The ISA-Bus

One blog to bind them all.

Google image search vs. TinEye

Even though it is nearly two years old, I hadn’t known until now that Google has a reverse image search as well. I always used TinEye. Now I tried Google’s service (they call it search by image) for the first time. In general, it is superior.

The main reason I do reverse image searches at all is that I want to know what a certain picture shows. With TinEye, I can only hope that one of the search results has a meaningful filename or is embedded into a page that gives some explanations, while Google usually (not always) delivers directly. Besides, Google’s database is more up-to-date than TinEye’s.

On the other hand, TinEye’s search results are more systematic. I can sort them by image size, which is great when I want a larger version of an image than the one I have. I can sort them by most similar or most modified, which can be useful as well. And finally, TinEye’s Firefox plugin works without problems, Google’s is not compatible with 6.0.2, which is currently the latest version of Firefox.


2 responses to “Google image search vs. TinEye

  1. Daniel Saner September 18, 2011 at 20:32

    I use both as well. I find TinEye’s algorithms superior, for example when searching for a DVD cover you sometimes don’t only get other versions of the cover, but also DVD snapshots of the movie scene that is depicted on the cover, and stuff like that. It was pretty mind-blowing when I discovered it, and is still very cool. Unfortunately it feels like their database is not as comprehensive as Google’s. I don’t know how the numbers compare, but my searches on TinEye fail more often to turn up any results than those on Google. Google’s similar-looking image feature is funny but not really helpful.

    I only use TinEye’s plugin so far. You should consider installing the Add-on Compatibility Reporter extension for Firefox. It allows you to install extensions that are not (yet) marked for use in newer versions of Firefox. I used to do that manually in about:config, but with the Compatibility Reporter extension you don’t have to add a new configuration key for every version of Firefox, and it also allows you to send feedback to the extension’s developer on how well it works with the new version.

    • Gonnagan September 18, 2011 at 21:05

      Thanks, I didn’t know this plugin existed, or that the compatibility issue could be circumvented so easily at all. The Google plugin works well now. There is one Google advantage that I forgot: Their server is a lot faster than TinEye’s!

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