TinEye image search engine launches public beta
There are plenty of image search engines on the web. Enter a text based search term, and Google, MSN, or Yahoo! will spit out a series of pictures it thinks match that query. But TinEye takes a slightly different approach. This image search engine, currently in private beta, lets you upload an image from your desktop and search the web for identical or similar images. You can also use an online image as your starting point.
The concept is pretty cool. If you're looking for an image, why should you have to enter text? But the truth of the matter is it takes a bit longer to search for something using TinEye than a text based search engine. And it's a lot harder to get accurate results. If you upload a popular image that's been used on a bunch of web sites, you should be fine. But if you upload your hand-drawn image of Angelina Jolie naked, don't expect to find any high resolution images matching your query. Not that we tried.
But seriously, we uploaded a few images that have been posted here at Download Squad, and TinEye didn't spit out a single match, which means it doesn't even indext this site. So while the service claims to be searching a whopping 487 million images, it doesn't exactly cover every site on the web.
Still, we'll be keeping an eye on TinEye. If the service can improve its index and do a better job of finding similar images, and not just identical ones, it could actually become useful.