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Listing of Place Names from GPS Data
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Author Topic: Listing of Place Names from GPS Data  (Read 17668 times)
JARHTMD
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« on: March 05, 2011, 06:15:04 AM »

This is my 1st DAM Forum post.  I am an amateur photographer & new to geotagging my photos.  I've learned how to geotag the photos, using GeoSetter.

Now I would like to translate my GPS coordinates into lists of place names for use in assigning filenames to my image files.  When traveling (especially, foreign), I sometime have only a very general idea of where I am.  I’m looking for software (free?) to batch process  my GPS data & produce a listing, spreadsheet, csv file (or whatever) that I can use for naming my files.  My plan is to visually review the place names, as a guide for assigning “meaningful” filenames.  For example, several 100/1000 files might receive a name that contains a “Washington, DC” suffix following the assigned number (2011-12345-DC Washington, DC).  I might later refine that to "2011-12345-DC Lib of Congress, Washington, DC", etc. 

I'm thinking that some places won't really have a place name (middle of the desert, miles from nowhere) & some places will have very specific place names (123 Main Street, Anytown, NY, USA).  That's why, initially at least, I will visually review and decide on filenames.

Surely, that is do-able, but I haven't discovered how.  Any/all suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks

Jim
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Roelof
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2011, 04:47:22 PM »

Jim,

I'm also curious how it is possible to transform the gps data into place name data in batch.
However, i would not use this information to modify the filename! It's is better to put the place information into some IPTC fields. Don't place mainingfull information into the filename.
Regards,
Roelof
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JARHTMD
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 03:10:24 PM »


However, i would not use this information to modify the filename! It's is better to put the place information into some IPTC fields. Don't place mainingfull information into the filename.

Regardless of how the information will be used, I'm hoping we'll both get the help we seek with batch processing our GPS data to get place names.

It's a long story why I try to use meaningful file names.  Suffice to say that I have a huge number of files that I have not managed well for a number of years.  If I was a professional & my livelyhood depended on finding specific images quickly (or at all), I would have starved long ago.  Hopefully, I will (one day) get that mess cleaned up.  The DAM Book will surely be invaluable in that endeavor.  In the meantime I've got to work with what I have & what I know.  I agree that IPTC is the place to put info about images, but not exclusive of using it elsewhere.  If I want to find "Aunt Suzie", I (or even someone completely unfamiliar with my stored data or specialized software) can do a quick search.  A simple file listing will locate "2011-12345-DC Aunt Suzie with the Pres" better than "2011-12345-DC" or "_MG_4321".

My children's names (along with other critically important information) are on their Birth Certificates (IPTC fields).  Their names are also on their school lunch boxes (filenames).  Data have multiple uses.

I hope I haven't sounded arguementative or unappreciative of your comments.  I apperciate them very much.

Thanks

Jim
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ianw
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 04:42:51 PM »

Jim,

Your files are your files, so you can name them how you want to.

However I don't think many or any on this forum would recommend that you put location information into your file names.  I do sometimes put very broad information into a folder name but never in file name.  I use Expression Media as my cataloguing software and when I open my catalogue I can find all of the images I took at a specific location within seconds, even though these might be spread over any number of folders.  Unless you've got a very good memory, can type like the wind or have just a handful of images then that's got to be way faster than you can!

There are many reasons for not doing what you want to do.  For starters it's technically not good practice to have spaces and some punctuation characters in a file or folder name.

Another reason relates to backups.  You mention that you might rename a file in the future to better refine the location information.  How do you then know that you have backed up this file?  If you lost the newer version you would have to revert to backup and you've then lost your changes.  If you have the information in the IPTC fields they would also - depending on software - be in a catalogue file (assuming you make regular backups of this!).  If you do have to revert to a backup you can re-synchronise the location data back in to the restored file and you've lost nothing, even if you had made many changes since you originally backed the file up.
I'll let others chip in with more reasons if they want to.

The point about using the IPTC fields is that the vast majority of people who want to store the information you want are using these.  It is a standard, and a growing one at that.  Of course standards aren't the law...

So if you really want to ignore best practices then you should look a bit closer at GeoSetter, which you already have.  If you select files by clicking on the thumbnails and then hit F2 you get a renaming dialogue.  There are various buttons near the top that allow you to incorporate bits of meta data into the file name.  This allows for location information including country, state and city to be part of the file name.  Many of the options allowed are rather ridiculous - storing images with GPS co-ordinates as part of the name is just silly but if you really want to...

So it looks like GeoSetter will do everything you want to do.  You just need to build up a renaming mask that suits your requirements.  It will even allow you to save these for later re-use.  If you really must do this then please make sure you play with it first on a set of dummy images as I haven't and won't test it.

My last comment is...  please don't do it!  Oh, and do read the DAM book and/or spend time at http://www.dpbestflow.org/

Ian
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JARHTMD
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2011, 08:31:56 PM »

Ian

Thanks for your comments.  While reading thru your post, I thought my request was veering off in a direction away from my desire for batch generation of place names.  I was glad to hear that GeoSetter will (sort of) do what I want.  Place name as part of the filename is NOT a major thing as part of my retrievals.

As I said in the OP, some places will have a very broad name (or maybe even no name) & some names will be very specific.  It’s doubtful that I would ever allow GeoSetter to cart blanch assign a place in the filename of every file that it geotags.  That’s why I asked about generating a list.  I may review the list & decide there’s little or nothing that I want use.  I’m glad to know of GeoSetter’s file naming features tho’.  I’ll have to check it out.  Some GeoSetter documentation would be invaluable.

I fully understand & very much appreciate suggestions that I shouldn’t think that I can build a filing system around filenames alone.  I know that I can’t, but it seems to me that including that info as part of the filename can’t hurt.  What are some disadvantages of descriptive info in filenames.

Generally, my files are named:  YYYY-99999-XX-0 Saigon
YYYY = year
99999 = sequence # (within year)
XX = Country (or state) code
0 = original (from camera), 1,2,3…for revisions
General descriptive name (usually, very, very general) 1,2,3 versions have “title” used in shows, competitions, etc.


Thanks, again.

Jim
 
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Sigi
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 12:00:01 PM »

Hello Jim,

I can not help you regarding your GPS question but I have a question for you. I understand that it is easy to find "Aunt Suzie" if you have it in the filename but what are you doing if you have on the same picture:

"Oncle Charly"
"Nephew Sam" and
"friend Joe"

are you putting them all in the file name?

Sigi
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JARHTMD
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2011, 02:38:34 PM »

Hi Sigi,

No, I don't include the name of every person, thing, place, etc in file names.  Maybe the "Aunt Suzie" example was a bad one, but what does "Aunt Suzie" in the filename hurt?  I've stated that I don't have a good way to find specific images of . . . whatever.  And as they say, "I'm getting behinder & behinder" on setting up such a system.  Way, way back in film & DOS (pre Windows) days, I had a pretty good system for finding whatever....much better than (I think) than many pros who would file their slides under animals, birds, people,etc.  None had an answer to exactly the question that you asked..."what if a photo has a horse, robin & Aunt Suzie"?  Back then, I assigned a number to each slide (see above) & entered it into my spreadsheet.  Of course, I had a whole lot fewer images back then & a spreadsheet had sufficient capacity.  I assigned codes like, LS-Landscape, NA-Nature, IS-Ice & Snow, etc.  It wasn't perfect by a long shot, but it worked (for me).  I could search for multiple categories.  Nobody else that I knew, could do that & I (personally) knew several pretty well known pros.  Then I fell behind in cataloging.

You know "the rest of the story".  I continued to fall farther & farther behind.  Then along came digital cameras & I now take many more photos.  And I'm travelling more, altho' I've travelled a lot for the last 25 years.  I've long ago given up on trying to keep some kind of database to lookup images.  It makes no sense.  I know there are much better tools now.  Any/all cataloging requires administrative overhead....you've got to put in the work now to save it later.  I know, it's like the old oil filter commercial...."you can pay me now or you can pay me later".  The fact remains, I'm years behind.

Here's a "for instance" that might explain a little.  Last fall I was in Vietnam.  We were hit by a thyphoon that caused widespread damage & flooding.  I have a lot of images of a photojournalistic nature that were taken strictly to show the flooding & devastation.  I took a lot more images of many other subjects.  I did not take a series of "flooding" photos & then take a lot of other photos.  They are "intermixed" as far as date/time/location goes.  Lacking a decent retrieval system, I can more easily find "flooding" photos by searching for "flooding" in the filenames than looking at 10-12,000 thumbnails.  That is one reason why "meaningful" filenames could be helpful to me now (before I've cleaned up years of cataloging neglect).

My question to you is "where's the harm in using "meaningful" filenames?"

Thanks,

Jim

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Sigi
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 02:20:31 PM »

Hello Jim,

I was in a similar situation like you about 2 years ago. My recommendation is to:

1.  buy "The DAM book" from Peter
2. Read it at least twice
3. If you are like me I was overwhelmed by all the info and I read it a 3rd time and bought the DVD and watched that twice
4. I followed the advice from Peter and did not work on the past but started with the new pictures. Once I was sure what I was doing I sorted out my "history files"
5. Regarding files names - the key for me is that irrespective of how many files you have you need a numbering system that is kept in order by the computer, the simplest way is YYYYMMDD_#### - I do not need any names of photographers in it because I do not have a company where you want to see already from the filename who took the pictures.

sigi
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 02:15:00 AM »

Here's a "for instance" that might explain a little.  Last fall I was in Vietnam.  We were hit by a thyphoon that caused widespread damage & flooding.  I have a lot of images of a photojournalistic nature that were taken strictly to show the flooding & devastation.  I took a lot more images of many other subjects.  I did not take a series of "flooding" photos & then take a lot of other photos.  They are "intermixed" as far as date/time/location goes.  Lacking a decent retrieval system, I can more easily find "flooding" photos by searching for "flooding" in the filenames than looking at 10-12,000 thumbnails.  That is one reason why "meaningful" filenames could be helpful to me now (before I've cleaned up years of cataloging neglect).

My question to you is "where's the harm in using "meaningful" filenames?"
"Lacking a decent retrieval system" seems a crucial statement.... Fix that, and then you wouldn't be seeking to work contrary to best practice.

Images often have more than one meaning. Is that an image of flooding, or is it of a boat? You need to use keywords and then the image can be given a vague filename (eg including the text Vietnam). You could then find it by searching for flooding, boat, Mekong, Mekong Delta, Vietnam, SE Asia, etc.

John
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JARHTMD
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 06:00:38 AM »

John (& everyone else) is absolute right . . . . "Lacking a decent retrieval system" seems a crucial statement.... Fix that, and then you wouldn't be seeking to work contrary to best practice.

I've started another (General Discussion) thread, "Need suggestions: Beginning anew going forward, go back later", in which I've asked some questions about creating a decent retrieval system.

Jim
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Roger Spencelayh
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 06:08:39 AM »



My question to you is "where's the harm in using "meaningful" filenames?"


Absolutely nothing, but there are problems searching by filename content. 2 that come to mind, a filename has a limited length, hence a limit to the keywords you can put in there. Secondly, filenames are typed, and so susceptible to spelling errors (please don't take that personally, I always blame the keyboard). Using a catalogueing system, I use Expression Media*, and keywords can be selected from a dropdown list. At least that way, if you spelt the keyword wrong the first time you used it, it's always spelt wrong. At least it's consistent.

Looking at your posts, your collection seems to run into tens of thousands of photographs. Do yourself a favour and invest in a catalogueing system. Apart from the advantages of using a purpose built piece of software, like using keywords, it will speed up your workflow, leaving you more time to earn money to cover the cost of your software, or take some more photos.

* Other media catalogueing systems are available

Roger
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