Image Tagging – Automatic Keyword Implementation


What Is Image Tagging?

Image tagging is the process of labeling or keywording images based on figures within a certain picture. Image tagging software automatically tag images, though it’s possible for users to fulfill image tagging processes. It makes images on websites more searchable through keywords pertaining to that photo.

Here’s a real life example explaining how image tagging works. Imagine an entire home photo album is scanned and uploaded digitally to a computer. Then those images are uploaded all at once to a personal website. As each image is uploaded, a program fills in details about them. If a picture has the wedding cake in it, the keywords ‘cake’ and ‘food’ are tagged. When the process is complete, the user can search the entire digital album using keywords the program implemented.

Picture of tagged images in image tagging system
Tags for the images are on the right – these are automatically added in Canto.

How a Company Benefits From Image Tagging

A company benefits from image tagging because of how quickly they can get images organized and how accessible their images become to users. When a user searches their website, they can find what they need based on simple keywords – the time saved on keywording is immense.

An example of this in action is a company receives a large amount of digital photos and it needs to get them operational for use among team members. This typically requires getting them sorted and organized, usually with the help of metadata management. Before this can happen, the images need to be tagged. Without the right software, they would have to one-by-one look at photos and manually apply keywords to them. Image tagging automatically analyzes and tags, saving thousands of hours. Automatic tagging comes standard in a digital asset management system or file management solution.

A Detailed Visual Example of Image Tagging

Note the first image below. The bigger words are stronger keywords, and the smaller words are secondary. These were automatically sorted and ranked by an image tagging program.

A picture of a dog with descriptive text imposed over objects.
Image tagging software generates keywords and secondary keywords.

In the second image, there’s only one object. This gives the image tagging program a chance to easily rank the keywords by a percentage or decimal because the object is an exact something (dog).

A picture of a dog with keyword rankings.
Image tagging software can sort the keywords by strength.

How Image Tagging Is Related to but Different From Metadata

Metadata describes other data. It is the keywords that are used to describe an image. In that way, metadata is related to image tagging as it is the end result of some of the keywording processes. Image tagging in itself is a process, while metadata is not.

To illustrate this, think of a cash register. Every time the cashier swipes an item through, its given a price on a receipt. Image tagging is the swiping of items. Keywords are the prices, and metadata are the prices. Therefore, image tagging is the process, and metadata is simply a product of the process.

The time saved and efficiency created is too much to pass up on, so make sure your company implements an image tagging system as soon as possible. To learn more about the power of image tagging and digital asset management, check out our free ebook below:

Cover of an ebook, showing a laptop on a table next to a glass of tea.