Have you heard of tineye.com ? It is to images, what Google is to words. Basically, it takes any image you feed it, either from your computer, or an online URL, and compares it to over a billion images it has found from scouring the internet. It has some proprietary technology, that creates a “fingerprint” from the image it finds, stores it, and then uses that to compare to what you are looking for.
Now, on its front page, it has two input areas for the upload, or URL of the image in question, but what makes this easier to use, is the browser plugin (available for FireFox or InternetExplorer). You can right click on any image you find and immediately send it to TinEye for evaluation. Much more fun.
So, how to use this for brainstorming? Well, say you’ve found a really cool image on iStock, that you’d like to use in your design, but you’re sort of stuck on how to utilize it. Why not instantly see how others have worked it into their design? Say, for example, you wanted to use my most popular download, but needed a few ideas on how to work it into a design:
A simple right click takes you to TinEye, and many examples of how others have used it. You’ll find that most people use this type of image, as a simple insert on their contact page, but there are a couple of more complex usages that may give you some ideas.
Now, idee said, at the UGCX conference this week, that they are constantly adding to the billion image database, and the site just came out of closed beta testing a few weeks ago, so if you’re not finding your image of interest out there yet, keep looking, or pick a similar image and see what’s out there. For example, if your grass and sky image isn’t found, try another similar one for ideas.
Don’t forget, it’s fun for contributors too, to find your images out there “in action”. Although, if you’ve got over 6,000 files like me, it may take a while.
Have a good weekend!