[RNLD] photos and metadata

Mark W. Post markwpost at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 19 08:03:15 UTC 2013

Dear RNLD-ers,

I'm currently sitting on about 3,000-odd still photographs taken over 
the years in the course of linguistic fieldwork; some are of me and my 
consultants sitting around having a glass of rice beer, but most are of 
culturally-significant items, flora/fauna, ritual paraphernalia, and the 
like. It now occurs to me that these should also be archived together 
with audio, video and text materials, and ELAR has agreed to take them, 
but holy mackerel - if entering metadata for 30 or 40 video files is 
laborious, imagine doing the same thing for 3,000 objects! I'm currently 
entering metadata in Excel, basically giving a filename, location and 
date taken, subject/description, and (if it's a single focal item, like 
a plant) names in whatever languages I happen to have id'ed the item 
for. But this is unbelievably time-taking, and I'm afraid that I'll only 
have time to get through all of this post-retirement. So my questions 
are these:

(1) has anybody else done this sort of thing before, and if so, could 
you share your experiences
(2) is there a metadata standard for still photographs which is broadly 
adhered-to (I'm not talking about things like lens used and aperture, 
obviously - I'm thinking of things more relevant to people like us)
(3) does anyone know of any photo-management programs which can handle 
much or all of this work efficiently, i.e. organizing the photos, 
generating linked thumbnails, entering metadata in a field-based but 
exportable format, and building a sensible (and maybe 
keyword-searchable) directory structure. The sort of thing I have in 
mind is being able to search on "basket", and get everything tagged with 
this keyword returned.

Maybe I'm asking too much, but I'm sure I'm not the only person who's 
ever thought about these sorts of things, and for all I know, there's 
already a good solution!

Any ideas?

Many thanks in advance,



Dr. Mark W. Post
Universität Bern
Institut für Sprachwissenschaft
Länggassstrasse 49
3000 Bern 9

Tel +41 31 631 37 07
Eml markwpost at gmail.com
Web unibe-ch.academia.edu/MarkWPost

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