Most Effective Ways to Search for Similar Images

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photo search

Images have an essential part of the web. No website or web page (except ones that require your login or billing credentials) is complete without the presence of images. Moreover, almost all social media platforms are loaded with images. A few social media platforms promote images as the primary content, such as Instagram and Pinterest. Considering this, you can understand the huge number of images available on the web.

While searching for websites and text-based content is more accessible online thanks to advanced search algorithms, you may still need help to search for images online. The previous statement is especially true for situations where you are searching for visually similar images. However, a few effective methods can help you get accurate results while searching for similar results.

We have put together some useful details about these methods in this writing to help you in this regard. Read on to know more.

Know the Subject of the Image and Search Accordingly

The first method to search for similar images online is pretty obvious. You need to understand the subject of the image you use as a reference and search for similar images accordingly. When understanding the subject of an image, you need to view it from multiple perspectives. There are chances that the thing you are taking as the subject of the image is of secondary importance, and the subject of that image is something else.

For example, you see an image displaying an iconic beach with various aquatic species washed out on the beach because of the breakwater. You may think of the beach as the primary subject. However, it is possible that the person who clicked that particular snap focused on washed-out animals like starfishes, crabs, or muscles. Hence, you need to understand the image’s subject and revise your online search strategy to develop relevant keywords for the web search.

Opt for an Appropriate Database

Google or Google Images is one of many libraries or databases you can use while searching for visually similar images to the one you have as a reference. Sometimes, it is better and more effective to turn to other databases or sources that specialize in certain kinds of images. For example, if you are looking for images that feature skyscrapers, you may need to discover an image database that is an authoritative source for such images.

Turning towards the appropriate database while searching for visually similar images will allow you to find the required images easily. Moreover, there will be no chance of a mix-up with photos of other genres. As a user, you will also be able to set filter preferences for your online search. Hence, you can easily find your required images on the given database without any hassle.

Use Reverse Image Search

If nothing seems to work for you, then it is time to take the help of technology and make your work easier. All you have to do is upload the picture of the image on a reverse image search facility to find visually similar results online. This process will help you save time and effort that would otherwise go into knowing the subject, finding the relevant database, and expanding the search vocabulary.

Once you upload the picture to a reliable photo search facility, the CBIR (Content-Based Image Retrieval) algorithm running behind it will scan the image properly. After scanning the image, it will map the content, segment it, and carry out the due matching process to obtain data. Once the data is obtained, it will search online to bring accurate and precise results that will include visually similar images to the reference image.

Expand Your Search Vocabulary

Although the methods mentioned above are pretty effective when it comes to finding similar images on the web, there are still chances you may not get the required results. However, there is no need to worry when you come across such a situation. The image description often doesn’t contain keywords used while searching for the images. In such a scenario, you need to expand your search vocabulary.

Simply put, you need to come up with alternatives to the keywords you are already using to search images online. For example, you may use the word soccer to find relevant images. However, there is a high chance that the image you are looking for contains the word Football instead of soccer which limits the productivity of search results. Additionally, there are chances that the images you are finding are uploaded on a region-specific website with the commonly used noun of the subject in the regional language.