Trail Camera Photo Recognition and Auto-Tagging Now Available!

By Jon Livingston. Tags: Product News

Today we're extremely excited to release a major update that automatically tags your trail cam photos using photo recognition.

You heard right!

Gone are the days of sorting through hundreds (even thousands!) of photos showing blowing grass, rain, squirrels and other false positives.

If you’re tired of wasting time weeding through false-positive photos you might be a little giddy too!

With Auto-Tagging, you can sort your photos quickly and get a head start on identifying unique bucks (or whatever animal you’re looking for). It’s also a great way to easily filter groups of photos like all your turkeys, for example. And photos that don’t receive tags can be quickly deleted if desired.

How Does This Work?

Photo recognition looks for objects in a photo and labels all the objects it believes is correct. While most of us are looking for deer, turkey, hogs, bears, etc., the system is looking for and identifying objects, no matter what they are.

Take for example the photo below.

Photo recognition for trail camera photos

As you can see, the photo above has a number of different objects. Most of the objects are items we'd rather not have show up as auto-tags in our photos.

To simplify the process we remove tags from showing up on your photos we don’t think you’ll want, like leaves, trees, grass, etc.

But… we can’t always perfectly predict which tags each DeerLab subscriber wants and doesn’t want. While many of our customers are whitetail hunters, we also have wildlife biologists, universities, and even elementary schools using DeerLab for different reasons. In order to meet each user's unique needs, we've developed easy-to-use tools so you can tell DeerLab what you want tagged and what you want skipped.

In short, you can tailor DeerLab’s Auto-Tagging feature to meet your specific needs.

In the auto-tag settings you can create a set of “Priority Tags” for the items you always want photo recognition to tag and an “Ignore Tags” list for the items you always want ignored.

We have already gone through thousands of photos and taken out tags we believe most folks don’t want to see. However, if you prefer to see specific tags we've set to be ignored, you can always add them to your priority list.

Photos with Auto-Tags

If you have the Auto-Tagging feature turned on, DeerLab will place tags below your photos like this…

If you select one of the tags directly below a photo, you will see all of the other photos that are similarly tagged.

How Accurate is Auto-Tagging?

Photo recognition of animals is a lot different than looking at a human face and identifying that person. At this moment, we estimate that DeerLab will correctly identify more than 90% of the deer photos you upload. The tags returned have a lot to do with the quality of the photo and angle, what confidence level you've set, as well as objects you are trying to identify.

Let’s take two examples.

In this first photo the following tags were given: “antler”, “zoo”, “elk”, “deer”, “wildlife”, “mammal” and “animal”. Obviously this isn’t a zoo or an elk. You can easily get rid of these tags from showing up in the future by adding them to your Ignore List.

In the second example below we have a much darker photo with the same buck just coming into frame. Notice how his antlers are right in front of branches.

Look at the tags provided: “antler”, “bull”, “wood”, “elk”, “deer”, “wildlife”, “mammal” and “animal”.

Auto-tagging still picks up that the photo contains a deer with antlers even though he’s mostly out of the photo. Pretty cool! The “bull”, “wood”, and “elk” tags don’t apply but we can get rid of them for future uploads if desired.

Additional Updates

Auto-Tagging is just one of several new features added to this recent update. Here’s a few more:

Mass Delete Tags - You’ll now be able to remove specific tags from all of your photos, as well as remove them from future photo uploads if using the Auto-Tag feature.

Enable/Disable Auto-Tagging - If you would prefer not to use DeerLab’s auto-tagging feature, you can disable it. Once disabled, future photo uploads will not use Auto-Tagging. You can change this at any time.

Please note the new Auto-Tagging feature is disabled for DeerLab users who created accounts before today. To turn Auto-Tagging on simply go to Properties, then select the “TAGS” button. You will then see an “Auto-Tag Settings” tab. Once turned on, tags will appear when you upload new photos. Auto-tags will not appear on photos already added to DeerLab.

Set Maximum Number of Tags - This allows you to limit the number of auto-tags added to each photo. Note: auto-tags will only be shown if there's a strong likelihood of a particular object.

Set Auto-Tag Confidence Score - Each object within a photo has a confidence score from 0-100%. The lower the confidence score, the lower the probability of an object being what it actually is. DeerLab’s default is set to 50% so we will not return tags for an object if the confidence level is below that. While we believe the default settings is a great place to start, you can always tweak the confidence score if needed.

What About Custom Tags?

Custom tagging photos, like individual bucks, is still available no matter if you enable or disable the Auto-Tagging feature. You can add as many custom tags to photos as you want and we highly recommend the custom tagging feature if you want to profile individual bucks.

A Step Forward for Trail Camera Photos

For over four years it's been our mission to make the process of managing and analyzing trail camera photos easier. We believe auto-tagging is a giant leap forward and the ease of use is only going to get better.

If you haven’t yet tried DeerLab’s trail camera software, please give our free trial a test run. You’ll get to see how Auto-Tagging works plus how you can create profiles of animals you’re tracking. We believe it will change the way you look at photos.

PS - If you're excited about this feature can we ask a favor? Would you mind sharing this article with your friends and social media accounts? This would be a huge help in spreading the word. Thanks!

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