March 5, 2004

Searchable Photos: Part III

Last October I wrote a piece entitled How To Make Photos More Searchable. I wrote it because I wanted to, well, make my photos more searchable, both locally, and from search engines such as Google.

But I also wrote it because I was frustrated by how hard it was to get photos up on my weblog. First I’d download from my camera to iPhoto. Next I’d copy the images I wanted to use to a temporary folder, and then open them in Photoshop where I’d resize and make thumbnails. After that I’d upload the various files via FTP, and finally I’d add some <img> tags to the weblog entry. All this could easily take 30 minutes minutes or more, and it made me quite grumpy (and still does).

In November I wrote a followup piece entitled Searchable Photos: Part II, where I described my camera, computer and weblog setups, and a wish list of things I’d like to have to make my photo to weblog life easier. The wishes included reducing the number of steps it takes to get a photo from camera to web, creating thumbnails automatically, displaying photos on my weblog entries as well as in album format, setting and displaying GeoURL and EXIF information, and of course making them more searchable.

Since early January I’ve been working hard on a product that I think will satisfy most of those wishes in the first version, and all of those wishes in followup versions. And I’m happy to say that the product is just about ready for release.

It’s a two part product. The first part is a photo album program called “Photo Album” (until such time as I can think of a better name) that runs on both Mac and PC. With it you can build photo albums, view the photos, add information to each photo such as Title, Description, Date, Location, Keywords and GeoURL. And you can even see, and add to, the EXIF information stored in the photo’s JPEG header (well, you’ll be able to as soon as I finish the EXIF parsing code).

The second part of the product is PHP-based software, called “Photo Album Server", that displays your photo albums as dynamically generated web pages. In addition to being able to display your albums and photos in customizable templates (and in various thumbnail and full image sizes), it has search capability, can display EXIF data, and lets you create public or private photo albums (the private albums are password protected). And don’t worry, if you don’t have a server that runs PHP, “Photo Album” (the Mac/PC program) can create great looking photo album web pages that can be displayed on any web server.

But that’s enough tease for now, I’ve got to get back to the coding grind.

I’ll be adding more information about the products and the release schedule over the next couple of days, so come back and visit us soon.

And if you want to be a beta tester, drop me a line.

p.s. I have a new weblog devoted to the product over at http://photoalbum.backtalk.com/

Posted by: Frank @ 4:19 pm — Filed under:

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