The graphic above lists some questions to consider when evaluating an image and its source. However, this is not an exhaustive list nor is it meant to be. Take a look at the information on this page to learn more about the process of the evaluation process.
There are several questions you will want to consider when evaluating an image and its source. Take a look at the categories and associated questions below.
This can sometimes be trickier than it sounds. If you are looking for a well known image, there may be many different versions of it on the internet or different appropriations of the image. An image search for the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci is a great example of the importance of content analysis. When I did a Creative Commons Image search for, "Mona Lisa" the three images below were in my search results. This can be problematic because none of them are the actual artwork! If you don't know what the image you are looking for looks like, you will want to ask or do some research before you look for the image.
From Left to Right:
"Unknown Italian Artist-La Gioconda or The Mona Lisa [1503-16]" by Gandali's Gallery is licensed under CC BY-NC SA 2.0.
If I was looking for a distanced image of the Mona Lisa, I would not use the picture above. This picture is pixelated and out of focus. It also has the
image of person viewing the painting interrupting the image frame.
Reverse image searching is a tool that is used for identifying the original source of an image. This can be very useful when trying to find who created an image and how to give it attribution.
TinEye Reserve Image Search Example:
There are two different ways to do a reverse image search with TinEye, you can copy and paste the URL into the search box on the homepage or you can upload the photo from your computer. For this example, I copied and pasted the URL of the image I was trying to trace into the TinEye search box, please see the screenshot below.
When I typed the above URL into the search box, I got an error message that I copied and pasted below. This is important to note because TinEye doesn't always work. If this error message pops up when you do a search, try downloading the image and uploading it from your computer. If this doesn't work for you, I would try to reverse image search with Google Images instead.
When I downloaded the image I was looking for and uploaded it from my computer, I did get 130 search results. You can see my list of search results here. If I wanted to find the original creator of the image, I would go to the beginning of the search result list to find who originally posted the image.
Google Image Reserve Search Example:
To do a reserve image search using Google, go to Google Images. Once you get there click on the small camera icon next to the search box. Once you click on that, you should get a pop-up box that asks you to upload an image from your computer or copy and paste the URL for the image. Please see screenshots below.
Your search results for the image will include a list of similar images and other places the image you were searching with has been used.