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Location hierachy is limited with only four levels
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Author Topic: Location hierachy is limited with only four levels  (Read 4044 times)
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« on: May 02, 2008, 01:04:34 PM »

How do people handle locations since Expression Media only has four levels? For example, most of the pictures I take are not in a city at all. So do you just use the city field and put in a county or national park? I'm thinking that a county level location would be most helpful for me, but of course if I do this, and still wanted to have a city location for the cities I've lived in, then I won't exactly have a hierarchical relationship. (I'd have to place pictures into both the city and county, or I'd have to activate both locations if I wanted to see all pictures within a county).

I ask because I often take trips outside a city into the countryside, and if all I do is assign these pictures to a state, then that level of specificity won't be nearly as helpful as something like a county location, which I can see being quite helpful.

Thanks for any thoughts anyone wishes to share.

Jay Packer
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2008, 09:20:13 AM »

Same problem here, JayP. I just put in a standard, made-up "placeholder" term like "unknown" or something similar. I figure that I'd rather have incomplete data than have something other than City, State, etc, in the corresponding fields.

I'd think that, if you start putting County names into the City field, you'd need to do that always, even when the City is known, to keep things consistent. It's not ideal, but perhaps you could make a Catalog Set, or even keyword, do this job somehow. Cumbersome I realize, but would maintain your data "purity" until, and if, the appropriate location field ever becomes available.

Mike S.
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2008, 05:28:50 PM »

I don't know if EM is different, but in iView you can leave some of the place finder fields blank. E.g., I often enter a Country and Location, but leave City and State blank if I'm shooting at some nature location outside the US. No need to enter "unknown" in these fields.

Ralph Paonessa
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2008, 09:22:43 AM »

The Location fields map to the IPTC structure, which is the plain vanilla, most readable place to put the data.  THe IPTC standard, as it currently is written, is far from perfect, and is undergoing some proposed changes.   

While we await a better standard,  suggest that you use it in ways that make sense for you, knowing that it won't be that hard (if you use comprehensive catalogs) to move the data around later, as the standard evolves.  So if you want to hijack the city field and put county data in there, no real problem, I don't think.

One of the solutions to all this will be better use of GPS.  Since it is absolute, and can be tied to databases, it will make a lot of the Location hierarchy unnecessary, eventually.

If you travel a lot, I suggest that at minimum you keep a GPS in your camera bag and save out yur track logs.  Syncing them up is not terribly hard right now, and will get a lot easier in the future.

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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2008, 01:55:20 PM »

I have had the same quandry as to where to put this information as well.  I have used cities like near Boulder on several occasions and I am not sure if that will catch up with me in the future.

I think Peter's suggestion of using GPS is a good one and I have been starting to record tracks as I go our on my photo trips.


Scott Buckel
Monrovia, CA
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2008, 03:48:43 PM »

I obviously missed this thread when I posted this one in a non-EM area.

Ralph, you'll see in that post that you can leave State/City/Location empty, but if you leave Country empty then iView/EM will leave the image out of the Place Finder interface altogether.  So some placeholder for the country of photos taken in international areas (e.g. the open sea) might be a good idea ("n/a"?).  Lightroom is a bit more sensible and its Location browser shows an "Unknown Country".  LR also makes it easier than EM to find those images that you've only partially annotated (e.g. country but no state yet).

I agree that recording GPS data is a good idea (I've been doing it since 1999, well before I could code the data into photos).  However, the hierarchial text structure of the IPTC Image fields is much easier for us as humans to navigate and browse than GPS coordinates.  I've been working on and off on a system to populate these fields based on the GPS data, thus my questions in the post referenced above.

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