How to discover the origin of an image on the Internet - The Happy Android

Have you ever wondered how can we know if a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profile is real? Many times the best way to find out is by investigating the profile photo, since in the case of a bot or a fake, it is most likely that the photograph belongs to someone else.

On the other hand, if we are professional photographers, or we have an Instagram profile full of high quality images and photos, it is possible that at some point some medium will use our creations without our permission and without giving credit to the artist. Can we identify them?

In either case, all we need is to know the original origin of an image. That is to say, perform a reverse search of the photo in question. So we can know the original source. The rest, by pure and simple discard, will be copies.

How to discover the origin of a photograph or image

By doing the reverse search of an image we can also obtain other useful data, such as, for example, the date the image was created, when it was uploaded to the network and if there are versions of the same image with modifications.

To carry out this task we have 2 main tools:

  • Google images
  • Tinye

Obtaining information from an image from Google Images

This is the most popular web tool for doing reverse searches. The first thing we have to do is enter Google Images. We can access from the browser by entering and clicking on "Images”(In the upper right margin) or through this LINK direct.

Next, click on the camera icon (“Search by image”) Located next to the magnifying glass in the search engine.

The "Search by image" tool offers 2 alternatives:

  • Paste Image URL: We can do a search directly from an image uploaded to a web page.
  • Upload an image: The image is added by us from our PC or mobile device.

Once the image is loaded, Google will show us a search result with various data:

  • The size of the image.
  • It will also tell us if there are other versions of that image in different sizes.
  • Most likely text query for that image (here it tells us what people type when they Google the image).
  • List of similar images.
  • The rest are websites where we can find that image.

For this example, I have chosen a photo of one of my favorite TV characters and uploaded it to Google Images.

The search result indicates that this image belongs to The Office series, the chapter is "Lecture Circuit: Part 1”Of the year 2009, and the person who appears in the capture is Dwight Schrute. In addition, Google tells us that the search associated with that image is "dwight schrute it is your birthday”(A mythical joke of the character in the series). After all this information, we found a lot of websites that have used that same image to make memes.

We can do this same process with our own photos, and it is great to know if other pages are using our creations without mentioning the author or without permission.

Searching for the origin of an image or photo with TinEye

Tinye is another great image search engine that allows us to obtain other types of interesting data. As in Google Images we only have to load an image or indicate the URL for the machine to get to work.

The tool shows us in its results the number of times the image or photo appears on the internet. Thanks to its filters, we can see at a glance all the websites in which it appears. We can also sort the search results by age for discover the original source of that image.

Following the same example of the previous image of Dwight, thanks to the fact that we have ordered the results by date, we know that the first capture of that sequence from The Office appeared for the first time on the “Popsugar” website on October 2, 2009. Days later, various variants of that image appeared on other TV and entertainment websites.

In addition to these 2 tools, there are other similar ones to perform this type of search, but both Google Images and TinEye are the fastest and most effective.

How to do a reverse search of a photo from your mobile

The downside of all this is that although they work great from a PC browser, the same does not happen if we try to do a reverse search from the mobile. Both Google Chrome (Android) and Safari (iOS) are not supported, so we must use an alternative.

"Reverse Photo" is the solution for mobiles and tablets.

The alternative in this case is called, and it is a passport for Google Images to search from your mobile. Once the photo is uploaded, it shows us a link with the Google search results.

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