Sometimes I have a picture which I don't know, or which I have taken a long time ago. So how do you identify unknown stuff on your image?

For example I saw this picture, and what is the best approach to identify the hill on it? enter image description here

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    Cool picture! I like it. :) – BBischof Apr 15 '11 at 14:40
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    FWIW, that looks like Half-Dome at Yosemite. – D. Lambert Apr 15 '11 at 15:01
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    I like how the hikers appear to be going straight up a sheer cliff. – Craig Walker Apr 15 '11 at 15:12
  • @D. Lambert Thanks a lot, this seems to be correct! – RoflcoptrException Apr 15 '11 at 16:36
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    @Craig Walk It does not only appear like this, but it is more or less straight up the sheer cliff. There are steel cables anchors which allows that. – RoflcoptrException Apr 16 '11 at 7:49

I have had some success posting pictures on Flickr asking for help identifying what it is, tagging with anything relevant possible.

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    +1 - Crowdsourcing your answer is probably the best bet. – rfusca Apr 15 '11 at 14:46
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    yay for the masses! The only thing better than individuality is groupthink. Well, maybe. I mean what do you guys think? – BBischof Apr 15 '11 at 17:42
  • @rfusca There is also a similar proposal on Area51 about reverse image search (area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/26549/reverse-image-search). Maybe you're interested. – RoflcoptrException Apr 16 '11 at 7:51
  • Wow! Awesome! I would really like to see that start. I even have a question ready! – BBischof Apr 17 '11 at 15:56

Try Google Goggles if your phone can do it. You take a picture and Google looks up what it is. You mileage may vary but it works for reasonably well known location even with not so direct framing.

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  • I just tried google goggles on this image, and the result was Yosemite National Park... Did it get it right?? :) – 7wp Apr 15 '11 at 17:37
  • I wonder if this uses some geographic information from your phone's location to "help it out"? – rfusca Apr 15 '11 at 17:44
  • +1 Cool answer! I have tried google goggles but was a bit disappointed, then again, I took a photo of the Schrödinger equation... If this works out, that would be mighty useful! – BBischof Apr 15 '11 at 17:45
  • @Roberto, yes Half Dome is in Yosemite. – cabbey Apr 15 '11 at 23:23

You could try using TinEye Reverse Image Search to see if there are some similar pictures, perhaps those have some description nearby.

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  • Didn't know about this, neeto! – BBischof Apr 15 '11 at 17:45
  • Thanks for this suggestion, it is nice. Unfortunately I could find a site with a descirption for the example image. – RoflcoptrException Apr 16 '11 at 7:52

Find out the capture date. Then check on shots you took before and after this one. Also be sure to look into your calendar/diary (if you have one) to see where you were at that time.

That's the only way I can think of.

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If the photo was geotagged, then at least you can find out where it was taken. That might be enough to help you identify the subject. (In this case, it almost certainly would, as it's a landscape shot).

Some cameras have GPS/geotagging built-in. Some can do it with an add-on module. If you have synchronized clocks and a standalone GPS, you can get software to match up your photos with your track, and apply geotags in post-production.

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