Janitha Karunaratne

I convert Caffeine in to Ideas and Code

Photo Organization

When I finally have a need and I am looking for a tool/system to accomplish that task, I tend to be extremely picky and very demanding of certain features. This happened when I finally made up my mind to consolidate all my photo's in to one central system and organize them. Pictures started coming out the woodwork, now I have a jumble of hundreds of folders with thousands of pictures.

On the bright side, they are all on a single partition now. This is compared to before where they were spread across many machines, hard drive, backups and whole bunch of flash memory cards laying around.

Now on the hunt for a good program to organize them. So far I have tried F-Spot, Picasa, DigiKam. They were alright, but didn't fit my needs, and I doubt there is anything out there that would. So the features I need are

  • In Place file access - should not require the program to import the pictures to it's own backwards folder structure
  • Restructure folder tree - For example all your pictures are a mess, but with this you can tell it to put all the files in folders according to date or category name
  • Categories, Keywords - All the programs I tested did this pretty quick
  • Automatic Categorization according to date and other information

So the automatic categorization is the most important feature I want. Picasa does a good job at this.. but it simply clumps pictures that were taken in the same day together. What I want is for this to happen in a more elegant algorithm that uses the timestamps to figure out and distinguish between different events.. but allow the user to easily merge or split categories.

I think I will put to my work stack to develop such an algorithm, does not seem to hard. I am thinking it would make sense if you graph the amount of pictures taken per day, any grouping of pictures can be thought of as a single event or category. Lets see where it goes...

But for now considering I haven't had any rest at all for the past few days, I think I will let all my photo's chill for a while.