7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 9, 2006 3:59 PM by fred_sl

    Managing Thousands of Images

    Level 7
      Sorry if this question is all over the map, but I'm venturing into new
      territory, and I'm not even sure what software or language I'm going to
      be using. I suspect the solution will involve PHP and MySQL and perhaps
      Dreamweaver as well.

      In the near future, I'm going to start gathering graphics for a website
      (a content management system) that focuses on animals. My ultimate goal
      is to acquire at least one graphic (photo or illustration) of every
      known vertebrate species (over 50,000 of them), but I'd like to acquire
      several pictures of a particular species wherever possible. Of course,
      this is an impossible goal, but I want to cover as many species as possible.

      So I'm trying to figure out a good strategy for managing all these
      images. I'm aware of the existence of various programs that are designed
      to help people manage images, but I have no experience with any of them.

      To better illustrate what I'm up against, let me briefly explain my
      current strategy. Let's say I find a total of seven images of three
      species - a bison (Bison bison), wolf (Canis lupus) and chimpanzee (Pan
      troglodyes) from four sources - the National Park Service (NPS), a
      company called Animals Unlimited and two independent photographers, as
      follows:

      Bison_bison (Source: NPS)
      Bison_bison2 (Source: NPS)
      Bison_baison3 (Source: Jack Savage)
      Canis_lupus (Source: NPS)
      Canis_lupus2 (Source: Animals Unlimited)
      Pan_troglodytes (Source: Animals Unlimited)
      Pan_troglodytes2 (Source: Cheryl Kermit)

      I'm currently naming my images with each species' scientific name. I
      also have a script that automatically displays an image if its
      scientific name matches my URL. (It uses a Get Image Size script, or
      something like that, and automatically includes the appropriate
      extension as well.) So I generally give my favorite images names like
      Bison_bison and Canis_lupus and just dump them in the appropriate
      folder. As I acquire additional images, I name them Bison_bison2,
      Bison_bison3, etc. However, I may begin giving them topical names. For
      example, pictures of animals running might be named Bison_bisonRun,
      Canis_lupusRun, etc. Or I might just have a separate folder named
      Running and put pictures of running animals inside it:

      images > Mammals > Running > Bison_bison

      I then use PHP switches to display credits and captions. For example, a
      particular switch might list every hoofed mammal for which I have an
      illustration, echoing that image's credits and captions.

      The problem I'm running into is that it becomes increasingly difficult
      to correlate a particular image with information associated with that
      image, primarily the source, permission terms and caption. It's hard to
      keep track of 313 images from the National Park Service, when they
      include mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes scattered between a dozen
      folders. And if I rename Canis_lupus2 to Canis_lupus, then I have to
      find the original Canis_lupus in my notes and rename it, then find
      Canis_lupus in my notes and rename it to Canis_lupus.

      It would be nice to have some sort of software that associates images
      with background notes. For example, if I view some images through
      Windows Explorer and click on a picture of an aardvark, it would be nice
      if I could see a window that cites the source, caption and other notes.
      However, I now have a MacBook Pro and am trying to get away from
      Microsoft in favor of Apple and open source programs.

      So I just wondered if anyone can recommend any particular software
      programs or strategies that help people organize and manipulate images.
      Would it simplify things if I stored images in a MySQL database? I've
      never tried that before, but I know it's a common strategy.

      Perhaps it would be best to just put all this info in a database, with
      columns/fields for image names, sources, etc. Then I could somehow
      display a list of all the images of mammals I've acquired from the
      National Park Service. Or perhaps I could somehow display actual
      thumbnails of these images. Or I could join my query with my Birds table
      and display all the images of raptors I've acquired.

      To actually view lists such as these, I suppose I need to learn how to
      work with thumbnail images. I've run across countless references to
      scripts that generate thumbnail images - so many, in fact, that I'm not
      quite sure where to begin. Do these scripts actually create additional
      (thumbnail) images, or do they simply display the original image in a
      "zoomed out" mode? Is there a particular thumbnail script you'd recommend?

      It sounds to me like most of this can be handled by a database, but I'd
      like to hear of any other available solutions. Also, I don't have a clue
      about working with thumbnails.

      Thanks.

      --
      www.geobop.org - Family Websites
      www.invisible-republic.org - Adult political websites (Mature adults only)
        • 1. Re: Managing Thousands of Images
          Level 7


          > Also, I don't have a clue

          just wanted to quote. :)

          have a nice day

          • 2. Re: Managing Thousands of Images
            Level 7
            David,

            you would be best served IMHO by putting this information in a database and
            then drawing it out as needed, you can then have a logical structure of how
            you log the animals and perhaps a keywords/description column for the
            photo's

            --
            Dave Buchholz
            I-CRE8
            www.i-cre8.co.uk
            Skype ID: I-CRE8


            "David Blomstrom" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
            news:ebb8pv$jkj$1@forums.macromedia.com...
            > Sorry if this question is all over the map, but I'm venturing into new
            > territory, and I'm not even sure what software or language I'm going to be
            > using. I suspect the solution will involve PHP and MySQL and perhaps
            > Dreamweaver as well.
            >
            > In the near future, I'm going to start gathering graphics for a website (a
            > content management system) that focuses on animals. My ultimate goal is to
            > acquire at least one graphic (photo or illustration) of every known
            > vertebrate species (over 50,000 of them), but I'd like to acquire several
            > pictures of a particular species wherever possible. Of course, this is an
            > impossible goal, but I want to cover as many species as possible.
            >
            > So I'm trying to figure out a good strategy for managing all these images.
            > I'm aware of the existence of various programs that are designed to help
            > people manage images, but I have no experience with any of them.
            >
            > To better illustrate what I'm up against, let me briefly explain my
            > current strategy. Let's say I find a total of seven images of three
            > species - a bison (Bison bison), wolf (Canis lupus) and chimpanzee (Pan
            > troglodyes) from four sources - the National Park Service (NPS), a company
            > called Animals Unlimited and two independent photographers, as follows:
            >
            > Bison_bison (Source: NPS)
            > Bison_bison2 (Source: NPS)
            > Bison_baison3 (Source: Jack Savage)
            > Canis_lupus (Source: NPS)
            > Canis_lupus2 (Source: Animals Unlimited)
            > Pan_troglodytes (Source: Animals Unlimited)
            > Pan_troglodytes2 (Source: Cheryl Kermit)
            >
            > I'm currently naming my images with each species' scientific name. I also
            > have a script that automatically displays an image if its scientific name
            > matches my URL. (It uses a Get Image Size script, or something like that,
            > and automatically includes the appropriate extension as well.) So I
            > generally give my favorite images names like Bison_bison and Canis_lupus
            > and just dump them in the appropriate folder. As I acquire additional
            > images, I name them Bison_bison2, Bison_bison3, etc. However, I may begin
            > giving them topical names. For example, pictures of animals running might
            > be named Bison_bisonRun, Canis_lupusRun, etc. Or I might just have a
            > separate folder named Running and put pictures of running animals inside
            > it:
            >
            > images > Mammals > Running > Bison_bison
            >
            > I then use PHP switches to display credits and captions. For example, a
            > particular switch might list every hoofed mammal for which I have an
            > illustration, echoing that image's credits and captions.
            >
            > The problem I'm running into is that it becomes increasingly difficult to
            > correlate a particular image with information associated with that image,
            > primarily the source, permission terms and caption. It's hard to keep
            > track of 313 images from the National Park Service, when they include
            > mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes scattered between a dozen folders. And
            > if I rename Canis_lupus2 to Canis_lupus, then I have to find the original
            > Canis_lupus in my notes and rename it, then find Canis_lupus in my notes
            > and rename it to Canis_lupus.
            >
            > It would be nice to have some sort of software that associates images with
            > background notes. For example, if I view some images through Windows
            > Explorer and click on a picture of an aardvark, it would be nice if I
            > could see a window that cites the source, caption and other notes.
            > However, I now have a MacBook Pro and am trying to get away from Microsoft
            > in favor of Apple and open source programs.
            >
            > So I just wondered if anyone can recommend any particular software
            > programs or strategies that help people organize and manipulate images.
            > Would it simplify things if I stored images in a MySQL database? I've
            > never tried that before, but I know it's a common strategy.
            >
            > Perhaps it would be best to just put all this info in a database, with
            > columns/fields for image names, sources, etc. Then I could somehow display
            > a list of all the images of mammals I've acquired from the National Park
            > Service. Or perhaps I could somehow display actual thumbnails of these
            > images. Or I could join my query with my Birds table and display all the
            > images of raptors I've acquired.
            >
            > To actually view lists such as these, I suppose I need to learn how to
            > work with thumbnail images. I've run across countless references to
            > scripts that generate thumbnail images - so many, in fact, that I'm not
            > quite sure where to begin. Do these scripts actually create additional
            > (thumbnail) images, or do they simply display the original image in a
            > "zoomed out" mode? Is there a particular thumbnail script you'd recommend?
            >
            > It sounds to me like most of this can be handled by a database, but I'd
            > like to hear of any other available solutions. Also, I don't have a clue
            > about working with thumbnails.
            >
            > Thanks.
            >
            > --
            > www.geobop.org - Family Websites
            > www.invisible-republic.org - Adult political websites (Mature adults only)


            • 3. Re: Managing Thousands of Images
              Level 7
              Alan wrote:
              >
              >> Also, I don't have a clue
              >
              > just wanted to quote. :)
              >
              > have a nice day
              >

              Gosh, you're so cute. We're all proud of you. Now run along and pick up
              your crayons.

              --
              www.geobop.org - Family Websites
              www.invisible-republic.org - Adult political websites (Mature adults only)
              • 4. Re: Managing Thousands of Images
                Level 7
                Dave Buchholz wrote:
                > David,
                >
                > you would be best served IMHO by putting this information in a database and
                > then drawing it out as needed, you can then have a logical structure of how
                > you log the animals and perhaps a keywords/description column for the
                > photo's
                >

                OK, I'll start exploring that avenue. A keyword/description column
                sounds like a good tip. Thanks.

                --
                www.geobop.org - Family Websites
                www.invisible-republic.org - Adult political websites (Mature adults only)
                • 5. Re: Managing Thousands of Images
                  Level 1
                  Aside from your site... one of the great image management programs out there is Thumbs Plus Pro by Cerious Software http://www.cerious.com/ It works in a folder structure like Windows Explorer and creates a fairly small database of all the images on your computer so that bringing up thumbnails is very fast (not like the slow thumbs regeneration in Windows)

                  For your use, it allows you to very quickly create and manage folder structures, it has an awesome batch renaming feature, will convert images from most formats to .jpg (or back) and does most of this in batches without opening the image rather than one at a time.

                  It is a free download with a trial period but is worth way more than it's $75.00 list price. And right now I think they have an upgrade deal going for about $60.00.

                  This is an indispensable tool in my tool box as I deal with thousands of images on a daily basis between photographs, logos, graphics, etc.

                  There are hundreds more features including slide shows, some limited editing and color correction.

                  It’s not Photoshop, but rather a companion to anyone who has to keep track of and manage thousands of images.

                  Hmm… I guess I sound like an advertisement, but it is what it is…
                  • 6. Re: Managing Thousands of Images
                    Level 7
                    Michael Hager wrote:
                    > Aside from your site... one of the great image management programs out there is
                    > Thumbs Plus Pro by Cerious Software http://www.cerious.com/

                    Thanks for the tip; sounds interesting. It looks like this is a Windows
                    only program, but I'm going to run Windows on my Apple via the Parallels
                    software program, so that shouldn't be a problem.


                    --
                    www.geobop.org - Family Websites
                    www.invisible-republic.org - Adult political websites (Mature adults only)
                    • 7. Managing Thousands of Images
                      fred_sl
                      I can say watch out for storing too many directories and files in one directory. Linux has limits on files and directories in a directory. I believe NTFS is unlimited, but some programs might have performance problems if they try to read the entire directory before displaying. I'd try to spread them out, using a date or something in the path, then store the file path in a database.

                      ...../images/$date/$filename.jpg

                      or

                      ...../images/$year/$month/$day/$filename.jpg