Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Is that profile picture fake? Finding out is made easy with Google now.

Lately many fakes have started to misuse the photos of celebrities or some others to misrepresent them in the social networks. Given an image, it was almost impossible to find out the real person or the source of the image in the yesteryears. But thanks to Google, now we can search by the images and find the information regarding the image. You can learn more about "Search by Image" in its relevant project page, or try "Searching by Image" now.

However, not many people know the use of this cool new feature in isolating the fake pictures and the irrelevant use of them.

Let's take a scenario where I claim that the lady above is my friend, and has put that as a photo that I own. Now, if you want to find whether my claim is genuine, or the photo is simply stolen from the Internet, Google Search by Images comes quite handy.

1) Get the image url. In this case,

2) Use "Google Images Search" and give the image url to search.

3) You might either get the exact document that has the image, or a message similar to the below.

For matching images, try search by image
Your search - ... - did not match any documents.
  • Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
  • Try different keywords.
  • Try more general keywords.
4) Click the search by image option above, if your search didn't match any exact document.

Image size:
256 × 256
Find other sizes of this image:
All sizes - Medium - Large

It correctly finds the source of the image! Clicking the image found by Google reveals more images of the same person. From a small research on those images and web pages shown, we can identify that the image is originally of Lenna's which appeared in the Digital Image Processing texts.

So no one can fool anyone anymore with others' photos, thanks to 'Search by Image'.

The above use of the image of Lena/Lenna is for educational purposes only, and no commercial or other motives behind this.

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