This is a post on the process I have gone through to catalogue and tag my images. Instead of focusing on a few specific images I thought it would be good to reflect on how the cataloguing of the images has been changed on our site over the last 6 months.
Initially the images were catalogued by name, but when we came to having a series of sunsets calling them sunset and sunset #1 etc .. sunset #5 etc things began to get a bit confusing.
So we changed to giving the images reference numbers. Initially the reference number was allocated randomly, as they were added to the system. This is fine for a computer, but not really much good for humans.
Say the images have ref 100 (Landscape Collection), 101 (Plants Collection), 102 (Human Collection), 103 (Plants Collection) .. 159 (Landscape Collection), 160.. etc. The trouble with this was that now a human has no idea that image 159 comes after image 100 and rapidly caused considerable confusion.
So it was decided to allocate 1000 values to the left of the decimal and 9999 to the right to each collection type, as a reference. Potentially allowing 19999 images per collection!! This should more than cover future needs.
Having worked out a reference system that was fit for purpose as the saying goes. The aim was to add this to the system. Rather than having it in a data base, it was decided to use an XML data file, as it is lightweight and easy to store and handle data. Each web page reads the small XML data file and extracts all the relevant data required about that specific image, or image collection, or tag, location, date taken etc. In fact anything relevant can be stored against the reference in the XML file and read by the web page so long as it knows what it is looking for.
Scottish Flag in the Sky
Whilst doing this at the same time I was committed to having a certain number of pages up and running by a specific date. This lead to a dilemma as it was quicker to put up the simple pages that did not need all the XML data, for example the tag and location data. So in the end around 140 pages went up without the complete XML data.
Having met the deadline, all the new pages from then on have full XML data and I am now going back and adding the extra data for the pages that went up without it.
Sycamore Gap Hadrians Wall
Now as around a third of the images have a full data compliment added we have made live the page where they can be selected by tag
Of course this now raises a further dilemma as I need to go back and add the extra data for all the images that did not get the full deal first time round, and offset that against adding new images, like these latest images, which is a far more enjoyable activity. I have set myself a task of doing so many each week, with the aim of trying to be complete by the end of the year. We shall see if I make it. (Also this could well mean that my sunset names change, but we will have to wait and see until I get to them)
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.