Innovation That Matters

Crowdsourced tagging tool makes photos searchable

Work & Lifestyle

It’s not much good having a vast collection of photos if you can’t organize and search through them in an intuitive way, but tagging capabilities have so far proven beyond the scope of most photo sharing websites. And while digital photography makes it very easy to shoot thousands of images, most digital photographers lack the time and patience to tag those individual photos. Tagcow aims to provide a convenient solution by automatically tagging users’ photos with descriptive keywords that can later be used to find them. Tapping into the power of crowdsourced labour, Tagcow uses’s Mechanical Turk to tag photos, applying a combination of human taggers and computer technology. Photos are typically tagged within 24 to 48 hours of submission. With prices starting at USD 9.95 for 250 photos, Tagcow lets users upload their digital photos to the site, which runs them through its “tag factory” to add descriptive tags. The photos and tags are then published to the user’s Tagcow site, where they may be searched for based on descriptive attributes. Typing the word “soccer,” for instance, might return every picture from a child’s days on the field. Tagcow can also tag people, with the appropriate training, allowing users to sort their photos by the people included therein. In addition, Tagcow integrates with Flickr, letting users tag their Flickr photos through the Tagcow site without uploading them separately. Launched in March, Seattle-based Tagcow is interested in partnerships and other business opportunities. (Related trend: Life caching.) Spotted by: Benoit Rigaut



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