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Photo Help in Reverse

There is a new web site available, called TinEye, that is a search engine which uses reverse images to location similar images. Instead of placing a keyword, surname or place you download a digital image. The results can help you find out where that image came from, how it is being used, if there are higher and larger version of the images and if there has been alteration to the picture.

The site has some 2,295,444,197 indexed images from across all regions of the web. What is really neat it can help find that photo or one very similar in another web site — possibly one done by a cousin doing similar family research. It provide another avenue to networking and sharing images. It will locate similar digital images that have been color adjusted (like to black and white from color), those there were rotated, cropped or resized.

It is good at locating locations; buildings, landmarks, homes, businesses, factories, natural surroundings (such as mountains). Say you have a photo of a grandfather with a city street scene, buildings, etc. and you had no idea where that location was in the photo. If there is any similar image with that street scene on the Internet then TinEye just might be able to find it. An identification could be with that found image.

Register with the site and any of your downloaded images are saved for later searches to provide new information when other images are placed on the web. If not registered when submitting a photo, the photo remains for 72 hours and then is deleted. All copyrights belong to the submitted person with the photos. You can do up to 50 free searches a day or 150 in a week.

From Search Page upload an image, the type must be in JPEG, PNG or GIF image format. The size should be 300 dpi but TinEye can use 150 to 200 dpi images. You can receive an email newsletter to keep you up on the latest additions to the site. You would be notified if a new ‘find’ similar to a submitted image appears. The site can search 2.3 billion images on the web in 1.7 seconds — amazing.

I did the my old family Groff house and fountain in front on North Market St., Frederick, MD. Two matches did appeared. Any located you can then switch back and forth from the submitted photo to the one located on a web site to compare. Many times it can be an exact match. Both of the matches of the Groff house were from a book on historic postcards of Frederick County which were in fact an exact match. The selection of found images can be by ‘best match’, to ‘most changed’ to ‘biggest image’.

A new and very interesting tool in doing your family history.

Photo: The Groff house in Frederick, MD with family in front of the fountain in 1900.

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