We frequently get questions regarding our tagging algorithm and how effective it is for XXXX type of event. We designed the algorithm to handle endurance sports photography that has bib numbers clearly labeled on the athletes. We've outlined how to most effectively take photos and what types of bibs are best suited for our algorithm in previous blog posts, but we find ourselves frequently answering questions on what happens if the photos don't tag; what happens then?
So our algorithm is best suited for high contrast numbers on the background of the bib. Black on a white background is our ideal situation, however, the inverse works fine too, as we start playing with gradients of colors, contrast starts to drop and the effectiveness of our algorithm goes down. On high contrast bibs with a legible view of the bib, we can achieve upwards of 98% accuracy. We cannot guess numbers, so if your arm is in the way, the algorithm has no way of guessing even if you have multiple photos of the same person. You can be at ease as we have automated ways to find those photos that are taken in sequence, by showing the next and last photos in a sequence. However, in the situation where the bib is unreadable by the algorithm, we then pass it on to individuals to review. This way, you can achieve immediate tagging for a large majority of your photos, but allow a small number to undergo manual review. The manual review can take anywhere between 12 to 48 hours depending on how much bandwidth is flowing through the site on a given weekend. This manual review is rolled into our costs, and apart of the standard costs of Flashframe.
However, if you want all of your photos manually reviewed there is an additional cost outside of the Flashframe cost of 2 cents per photo. You can request this service through the Flashframe portal, or by contacting the Flashframe team directly. However, we should mention that there are additional ways to achieve high tagging accuracy without incurring the large fees of manual review: tagging by time. If you can get the timing data from the race officials, (we need finish in time of day, or time they passed over the mat in time of day and the participant's bib number), Flashframe staff will sync your photos that were over a timing mat with the timing results. This can help you get near flawless tagging accuracy and we can tag all the photos for you within a few minutes of you providing us the file. However, this is highly dependent on you syncing your camera to local time, and uploading your photos with the associated exif/metadata for the photo; if you upload your photos without the time data we will be unable to sync your photos.
If all else fails we can go through the tedious process of manually tagging and reviewing all your photos, however, this can be cost prohibitive for some clients, and is subject to the 12 to 48 hour turn around. If you need anything over 1,000 photos manually tagged, its best to contact the Flashframe team as it allows us to staff our tagging team appropriately for the upcoming weekends. If you're uploading large numbers of photos and have a proven history of successful sales, discounted rates may be available for manual tagging.
In conclusion, manual tagging is apart of the Flashframe process, and in all situations, we have the ability to manually tag every photo, but there is an additional cost. We can also help tag by timing data if the information is sent to us. Finally and most importantly, if you have the ability to request bibs, its best to get recommend high contrast bib numbers and take photos that make them visible and easily legible.