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Hi All, It seems I need you advice. Our company has recently… - Pictures from the past
Hi All,

It seems I need you advice. Our company has recently released a new version of a software tool for annotating digital photos, and especially old family photos. I would like to ask you, genealogists, family historians, and vintage photos collectors, if you think such tool could be valuable for you (I believe, it could) . Your feedback will help us improve the product (btw, it’s free) and add new features that you might want.

It is called FotoTagger. FotoTagger lets you place location-specific textual labels on digital images. These labels can include names of people in an old family photos, comments about their roles in your family history, location of landmarks in a landscape, links to Web resources that contain additional information, or whatsoever. It is already used by genealogy researchers and family historians to make family photos more informative. One of them, for example, uses FotoTagger in her blog to annotate inscriptions on gravestones while another one identifies ancestors on old black-and-white family pictures.

You can take a look at this example to get an idea how FotoTagger annotation looks: http://www.fototagger.com/products/desktop/examples/family. As you can see, annotation notes can be hidden in a click so there is no risk to spoil an original picture. It goes without saying that these notes can be edited at any time. Then you can find a particular person among piles of digital photos by his or her name or any other identification comment that you typed in an annotation note.

So if you need to memorize something captured on a photo, I think it's a really great tool. Usually we write captions and explanations next to images meaning this information is disjointed from the image it describes.

Since FotoTagger provides an ability to integrate an image and a text, the annotations are always stored with the photo as a single entity. They cannot be lost when sharing or moving a file. On the other hand, the pictures are not spoiled with the comments because they could be hidden in a click so a pure original photo is available at any time.

The latest version of FotoTagger supports Flickr. It means that you can annotate a photo on a local computer and then upload it to Flickr while all Fototagger annotations will be converted to editable Flickr notes. Similarly, you can download image from Flickr back to FotoTagger. All Flickr notes are preserved and transformed to editable FotoTagger annotation.

Additionally, you can publish annotated pictures to Blogger.com and LiveJournal blog. E.g. this is my LJ where I have uploaded annotated photos directly from Fototagger: http://image_travel.livejournal.com/

My question is: do you think that FotoTagger can be useful for your family photos? Is there any additional feature you would like to see in this tool? I will be glad both to positive and negative answers. You can try Fototagger by yourself to check its features: http://www.fototagger.com/downloads (it's really free, I mean there is no annoying ads and spyware).

Thanks a lot for your help!

PS My apologizes if you have already seen this post in other genealogy communities. I am trying to collect your feedbacks :-)
3 comments or Leave a comment
mopalia From: mopalia Date: September 3rd, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
These are just some quick thoughts - if I have time, I'll think more later.
First, I currently use Picasa and make the standard notes at the bottom. This irritates me because Im a lousy typist, and you can't go back and make corrections. So I was interested in your product. I'd be especiually interested if it worked within Picasa.

I'd also rather have a mouse-over feature than a "captions on""captions off" toggle. I find the captioned pictures irritating to look at - but maybe wouldn't if I could change the color and the font. I like that you can outline the text boxes in different colors, so I assume that colors of the text and the box fill are changeable - hope the fonts are, too.

I found it annoying that the "show/hide tags" toggle was embedded in the picture. That's probably why I'd prefer a mouse-over without the toggle. are the pictures actually saved as two separate files that are toggled between, or have you saved one file in which you need the software to toggle the tags on and off? IF the latter, how do you know it won't become incompatible with something that is released later down the way - like an OS?

Speaking of OS, does this require WIN XT or higher? Will it run on Linux? Is there an Apple version? If it won't run on Apple, what will happen to files that I send my niece, the graphical designer who has Macs?

(I bet you hope I don't think about this more later ;)
image_travel From: image_travel Date: September 4th, 2006 09:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi, thank you for comments! The current version of FotoTagger does not provide integration with other applications metadata, such as Picasa or Photoshop. However, probably we will add integration capabilities in next versions since many of our users request it.

FotoTagger stores tags in the special metadata section of a JPEG file. It means the annotation is saved together with the image so there is no need to keep 2 separate files. When you publish an annotated picture to a blog:

- For LiveJournal two separate images are uploaded along with some simple HTML code to switch between them is posted to your blog. You can see it in my LJ, for example: http://image_travel.livejournal.com/

- For Blogger.com posts, the original image is uploaded and the tags are switched on/of by using JavaScript. Also, a merged picture (with the static tags shown over the picture) is loaded. Blogger.com example: http://art-real.blogspot.com/

- For Flickr: the original image is uploaded and notes are exported into Flickr.

Theoretically, the HTML pages that contain annotated images can become incompatible with a browser or OS just like any other webpage. In FotoTagger blogging features use standard ways of displaying information to minimize compatibility problems.

FotoTagger also works with previous versions of Windows. However, we have not tested it on them so cannot guarantee it for sure.

FotoTagger does not have Mac and Linux versions.

If you send annotated images to a Mac user. In this case, Mac will just ignore annotations. To let a Mac user see the annotations, you can use the "merge" feature so annotation notes will be "imprinted" into the pivture. However, the annotations won't be edited.

image_travel From: image_travel Date: September 4th, 2006 09:24 am (UTC) (Link)
BTW, color of tags, font, and callouts can be changed, of course. The button can be also located next to an image.
3 comments or Leave a comment