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February 10, 2012

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I wish I had started something like this a long time ago but I guess better late than never. Thanks. Do you have your guidelines as a PDF or something we can download? I did copy and same the image. That will give me one more thing to name. :)

Sheldon - no, there is no PDF, just this article for now.

Is there a way to list files/images that are connected/not connected in Legacy? I have lots of files that are not connected (linked to a person, source or location) and need a way to only look at the files that need work.

Obviously a lot of work has gone into this system. I would question the use of Windows File Properties however. This is not a standard for embedding information in photographs; it's proprietary to Windows. The information doesn't back up to disc and would be lost with any re-installation of the operating system which is bound to happen at some point. His example is from XP and Windows7 is a different arrangement entirely. And that's just Windows.

I would love to rename and move all my images and photo's, but then it will all have to be "re-attached" in Legacy, and I do have a lot.
Is there a way to overcome this?
It would have been better if Legacy could have imported the images without you needing to keep the file exactly where it was at that time and named precisely the way it was when added to Legacy! (Hope this sentence makes sense!)

Agree with an organized system for names of files, whether photos, documents or... I am personally using more short cuts than the full names. Example: census look like this: year,co.place,surname shortcut, given inital/s.jpg. [1850KYcamDeCOM1.jpg] only use jpg files for census records. jpg is Easier to use in a word/word perfect file. Death Certificates are Death,surname short cut [PA for Pack], given, place. In the PhotoShop Elements software version 9, I use the file properties to tell info.. about the pictures.

Long file names do not work well for me. Just thought I would share another way of doing it. Good to have a standards sheet for all the ways you do your genealogy in a software program like Legacy, your files and your research process.

Your article is very timely for me as I have just begun to organize my 10 years of 'collecting' data, and my mothers 30 years of paper research. Filing and relocating downloaded documents and family photos has been a nightmare for me, this system will help not only in grouping but also keep me from re-downloading things I already have! Thank you for sharing.
Rebecca Starck-Keene

Re: Posted by: Debbie Fiske | February 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM

"I would question the use of Windows File Properties however. This is not a standard for embedding information in photographs; it's proprietary to Windows. The information doesn't back up to disc and would be lost with any re-installation of the operating system which is bound to happen at some point. His example is from XP and Windows7 is a different arrangement entirely. And that's just Windows."

Windows File Properties for a photograph are, in fact, taken from the "standard" data that can be stored as part of the file. There are two standards. IPTC Data for comments and descriptions of the contents and EXIF for recording details of the camera and camera settings. Windows XP uses the IPTC data from the file and allows you to edit and store that data. Windows 7 displays both sets and will also let you edit the IPTC Data portion just like XP. There are also other software products such as the Free Irfanview which will let you edit the IPTC data for the picture if you prefer not to use Windows properties screens to do so.

I have found the IPTC data feature invaluable for archiving image file source and content info - you do have to complete any image editing in uncompressed formats first. I use free Xnview, which has excellent metadata tools and the ability to save templates, among other good features. File naming is always a headache and who hasn't transitioned through several schemes. A big concern for me, besides ID hints, is naming for useful alphabetical sorting - yeah, I still use file managers and navigate directory and folder trees.

These are good suggestions. I've been using similar schemes with my photos.

It would be nice to see some better image management features rolled into Legacy. The current method of starting with a person and connecting images can be cumbersome and it has kept me from linking in many of my existing images. Imagine if we could instead start with a group photo or census image and then identify the list of people who should all be linked to it. Combine this with some region tagging and it would make image management so much easier. With Legacy's already powerful reporting, there is a wealth of information that could then be discovered.

Tom - Legacy has tools to do what you are suggesting. See the Picture Center. It's available from the Tools menu.

Picture Center - how did I miss that? I'll give it a try as soon as I get the migration to the new computer sorted out.

"Windows File Properties for a photograph are, in fact, taken from the "standard" data that can be stored as part of the file. There are two standards. IPTC Data for comments and descriptions of the contents and EXIF for recording details of the camera and camera settings. Windows XP uses the IPTC data from the file and allows you to edit and store that data. Windows 7 displays both sets and will also let you edit the IPTC Data portion just like XP. There are also other software products such as the Free Irfanview which will let you edit the IPTC data for the picture if you prefer not to use Windows properties screens to do so."

XP must have changed that in the past few years because Windows File Properties was NOT based on the IPTC standard. And 'standard' metadata in Windows, period, yep good luck with that.

Another partial solution for this problem is to avoid loading the filename with so much detail and have a catalogue which contains all the detail.

This does not help when sending a few photographs to another researcher as the files are not self-documenting. (But you could also send an excerpt from the catalogue.)

I give my files fairly short names (say, 4-12 characters) that are meaningful to me but give very limited information. For example, using initials, awc1 is the first photo of my mother, jb1882 is my great grandfather in 1882. I avoid spaces and dashes because some websites do not handle them correctly.

With this method, it is perhaps more difficult to ensure that there are no duplicate names, but that is important.

I document the detail of the photograph in a catalogue, which contains the image and its full description. This includes People, Date, Place, Relationships, Picture
Source, Image Name. This gives me space to be vague about dates and speculate about relationships and places.

Currently, my catalogue is in Word. I have a printed
version for reference and a PDF version on my website.

I have only about 270 photos, so maybe my way of handling this would not work for those with several thousand?

Another option is to use a photo enhancing program to add a border to the photo and then add text in the border. I tried this a few years ago but was disappointed by the amount of text that could reasonably be added, and by the resulting file size.

This could well be a good option for documenting your photos (your catalogue) and for exchanging a few with others, but probably not for display on webpages.

I had put off including my digital images in Legacy for several years, simply because of the amount of work involved. But having returned from NZ [to Australia] recently with over 700 new images, I have begun the hard work. I was previously keeping images in an images folder, but have now decided to keep all digital material (photos, documents) in a Surnames folder with a subfolder for each surname, and the file-naming convention "surname + firstname + brief description". The most time-consuming part is the number of versions of each photo that need to be made: from the original digital image, I make an enhanced version with a caption (for sharing with others, and to guarantee that the identities will travel with the image), another without a caption for inclusion in Legacy (but with a text caption included in Legacy; this is the photo that I attach to all the relevant persons thru Picture Center). Then there are cropped versions where I want to attach a close-up to an individual, and sometimes an image of the back of the original. That makes for up to five or more versions of each image, with appropriate tags at the end of the filename (orig, caption, cropped, script (for the back of the photo).
Recording the origin of photos is also important: it's hard enough now to remember whether I got a particular photo from my own parents' archives or from other cousins, but being able to say where you got a photo from adds significantly to its authenticity. I have a handful of 1880s cartes de visite, some with names on the back, but can no longer remember exactly who gave them to me over 20 years ago. This is information that I will now include in the notes field for each photo as I add it to Legacy.
I considered the option of attaching photos to events, but given the lack of output options, I am generally simply attaching photos to individuals rather than to events. For cemeteries, for example, Sherry had suggested creating a Cemetery event to attaching gravestone photos, but they were so inaccessible that I am simply attaching them to the individual as well. The cemetery information is already in the burial field, so creating another event for the same info was duplication.

I see you use a DOCS folder under your PICTURES folder. I'm guessing you started this before Legacy added it's own DOCS folder at the same level as PICTURES, SOUNDS, and VIDEO.
My question - do you put ALL of your documents in the DOC folder? Or just ones in JPG/TIFF/etc format? And thus you put other docs (PDF, spreadsheet, word-processor, web, TXT, etc) in the "Legacy" DOC folder)? Thoughts/suggestions appreciated.

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