Three handy image searching tools

My ‘Three useful copywriting tools’ post was fairly popular, so here are three tools you might find handy when you’re looking for that perfect image for your blog/Powerpoint/avatar/desktop background.

1. Tineye.com

Tineye calls itself a ‘reverse image search engine’. What this means is that you upload or link to a picture, and it finds other versions of that picture across the internet. So if you’ve seen a picture you like but need a bigger version, or one without text, or maybe even some help figuring out where it came from, Tineye is priceless.

It doesn’t always find what you need (there are a lot of images on the internet, and it can only search a selection of them) but I find it works more often than not, and sometimes it’s a downright livesaver.

2. GazoPa

GazoPa is similar to Tineye in that it allows you to search for similar images by uploading a photo from your hard drive or entering a URL or keyword – but the best thing about it is that you can search for an image by trying to draw it.

Here’s what I drew:

And this was one of the first results:

Not half bad. However, my attempts at drawing a rabbit and then a duck were much less successful, so your results may vary.

3. Sketch2Photo

I’m cheating a bit with this one, because it’s not widely available yet. But when it is, believe me when I say it will be the app of choice for wannabe Photoshoppers, advertising creatives (for scamps), sad weirdos (for creating images of… let’s not go there) and so on. If it ever gets released, it’ll change the world.

So what is it? Well, similarly to GazoPa, Sketch2Photo asks you to draw a rough outline of what you’re looking for. But the killer difference is that it doesn’t have to be one image – it can be as many as you like. All you have to do is add a keyword and Sketch2Photo will put together a composite photo from image search results – as if it were comping it together in Photoshop.

For example, if you drew the picture on the left, Sketch2Photo would output the photo on the right. That’s not an existing photo – it’s a montage of different images put together by the program to the specifications in the sketch. Yes, really.


(click for bigger)

Incredible, eh? I’m sure I’m not alone in being absolutely desperate to get my hands on this. But until it comes out, you can find out more about it here or watch this video of it in action:

Sigh. One day.

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