

Image Citations:
Emery, James. "Looking at Facebook photo_2008". hoyasmeg's photostream. 2009 May 9. 2010 Sep 5. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

"Kids in the Parade". greenmelinda's photostream. 2007 Mar 18. 2010 Sep 5. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

"Boy watching parade". greenmelinda's photostream. 2007 Mar 18. 2010 Sep 5. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Murphy, William. "I REFUSE TO MOVE". infomatique's photostream. 2007 Mar 17. 2010 Sep 5. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

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