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Digital Documents/Media File Organization Method

Organize Media Digital Files

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#1 TimB

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:22 AM

Hello everyone,

I was wondering what do each of you think is a proper method to organize digital documents and media in regards to family history? What is the best method that works with the theology of RootsMagic? I am interested to find out what method I can adopt as I go forward in organizing my research documents and media collection. Thank you all for your help.

#2 Vyger

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:53 AM

Hello everyone,

I was wondering what do each of you think is a proper method to organize digital documents and media in regards to family history? What is the best method that works with the theology of RootsMagic? I am interested to find out what method I can adopt as I go forward in organizing my research documents and media collection. Thank you all for your help.


It's a big subject so rather than expand here please have a read on the link below. I wrote this back when Media Gallery was first introduced in version 4 but it is sadly still fairly accurate today as regards my own enhancement ideas and perceived Media Gallery shortcomings. I also describe a file naming system which has served me very well for over 10 years now.

http://www.vyger.co....ia-gallery.html

Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research


#3 TomH

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:31 AM

This is a question going back to the beginnings of records of any type - how to keep them so that they can be readily found. And there are many answers because personal needs and opinions are so varied. Consequently, there have been many prior discussions in these forums, not only with respect to media organization using the current RootsMagic software but going back to its ancestor, Family Origins. You would do well to review these - many can be found by entering the following search term into Google (sans quotes): "media AND (structure OR organize OR naming) site:forums.rootsmagic.com".

Also, RootsMagic webinar #21 is worth viewing.

Outside of RootsMagic and basic file and folder naming and structures, consider also the document support features in Windows and in image management programs such as Picasa.

Windows enables the creation of virtual Libraries - any Library can comprise any collection of folders. Windows also enables the addition, viewing and searching of Title, Subject, Tags and Comments in the metadata of JPG and MS Office files, viewing and searching of such metadata in other image and document file types, and can search text within many types of document files (including PDF as an option).

Picasa enables virtual Albums (an Album can comprise links to images scattered across many folders) and Face tagging. It automatically groups confirmed or similar unconfirmed faces under the name of an identified person - another special virtual album. Its captions are stored in the metadata and are seen as Titles in Windows file properties. RootsMagic supports none of the file-stored metadata having its own table of metadata. I explored ways of comparing and copying captions between Picasa and RootsMagic in http://sqlitetoolsfo...are with Picasa

Good luck!

Tom user of RM6314 FTM2014 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celtiwiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix_tiny.png app, a growing bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#4 Renee Zamora

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:46 PM

RootsMagic will store links to your media and documents stored on your computer. That means you can store the media any method you choose on your computer. All filing systems should work just fine.

The only one I don't recommend with RootsMagic is filing by Marriage Record Number (MRIN). RootsMagic does not support this method very well. There are limited places were you can see the MRINs in RM. If you were to use that filing system I would recommend that you add MRINs to the reference number fact so they are viewable.

Before anyone asks, yes making MRINS more accessible in RM is in our tracking system. The RootsMagician preference has not changed on the matter.

When looking for the perfect organizing system for your genealogy keep in mind what's perfect for you might not make any sense to someone else. Does that mean you are doing it wrong, not at all! What ever you do decide to do, make sure you write your system down so others following you will know your method.

There are many good books, blog articles and discussions all over the internet on the subject. What helped me was the suggestion to first sit down and decide what seems natural or comfortable to me in looking at genealogy.

Do you think of your genealogy broken down as: Surname, Couples, Record Types or a combination of them. Once you can answer that you hone in on what type of system might work for you.
Renee
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#5 LarryLister

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 07:45 AM

It might be useful if Roots Magic could collect data from the pictures using the (International Press Telecommunications Council) IPTC standards. This provides for a standard way to use meta data and tagging to identify, cross-reference and find photos within your collection.

Maybe?

Larry

#6 Vyger

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:15 AM

There should be no "maybe" there is a lot of potential here, see enhancement #2 on the link below which is pretty tame.

http://www.vyger.co....ia-gallery.html

Recently I have been geocoding all my family and travel photo's in Lightroom and saving the metadata to the files. With the Map pane visible I can now zoom into an area and selcct an option to only show those photo's visible on the current map view, another great way of locating photo's by place taken.

With ever larger collections ways of locating images has become more and more important and Rootsmagic could certainly make improvements. I have to say the RM Media Gallery is one of the best genealogy program image handlers out there IMO although I also believe there is much could be done.

Now in Lightroom I can find by capture time, camera, lens, place and a host of other elements, these are not all relevant to genealogy but further catagorization would be beneficial.

Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research


#7 Nettie

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 06:49 AM

For me, the simplest way is the best. All photos in my genealogy are surname, given, date/event. All stored in one file folder so RM can easily assess them. Like C:\Genealogy\photos RM\ So that copy on another PC is the same. Ones I do not use with RM are in Genealogy\1 Surname\Surname\Pictures. Keep it Simple :) so you can easily find them without creating an additional index. Meta Data is needed but would not use it for attaching to RM unless the title matches the name you gave it when saving your photo.
Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0 = Researching the families of William DeCoursey/cy b. 1756 Baltimore Co. MD found father Leonard DeCause..

#8 Athena

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:28 PM

Keep it Simple :) so you can easily find them without creating an additional index. Meta Data is needed but would not use it for attaching to RM unless the title matches the name you gave it when saving your photo.

The whole point of metadata is that you don't have to keep a separate index -- the descriptors are part of the file itself. All of my images and documents (over 5000 items and growing) are tagged with IPTC and/or XMP metadata and Windows automatically indexes it. I don't have to use any kind of complicated filing system because I can find anything quickly with keywords. For example, surname and "vital records" immediately displays all vital records for that line and I can break it down even more by the person's name which I store as headline. I don't have to keep track of anything externally, a simple Windows search will take me directly to the documents/images I need.

I find it very annoying that when I select an item for inclusion in the media gallery, RM doesn't offer me the option to use the data (Title/Description) that is already there. These are media standards that, IMHO, should be honored by RM.

#9 Vyger

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:29 PM

The whole point of metadata is that you don't have to keep a separate index -- the descriptors are part of the file itself.


I agree completely with Athena, files can contain so much information it is mad not to make use of it, right click on Windows Explorer header and select "More"

Working particularly with location photo's I now embed the geocoding into the file of where the shot was taken once established, Rootsmagic could easily make use of this information along with the image Title, Subject, Comments and Tags at the very least like Athena suggested.

The image below was posted some years ago during the time of RM4.

In the bigger picture this information is used by search engines to identify all sorts of things, go to Google select Images and search for eggleton norfolk, I believe the first image shown is mine, also the Bawdeswell village sign. Hover over them and you will see that neither "eggleton" or "norfolk" are in the file names but within the files themselves.

Posted Image

Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research


#10 Vyger

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 10:38 AM

This subject came to mind again today after visiting a relative and being given some old photographs and thankfully all but one had at least some information written on the back.

Since the original question was regarding "a method to organize digital documents" I thought I would stress again how saving the metadata to the actual files is the modern day equivilent of scribbling information on the rear but to much greater effect and benefit.

It has already been stated that RM should read this metadata and at least display it but regardless of RM's capabilities I would encourage users to embed this information into the files and there are many free programs are available to help. This is especially important where images are scanned and have no native camera information but it is certainly a worthwhile process for the future.

Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research


#11 c24m48

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 11:14 AM

Since the original question was regarding "a method to organize digital documents" I thought I would stress again how saving the metadata to the actual files is the modern day equivilent of scribbling information on the rear but to much greater effect and benefit.

It has already been stated that RM should read this metadata and at least display it but regardless of RM's capabilities I would encourage users to embed this information into the files and there are many free programs are available to help. This is especially important where images are scanned and have no native camera information but it is certainly a worthwhile process for the future.


I couldn't agree more, but I'm finding myself deviating at least on one respect from the approach you are suggesting. I'm finding it more important to include the metadata for photographic images in the image itself than in the image's formally defined metadata.

Which is to say, I first make sure that the image is in a lossless format such as PNG and then edit the image and add the text ("what was written on the back of the photograph") to the image itself. I expand the image with white space and put the text in the added whitespace so as not to destroy any of the original image. Layering might be a better approach to preserving the content of the original image, but I find that image processing software that supports layering has a pretty steep leaning curve (the current score is GIMP 2 and Jerry 0, for example - it's beaten me both times I've tried to learn it) and I worry about whether others will be able to cope with layered images successfullly.

This approach is very unfriendly to software that is able to process formally defined metadata and do things like automatic indexing of your photo collection and automatic production of captions when photographs are printed. But this approach is very "people friendly". And of course, the two approaches - adding text to the images and using formally defined metadata - are not mutually exclusive.

Jerry

#12 Athena

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 01:15 PM

I'm finding it more important to include the metadata for photographic images in the image itself than in the image's formally defined metadata.

I use my photo organizing software (Thumbs Plus) to do that too. When share a hardcopy of a photograph, I can generate an image with a border that includes the metadata. That's what I do when I print copies for relatives. That way, the recipient can paste it into an album or pass it along to some one else with the critial information.

The technique is described in this article. I've been using ThumbsPlus for over a decade so when I saw the article a few years ago, I decided to do a little experimenting with it and it works reasonably well. I do have some enhancement requests in with Cerious to improve it but Breeze Browser doesn't do any better.

Athena

#13 Vyger

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:06 PM

I also do the white border description in the image for prints etc and to compliment the metadata.

I suppose the bottom line is that such data, simple in the image and more detailed in the metadata needs to and belongs with the file and not in a database like Rootsmagic. However Rootsmagic should at least read this data if not assist users to enter it in the future, Captions, Descriptions, Date and even geocoding should be lifted from the file in Media Gallery Properties and written to the file when altered rather than only existing in the RM database.

Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research


#14 zhangrau

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 01:05 PM

Having RM read and write metadata to image files would be similar to the use of metadata by most MP3 recorders and players. The metadata is used by the media player to display the name, artist, etc. while playing music and videos.