Face Finder Online Demos (People Search)

People search by photographs

Every few days I get a message from users all over the world, with more or less the same question: I have a photo of someone I am looking for, can you help me find this person on the Internet? (This is usually referred to “people search” with photograph images, or “reverse image search”, or “similar image search”).

Unfortunately, I can’t. I’d need to have access to all images of all people of this world to use face recognition on them. Some Intelligence Service might have such a database, I don’t.

You need to have access to a real huge collection of images, and you need very strong computing power. That can only be done by companies with huge resources. Therefore, for some time it was only Google with such a capability. Their image search is not using face recognition (afaik), but their scale invariant feature technology works nice on face images, too.
Now that it is no longer Google alone to offer such a service, here is a list of image search engines that can compare images within a reasonably large database (send feedback if you know more):

  • Google Image Search
    Just upload a photo to Google’s Image Search, and it will find similar images. With Google owning probably the largest database of images on the web, chances are high that you find that (or at least a similar) photo.
  • Bing Image Search
    Bing now also offers an Image Search (using photo upload or URL), but it is harder to find than Google’s feature. Just use the link given above, then click the “Image Match” icon, and then “Upload an Image”.
  • Yandex Reverse Image Search
    Russian search engine Yandex also offers reverse image matching, including image upload.
  • Baidu Reverse Image Search
    Chinese search engine Baidu also offers reverse image matching with image upload.
  • Karma Decay Image Search on Reddit
    Beta version of an image search engine on Reddit.com.
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Some institutions allow their work to be tested by submitting an image to their face detector / face finder online demos:

  • Twins Or Not? from Microsoft. New free online face matching online with similarity estimation
    You can upload two photos and the face recognition engine will calculate a similarity score (100% means identical). This should be very useful for all of you who want to know whether a given face image represents the same person as in a different image. The face recognition engine is actually quite good – it is using Microsoft’s Project Oxford web service.
  • How old do I look? from Microsoft. New free online face finder online with age estimation
    You can upload a photo with any amount of faces on it, and the site will answer with all found faces marked, together with an age estimation of each person.
    Don’t be too shocked if your estimated age is far off reality (+- 15 years accuracy is my rough guess), but the face detector seems to be highly accurate. Microsoft uses its Project Oxford web service for doing that, so you might want to check that out.


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