A new web browser plug-in is aiming to make it easier for photographers to find stolen photos by automating reverse image searches. PhotoTracker Lite is a free Chrome plug-in and thanks to a recent update, it now includes a one-click search.
The plug-in doesn’t automate the entire process but shaves time off the process of bringing up a reverse engine search by looking through four different search engines with one click. With the update, a small magnifying glass now appears on the corner of photos in a compatible browser window. Clicking on that icon automatically brings up a page of search results showing everywhere the image was found. A right click will also bring up a “Look up this pic” option to search as well.
The updated plug-in makes it possible for photographers to go through their own portfolio, click on the corner of an image and bring up where that photo exists on the web. While still a manual search and not an automated tracking service, the free plug-in aims to make reverse image searches easier.
While the Google-branded browser offers a similar plug-in, PhotoTracker Lite uses four different search engines to track possible stolen images. Photographers can choose to search Google, Bing, Yandex, and Tineye all at once, or slide to turn off individual search engines.
PhotoTracker Lite is compatible with Chrome as well as Opera, Vivaldi, and Yandex browsers.
Along with helping track images lifted off a photographer’s portfolio, developers say the plug-in is also a helpful tool for locating a larger size of a (hopefully public domain) image or finding other social media users stealing a profile picture. The tool can also give bloggers and website managers an idea of how often a stock or public domain image is used.
Since Google’s reverse image search also often turns up extra details, the plug-in can also be used as a sort of Shazam for photos to look up information on a painting’s creator, for example, or to find out who is depicted in that photograph.