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I have been searching everywhere for a verb that means seeing a picture of something then seeing the real thing later.

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    I'd say "deja view". – Hot Licks May 20 '15 at 3:20
  • Plane-spotting from photos was/is called 'Recognition'. I thought Déjà vu was something you imagined or believed you had seen. – Hugh May 20 '15 at 3:26
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    @Hugh - I didn't say "vu". – Hot Licks May 20 '15 at 3:29
  • see something with one's own eyes ? – ermanen May 20 '15 at 3:58
  • Why would you think there should be such a verb? Perhaps you should broaden your question to accept a phrase or an idiom. – Brian Hitchcock May 20 '15 at 9:20
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Recognize (Wiktionary)

identify (someone or something) from having encountered them before; know again. Example "I recognized her when her wig fell off"

Identify (Dictionary.com)

5.Biology. to determine to what group (a given specimen) belongs.

Encounter (Oxford OL)

  1. Meet (someone) unexpectedly: what do we know about the people we encounter in our daily lives?
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serendipity

It if was a pleasant surprise.

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