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OSINT Techniques -Reverse Image Search

Images is everywhere. Thanks to out latest technology, now you take a picture from your pocket. Either by using smartphone or camera device that you can take everywhere. We can find the digital photo in our aspect life in social media for example.

With popular social media like Facebook or Instagram, you can upload anything from Image to short videos. These images can be our source data for OSINT investigator. In real life of OSINT, maybe we need to find a specific place or person by only using some images.  This article will explain how to use OSINT techniques for the reverse image.

What is reverse image? Have you heard of it? Think about you want to find out about definition of “OSINT”. In our era of technology right now, usually we’re going to use search engine like Google. Type into the search bar “OSINT” and you will find a lot article that contain that information. This is the same with image. Reverse image is query technique that we can use to find the exact or similar with the photo. It takes digital photo as an input instead of text that we usually do. There is no guarantee we will find the exact image but with right option out there hopefully we can find information that we looking for. Without further ado let’s start.

Search Engine Reverse Image
Search Engine Reverse Image

Reverse Image with Search Engine

Search engine is maybe one of the things that mostly people use today. When we want to know something, we usually go to search engine to get that information. Well as long as there is internet connection then you can use the search engine freely. There is a lot of search engine out there. The most popular is Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, or Yandex. Baidu is China’s largest and mostly using search engine. Yandex is a Russian based search engine. Today Google still the king of the search engine. Citing from Statista, Google still the leading from all 5 most popular search engine.

Google Reverse Image

Let’s start with Google search engine. This is one of my favorite search engines. For the reverse image I usually go Google, Yandex and the last option is Bing. Why choosing Google? Google has indexing larger data that available in the internet. So, the probability finding the image quite big. How to use the Google search image? Head to Google search image and click on camera icon.

You will find two options. Either upload the photo from your device or using the URL of the photo.  That’s quite simple right? All the result will be return all the images that very similar with your uploaded photo that found on various website. Another option to improve your accuracy result by adding keyword in search field. This will very helpful if you try looking for person image. Try adding the name of that person and you will see the different result.

Yandex Reverse Image

This is the second mostly search engine I used for the reverse image. Yandex is Russian based search engine that founded in 2000. Similar to Google, Yandex also support to reverse image by either uploading the image from our device or by URL link. Go to this link, and click on camera icon and you will have two options by upload the image or using image URL.

Bing Reverse Image

Bing is the last option that I usually choose. We can neglect this search engine result. Although Bing is not as popular as Google but we also can rely from data that already indexing with it. The process is the same. Bing also provide the option either by upload photo or using image URL.

Google Lens Reverse Image

This one I discovered few months ago, and its actually pretty good job. So, how Google lens work? From its official page, Google lens will compare objects in the picture and rank those images by their similarity and relevance to the object. There is a case when I need to find image location by using cropped photo.

I tried in Google lens and its pretty good job find the information that I need to know. Unfortunately, Google lens only available in for Android. If you want to use it on iOS, try downloading the Google photo or Google apps and you will find it options to using it from there. There is no version of Google lens yet that available for the web version.

Which one the best for the reverse image?

Actually, there a lot more service out that provide feature for the reverse image. For general use, Google, Bing, and Yandex is already enough. Recently I use Google lens more often because of simplicity the accurate result because it’s compared all the object in the image. As OSINT investigator finding information with only image data is pretty challenging. Using the reverse image techniques can help us a lot to save the time. If you want to exercise about the reverse image techniques, there is a lot OSINT quiz on twitter. See you on the next article.


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