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Open Source Software

Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization? 259

Wycliffe writes Like many people, I am starting to get a huge collection of digital photos from family vacations, etc. I am looking for some software that allows me to rate/tag my own photos in a quick way. I really don't want to spend the time tagging a bunch of photos and then be locked into a single piece of software, so what is the best software to help organize and tag photos so that I can quickly find highlights without being locked into that software for life? I would prefer open source to prevent lock-in and also prefer Linux but could do Windows if necessary.
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Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization?

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  • Simplest is best (Score:4, Interesting)

    by amightywind ( 691887 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @04:39PM (#48595855) Journal
    mkdir, find.
    • Re:Simplest is best (Score:5, Informative)

      by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @04:47PM (#48595903) Homepage

      Not sure why this is modded down. This was actually my first idea. The problem with this
      is that it effectively only allows one "tag" i.e. /2004/vacation/good/ /2004/vacation/bad/
      The only way to have multiple categories would be with a bunch of symbolic links which
      might not be too bad if there was a simple program to handle it. The other idea would be
      to actually store the meta data inside of each photo. That way the meta data shouldn't
      be lost if I'm forced to move to a different program assuming the new program can read
      the metadata.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14, 2014 @05:41PM (#48596269)

        I second this vote for using the file system to organise your images. This post may give me away to some of my friends, but I create folders using this template:

        [YYYY-MM-DD] Descriptive Name of Trip or Event

        This allows me to have multiple groups of images on a given day, say a lunchtime function and a dinner party.

        For groups that span multiple days I do this:

        [YYYY-MM-XX] Descriptive Name of Multi-Day Event

        If I go on a big trip then what I do is create sub folders with the date (using the same format) for each event or grouping or experience that I captured.

        If I have a folder of photos and want to make a small sub-selection. I make a folder called "pick" and put them in there. I may also do a low-res copy of that folder (and call it "web pick") and then I can email them easily to friends. I don't bother with links or any other garbage, 50-500MB of duplication doesn't matter a damn, and the backup software has de-duplication so doesn't care either.

        Finally, I've done this for almost 15 years and it's basically worked perfectly for me and I have a fantastic collection of photos going all the way back.

        Sorry, this the actual finally. Be very wary of *any* automated system based on a database or tagging system. The problem is that while initially they may seem awesome and great time savers, you will ultimately want to group [at least some of] the photos based on social, aesthetic and political assessments, and no automatic system can ever handle that.

        • I have maintained basically this exact same system for all my photos since 2000. It's easy since photo loading software will automatically organize by date for you, and then you just add the event description to the folder name. The only failing is when I am too lazy to add the event description and just end up with a lot of folders that are only dates. Sometimes, I will add a little description (AKA tag) to individual image files that are of particular noteworthiness to me. (E.g., pictures that are suitabl
        • by tsa ( 15680 )

          This. I have a few categories like animals, landscapes and the like where the date I have taken the pictures doesn't matter so much but most of my pictures are in [path]/happenings/[date][description]. All file names in that directory also start with the date and a description, followed by a number to keep them in a logical order.

        • That worked for me until I started uploading photos to Flickr and realized how powerful tags are for searching and organizing. I'd much rather have something equivalent for my local filesystem.

          • by azav ( 469988 )

            Even though the new Mac OS systems are pretty ugly UI wise, you can add tags to each file. This might be what you want.

            If not, you can have a program that simply creates a hierarchy of each of your files within a folder and gives a unique ID to each file and folder within your top level.

            Make a checksum on each file and apply that to the record for each file.

            You can then find the file or folder again if you move it from one folder to another.

            You can then create tags and apply them to the record for each fil

        • by dargaud ( 518470 )
          Exactly. Using the filesystem is the best and simplest method. I have images ranging 150 years and 10 Tb using this method and I can find things in a few seconds, either with the find command or by zeroing on the date. Fo old scans that aren't dated precisely you can simply use 'YYYY-event" or 'YYYYMM-event'. And it works on any OS and any media (CD, HD...) so you KNOW it'll still work when your granchildren will want to sift through your images.
      • With a good filename indexing system (I use the freeware "Everything" on Windows, still looking for a comparable Linux equivalent) you don't even necessarily need categories - if you're willing to add tags to the end of the file names:
        Myphotot1234___beach moon party.jpg
        Fire up Everything and type in "par oon", and the list of *every* file on your computer containing those character sequences is already displayed, add "bea" and you're probably down to few enough files that you can spot

    • This. Structure based on how you tend to look for things. For example, I put trip photos in their own folder as I associate them with a trip. Photos that fit a subject go in an appropriate main folder. I'm an ISTx MBTI type so name things literally which also helps search. Not only do I have pics dating back to the 80s but also was a professional video editor starting with one of the first broadcast quality non-linear editing systems, meaning being able to find a visual by name from scrolling, as no se

      • Organize into folders chronologically first! Add other keywords to the folder names and you can search on those to dynamically extract groups. But trying to pre-group in advance will cause you nothing but headaches... Picture on a trip with grandma in Hawaii. Does this go in "trips" or "grandma"? No, it goes in: "2013-03-04 trip to hawaii with grandma".
    • mkdir, find.

      If you are going that route, then you should know as well:
      img2txt: Show a small image in colour in a text console.
      asciiview: Show the image in fullscreen b/w in a text console.

      Yes, those commands work in a text console.

  • lightroom darktable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blackest_k ( 761565 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @04:45PM (#48595891) Homepage Journal

    my first thought was lightroom but darktable is free runs on linux( OSX too) and will also generate a database of your images.

    For image processing you would also want a 1GB or better graphics card to take advantage of GPU processing, not that you are really interested in that, other people maybe.

    • I was intrigued by your description and made an "aptitude search darktable" on my Debian system. It sure sounds like a nice piece of software I could have used for my gazillion photos.

      To my utter surprise, the software "darktable" was already installed, and, I had apparently tagged two images the late summer 2013. I had no recollection of that... But, an "aptitude search sparetime" gave me the answer. I didn't have that.

      The software may well be excellent, but, make sure you have both, the software and
      • To be fair there is a learning curve that can rival photoshop or lightroom however there is a pretty comprehensive manual to walk you through the features.
        However you will need to invest a little time to get the most out of it.

    • by rnswebx ( 473058 )

      Interested, I had a look at their website and got a little laugh out of what they had to say about a Windows build:

      Microsoft Windows

      Unfortunately the community of this commercial distro didn't natively build dt yet.
      But there's a better solution for you to try:
      Download and burn a live ISO of a Linux distribution.
      Reboot your machine.

  • Google Picasa 3 (Score:5, Informative)

    by sundru ( 709023 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @04:50PM (#48595923)
    Google Picasa 3 , I find this has a little bit of everything i need except duplicate file management.
    • Spot on. Picasa is fantastic.

    • Re:Google Picasa 3 (Score:4, Informative)

      by Pikoro ( 844299 ) <[init] [at] [init.sh]> on Sunday December 14, 2014 @05:30PM (#48596209) Homepage Journal

      Under the Tools menu, there is an Experimental sub-menu. Select "Show duplicate files". Then I just deleted everything that shows up. Seems to work just fine. It's not automatic or anything, but it works.

    • +1 for Picasa. I like that it is cross platform. Only draw back for me is there is no easy way to share its database. If you could have the database synced across multiple machines it would be an instant win.

      I also use pixfer to transfer the files from the memory cards to the pc. Its abandonware now and released free of charge but it reads the exif data from the files and renames them to suit. So my files are always placed in a director of the date the photo was taken and then the file is also renamed

  • Showfoto, a KDE app, is designed to catalogue image files. That's its only function. If you add Digikam, Showfoto is a front-end to this raw-developing and editing program.

    • Yeah, Digikam's the best i've found so far - but it doesn't work very well under gnome unfortunately, and i don't like kde. I've tried pretty much all the Linux photo organisation software and Digikam's best so far - even with its gnome incompatibility. All in all, the issue of managing photos seems to be constantly problematic.

  • Just post them all on "Hot or not"

  • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @04:56PM (#48595973) Homepage
    Unless you have some really workflow/hardware your source images are going to be in either JPEG, your camera's proprietary raw format, or both. JPEG supports a standard method of tagging via EXIF directly in the image that includes a "Rating" tag that any tool is going to use. If you are tagging raw files then make sure that you write out the tagging information into .XMP "Sidecar" files. This is an Adobe defined "standard" based around XML files, but it's extremely portable and just about any image editor/tagger that supports .XMP files will follow the core Adobe standard tags, including the ones for rating images, and since it's XML you'll always have access to the tag data if the worst should happen and to roll your own tools if need be. As long as you choose software that supports one or both of those formats, then you'll be fine and about as futureproof as it's possible to be.
    • This really seems like the way to go. You say software doesn't matter but the first couple pieces of software
      I tried to use seemed to want to create a database or some other proprietary way of storing the metadata.
      I would have no problem with a proprietary cache as long as the actual metadata is saved with the original
      image. Shotwell, picassa, digikam, and gthumb seem to be the more popular ones. Do you know if any of
      those support in-place metadata or is there something else you would recommend? Shotwel

      • by jrumney ( 197329 )
        I use Shotwell, and it definitely has an option to write the metadata to files [askubuntu.com], so you can recover it later or from another program. The database is necessary for search - you don't want it to have to open each file one by one to find the image you are looking for.
    • by rongten ( 756490 )

      Hi there,

      For archiving purposes, it is best to never touch the original files. It helps when you have thousands of files and during the years you have made backups on different places/disks.

      When you consolidate (because either you consolidate or you lose your photos/memories) if you have photos that differ only for the exif tags is a nightmare to understand which photos are ok and which are not.

      Always prefer programs that do not touch your photos. I recently found that one of the programs I used in

    • by abell ( 523485 )

      If anybody wants to implement such a system from scratch, I would advise against modifying the image files, since that makes deduplication and backups harder (you backup a file, than tag one copy and now have two different files).

      Building on some ideas I'm using in a backup software I'm working on [file4life.org] (please take a look and give feedback if you have some time to spare) I would suggest associating tags and exif info to an hash value of the image files. This way, getting info about a file would be: read file -

      • Personally, I definitely want metadata to be stored in the image file itself, because if you do it any other way, there's always a risk of losing that association. I feel you're setting yourself up for a disaster if you use a hash, because the moment anything touches that file for *any reason*, poof, that metadata is now gone. You're highlighted the huge weakness in your system, but then created a tautology by saying "but modifying the original files is a bad idea anyway". It's only a bad idea if you've

    • by crath ( 80215 )
      You're exactly on the money!!! What's needed is a cataloging app that keeps the canonical data store in sidecar files. Picasa is "almost" there. In recent versions it writes most of its data to .picasa text files (an open data format). This provides future portability because another app can read those .picasa files and the image files to rebuild the database. Hopefully, Google will continue to expand Picasa so that it writes all info to .picasa files as well as keeping a local database current. The lo
  • Keep It Simple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @04:56PM (#48595975)

    Keep It Simple
    This is something you want to work for decades.
    Don't get fancy.
    Don't use image organization software that will stop being supported or become useless with an OS update that kills off legacy software.

    Just name your files well.
    Establish a format for naming.
    Organize images in directories / folders.
    Use the operating system search feature.

    K.I.S.S.

  • Google Plus Photos - you'll be able to use regular search for your photos ("my pictures from Cape Cod", "blue", "pictures of fish", etc.) plus you can at any time use Google Takeout to export all your pictures to someplace else.
    • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

      sure, until they pull it.

      Have you heard they're planning on pulling the plug on GMail and putting up something called Inbox that's supposed to integrate with the desktop??

      The fuck?? I've used GMail for fucking years, I think I better start thinking about buying my own domain and running my own email server... the whole point of GMail was that I didn't have to run my own mail server!

  • by Dadoo ( 899435 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @05:20PM (#48596143) Journal

    As long as we're on the subject, I'd like to know about such software, too, but I'd like something that's OS independent, and stores images locally. My mom has an enormous collection of family photos, dating back to the early 20th century, that I'd like to catalog while she's still around. It would be nice if she could do the annotations on her Windows machine, while I organize everything on my Linux machine. Ideally, we could copy the images and associated data back and forth using a CDROM or USB key.

    • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

      LAMP it with a Mediawiki service (go cloud or local). No need to back-n-forth with any usb key, just drop a shortcut on her desktop and make her an account, it's just a case then of upload the picture, create a page for it with the metadata on it, job done.

      My images are organised on a mediawiki stack, paged by date. it works fucking brilliantly. Text search on what I type on the page next to each image, boom motherfucker.

  • by namgge ( 777284 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @05:29PM (#48596201)

    Based on my experience as an executor, you should pick the best one or two photos from each significant occasion, record the date, location and the people (forename and surname) it shows in a plain text file and trash the rest. Fortunately chronological order is both the easiest and best way of organising such a collection. Don't bother keeping pictures that don't have clearly recognisable people in them because it's only these that will be of any interest in future.

    Then, when you die your kids will inherit a nice collection of ca 100 family photos complete with enough information to make them interesting and give them a context.

    Namgge

    • by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @06:09PM (#48596441)

      Please GOD don't do this!

      If you want to create a best of album to pass on to your kids then by all mean to that. But don't trash the rest! Storage is cheap so there is no reason you shouldn't keep everything. One of the best finds I ever had from my great grandparents was a suitcase full of old photos taken around the turn of the century. Most of them were of random life, and even though I didn't know who the people were it was a fascinating insight into how they lived. It was only 110 years ago but I found the differences incredible and much more relatable in photo form then in a book.

      I have just over 60gb of digital photos now. Many of them are crap. Another chunk are essentially duplicates where I have taken 20 photos to capture a moment. What we do is put together a highlights book for each year. We actually print them using a company that makes coffee book style books. It's a lot of work, sifting through the images, editing and cropping them and then finally putting them together in a 40-60 page book. But it is so worth it. We now have 13 of these books and we will start on 2014 shortly.

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @05:31PM (#48596223)

    Adobe Lightroom. Nothing else even comes close, on OS X or Windows. It organizes sets of images on any combination of storage devices you want, including those disconnected-mostly archives that people with a serious number of photographs always eventually have. It has a tagging system to make searching easy. It gives you control of image metadata. It has most of the editing power of Photoshop with an intuitively easy interface, rather than one that has grown haphazardly bloatwise over the years like PS. It lets you archive everything in RAW if you wish. Editing is nondestructive, so you can peel off prior edits and re-edit an old image at any time. And yes, you can call your favorite external editor, including PS, when you need to do something really fancy.

    It's also the only Adobe product that is still reasonably priced and available as an installed program. The others now have to be rented on the company's cloud site.

    • I'm very much afraid that you are right. The biggest gripes I have with it is that (a) it comes from Adobe, and (b) the map functions don't work on a case-sensitive file system on Mac OS X.

      Adobe for reasons only known to itself absolutely refuses to support case-sensitive file systems for Mac OS X. For Lightroom this `only' means that the map functions don't work (at least in LR 4; LR 5 may be better or worse). For Photoshop it means that it can not even be installed on a case-sensitive file system; the ins

      • Adobe for reasons only known to itself absolutely refuses to support case-sensitive file systems for Mac OS X.

        I've heard of various other software breaking when used with case-sensitive filesystems on OS X - not making an excuse for that software, but what is the benefit of running with such a filesystem anyway? I'm genuinely interested.

        (I've been running with the default case-preserving, case-insensitive filesystems for a decade or more, and not hit any problems.)

      • by Malc ( 1751 )

        Timezone handling seems to be very weak as well.

        That said, I can't live without Lightroom. I guess I'm going to making LR5 last a very long time because I don't want to change to rental licensing a la creative cloud.

    • +1 for Lightroom. I manage over 50,000 photos taken over the last 17 years and I can find images very quickly. I think a task like this would be difficult without a database backed approach but that, of course, comes with trade-offs. Of course LR can write out any meta-data changes to the image files or an XMP file. I used to be an Adobe fanboi but with their new subscription model, not so much. I still think LR is the best tool out there.

    • by schnell ( 163007 )

      I'm genuinely curious - what does Lightroom do that iPhoto on OS X doesn't? I have extensive (non-professional) photo archives in iTunes for the easy import, automatic facial recognition, ease of posting to social media etc. but if Lightroom does really awesome stuff I would certainly consider switching.

    • Adobe Lightroom. Nothing else even comes close, on OS X or Windows. It organizes sets of images on any combination of storage devices you want, including those disconnected-mostly archives that people with a serious number of photographs always eventually have. It has a tagging system to make searching easy. It gives you control of image metadata. It has most of the editing power of Photoshop with an intuitively easy interface, rather than one that has grown haphazardly bloatwise over the years like PS. It lets you archive everything in RAW if you wish. Editing is nondestructive, so you can peel off prior edits and re-edit an old image at any time. And yes, you can call your favorite external editor, including PS, when you need to do something really fancy.

      It's also the only Adobe product that is still reasonably priced and available as an installed program. The others now have to be rented on the company's cloud site.

      You forgot to mention that it also has plugins for various online photo services, social media sites, etc. just in case you decide to want to share them with Aunt Betty in Ohio....

  • I use folders. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jtownatpunk.net ( 245670 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @05:35PM (#48596231)

    Vacation
      |--->October 2011 - Caribbean
                          |--->10-27-2011 - Jamaica

    Transfers to/from any platform with a copy/paste.

    I keep slimmed down albums (nee: sets) on flickr where I (and others) can add notes.

    • Folders combines with picasa for me. /yyyy-mm-dd-Jamaica/yyyy-mm-dd-imgxxx - Me before sunburn.jpg

      Picasa gives me xif data and tags.

  • I use a perl script and organize everything into YYYY/MM/DD directories and then links to another directory composed of sub-directories of tag names that I store in the exif.

  • by julian67 ( 1022593 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @06:10PM (#48596449)

    Print them all and put them in labelled shoeboxes.

  • digiKam (Score:5, Informative)

    by Demonoid-Penguin ( 1669014 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @06:13PM (#48596477) Homepage

    digiKam [digikam.org], free, runs on the major platforms, has the feature you've asked for and all the features you haven't asked for but, based on my experience, you will need.

    Quoting from:- [digikam.org]

    A digiKam Overview

    digiKam is an advanced digital photo management application for KDE, which makes importing and organizing digital photos a "snap". The photos are organized in albums which can be sorted chronologically, by folder layout or by custom collections.

    Tired of the folder constraints? Don’t worry, digiKam also provides tagging. You tag your images which can be spread out across multiple folders, and digiKam provides fast and intuitive ways to browse these tagged images. You can also add comments to your images. digiKam makes use of a fast and robust database to store these meta-informations which makes adding and editing of comments and tags very reliable.

    digiKam makes use of KIPI plugins for lots of added functionalities. KIPI (KDE Image Plugin Interface) is an initiative to create a common plugin infrastructure for digiKam, KPhotoAlbum, and GwenView. Its aim is to allow development of image plugins which can be shared among KDE graphical applications.

    An easy-to-use interface is provided that enables you to connect to your camera and preview, download and/or delete your images. Basic auto-transformations can be deployed on the fly during image downloading.

    Another tool, which most artists and photographers will be familiar with, is a Light Table. This tool assists artists and photographers with reviewing their work ensuring the highest quality only. A classical light table will show the artist the place on the images to touch up. Well in digiKam, the light table function provides the user a similar experience. You can import a photo, drag it onto the light table, and touch up only the areas that need it.

    Note: it's not very stable if you insist on running it on Windoof. Very reliable on Linux, I haven't tried with OSX.

    Features [digikam.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That doesn't mention something I consider to be a great feature of digikam's tagging system: it can store it in the EXIF data instead of an internal database. Helps solve the submitter's lock-in avoidance and lets you use things like exiftool and some scripting to search for tags and perform arbitrary actions on matching files.

      It's likewise nice that the albums are sorted using the filesystem hierarchy in a human-readable way, rather than using some freakish database scheme

    • Yes, Digikam's good - so long as you use kde. I don't, but i put up with its annoying gnome incompatibilities because it's the best there is - and i've tried all the rest.

  • About a week ago I was talking to a couple people who had a very interesting startup. They were working on an application which would "gamify" your media collection (images and videos) and let you play a game where you would identify and sort your digital memories.

    I don't know where do they sit on this, maybe it was at concept stage, maybe it was more advanced, I didn't ask. But I'll ask and let you know. Sounded like a pretty neat concept, though, and I'd definitely buy such a game which would turn what's

  • Drupal with something like the Node Gallery module would allow you to easily upload entire galleries, tag them all, quickly search through them, and even allow you to share them with the world with authentication if you choose.
  • by Holistic Missile ( 976980 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @06:25PM (#48596529)
    If you are tagging jpeg files, just use Windows explorer.

    Right-click on the file, and select 'Details'. The EXIF tags are shown and can be edited here. Title, subject, rating, tags, comments, etc.

    You can ctrl-select multiple files and edit the data that will be the same on all of them at once. For example, select all 50 photos from your vacation, and give them the subject 'Vacation 2014'. These tags are part of each file, and are indexed and searchable on Windows and OSX. I haven't tried it on Linux or FreeBSD yet, but I would imagine one of the various desktops' search functions will search (and index?) the tags.
    • Sorry - right-click -> Properties -> 'Details' tab :-)
    • Just tried this. To me this is a hands-down winner.

      The meta-data is stored in the .jpg so does not rely on some fragile external meta-data file and the ease of use is there too.
      • The beauty of using the integrated metadata is that you can organize the photos by creating search folders, or just doing searches. A search folder searching for 'Vacation' will always have all of your vacation files in it, and will automatically include new photos with 'vacation' in the tags. You can then narrow down by year, location, or whatever else you've included in your files.
      • But SOOOOO slow and painful to do it this way! You will be tagging to the end of time with a right click multi menu approach.

        Use something like image tagger or one of the other dedicated applications which allows you to add data to the exif tags without the pain of using explorer.

        • I just loaded up Image Tagger. It asks me for the EXIFTOOL on startup and wants me to browse folders for one and did not see any Windows shell integration.

          It might be great once setup, but I'll never be spending that hour to figure it out because I would spend that hour trying to find a more user-friendly tool.
          • http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/... [queensu.ca]

            exiftool is an opensource perl library. You can do everything Image Tagger does on the command line with exiftool. Image tagger however does all the hard work of building the commands for you.

            • I fully believe it is a powerful tool and useful tool. But I wouldn't be able to say to someone in my family "hey you should use this". They would never figure it out.

              I do appreciate the information you provided and maybe I will end up personally using it to tag my photos, because I do agree that 3 or 4 clicks on every file is certainly a waste of time.
    • I also recommend editing the EXIF data on the files themselves. it's the only platform-independent way I've found so far. I do the same with MP3 files.

      BTW, Windows Media Player is a pretty good photo organiser and it makes editing EXIF data individually and in bulk easier. After that, you use Shotwell in Linux or some more photo-friendly app to browse them.

  • You organize the photos and folders any way you like. It does not modify any original photo or image file. Instead it scans the folders for new files, builds indexes such that you can view the photos either by folders, or by albums or by tagged faces etc. You can add captions to photos, and folders, search based on wild cards and then create an album out of search results. Has some other features like making collages out of selection, keeping a few albums synched with on line sharing, making slide show movi
  • You don't have to use software that was written for organizing photos. First figure out the attributes that you care about (ex: year, location, occasion). Then:

    Put the file names and attribute information into a spreadsheet. One row per photo. First column for the file name, then one column per attribute (year, etc.). Then you can search, sort and filter the spreadsheet, to find certain kinds of photos. If there are too many photos for one spreadsheet, split them up into several spreadsheets. (Ex: one sprea

  • by Enry ( 630 )

    It's pretty bad out there for organization and storage. I tried using just flat directories by date as others mentioned but then it became difficult to find things when you didn't know when the event happened. Then I went with Gallery, but it got comment spammed. Then I went with Gallery 2, but that POS is a total disaster, enough that the entire project seems to be shut down.

    I'm using smugmug now. Easy to upload and download, they have a fairly open API for writing your own interface, and you can easil

  • Aperture [apple.com] (yes it's on an Apple Mac) is the best thing I ever tried to organize / rate / tag index / enhance etc... pictures.
  • metadata, tags, keywords, content types, and more.
  • Tagging, Tag cloud, organizing by event, upload capable from portable devices as well as computers. Written on a LAMP system (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP). I have a special tag to identify pictures I want to rotate through the main page. It's still not quite where I want it to be but my stuff generally is a work in progress.

    Write it yourself. You'll learn quite a lot and invest time into your photos :)

    [John]

  • Privacy, copyright, resolution, and control issues aside, it seems like Facebook currently has the best software for collecting, cataloging, and tagging images. The facial recognition in Facebook is even excellent, automatically suggesting to tag friends accurately in poorly lit, blurry shots. The timeline, album, and geographical features are great, with the biggest weakness is usually bandwidth to sync a large bulk of photos in one go.

    I am certainly not suggesting he use Facebook, quite the opposite. I
  • I am aware that the original poster wants to use Linux and may be talked into using Windows but probably not into buying a Mac. But since other people will have the same question and some of them may be Mac users, here it goes:

    Many responders have already suggested creating ingenious folder structures that will help you keep a basic level of organization to the photo collection. Use any of those systems, and augment it by making use of OS X's extremely useful tagging feature [arstechnica.com].

    Furthermore, there are many appl

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