Image organizer

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An image organizer or image management application is application software focused on organizing digital images.[1][2] Image organizers represent one kind of desktop organizer software applications.

Common image organizers features[edit]

  • Multiple thumbnail previews are viewable on a single screen and printable on a single page. (Contact Sheet)
  • Images can be organized into albums
  • Albums can be organized into collections
  • Adding tags (also known as keywords, categories, labels or flags). Tags can be stored externally, or in industry-standard IPTC or XMP headers inside each image file.[3]
  • Resizing, exporting, e-mailing and printing.

Not so common, or differentiating features[edit]

  • Pictures can be organized by one or more mechanisms
    • Images can be organized into folders, which may correspond to file-system folders.
    • Images may be organized into albums, which may be distinct from folders or file-system folders.
    • Albums may be organized into collections, which may not be the same as a folder hierarchy.
    • Grouping or sorting by date, location, and special photographic metadata such as exposure or f-stops if that information is available. See Exif for example.
    • Images can appear in more than one album
    • Albums can appear in more than one collection
    • Grouped or stacking of images within an album, by date, time, and linking copies to originals.
    • Adding and editing titles and captions
  • Simple or sophisticated search engines to find photos
    • Searching by keywords, caption text, metadata, dates, location or title
    • Searching with logical operators and fields, such as "(Title contains birthday) and (keywords contain cake) not (date before 2007)"
  • Separate backing up and exporting of metadata associated with photos.
  • Retouching of images (either destructively or non-destructively)
  • Editing images in third-party graphical software and then re-incorporating them into the album automatically
  • Stitching to knit together panoramic or tiled photos
  • Grouping of images to form a slideshow view
  • Exporting of slideshows as HTML or flash presentations for web deployment
  • Synchronizing of albums with web-based counterparts, either third-party (such as Flickr), or application specific (such as Lightroom, Phase One Media Pro, Photo Supreme and Picasa)
  • Retention of Exif, IPTC and XMP metadata already embedded in the image file itself

Two categories of image organizers[edit]

  • Automatic image organizers. These are software packages that read data present in digital pictures and use this data to automatically create an organization structure. Each digital picture contains information about the date when the picture was taken. It is this piece of information that serves as the basis for automatic picture organization. The user usually has little or no control over the automatically created organization structure. Some tools create this structure on the hard drive (physical structure), while other tools create a virtual structure (it exists only within the tool).
  • Manual image organizers. This kind of software provides a direct view of the folders present on a user's hard disk. Sometimes referred to as image viewers, they only allow the user to see the pictures but do not provide any automatic organization features. They give maximum flexibility to a user and show exactly what the user has created on his hard drive. While they provide maximum flexibility, manual organizers rely on the user to have his/her own method to organize their pictures. Currently there are two main methods for organizing pictures manually: tag and folder based methods. While not mutually exclusive, these methods are different in their methodology, outcome and purpose. Presently, many commercial image organizers offer both automatic and manual image organization features. A comparison of image viewers reveals that many free software packages are available that offer most of the organization features available in commercial software.

Future of image organization[edit]

There are several imminent advances anticipated in the image organization domain which may soon allow widespread automatic assignment of keywords or image clustering based on image content:[4]

  • colour, shape and texture recognition[5] (For example, Picasa experimentally allows searching for photos with primary colour names)
  • subject recognition[6]
  • fully or semi-automated facial, torso or body recognition[7][8] (For example, FXPAL in Palo Alto experimentally extracts faces from images and measures the distance between each face and a template.)
  • geo-temporal sorting and event clustering.[9] Many software will sort by time or place; experimental software has been used to predict special events such as birthdays based on geo-temporal clustering.

In general, these methods either:

  • automatically assign keywords based on content, or
  • measure the distance between an unclassified image and some template image which is associated with a keyword, and then propose that the operator apply the same keyword(s) to the unclassified images

Notable image organizers[edit]

Name OS License Metadata Geotagging Facial
Recognition
Synchronizes
with Online
Library
Notability
ACDSee Windows Commercial Yes IPTC Exif XMP Yes No Yes ≤ 25 GB to ACDSee online, flickr, SmugMug,

and Zenfolio

Supports: >100 file formats, Unicode, batch processing, viewing

contents of archives formats, non-destructive editing, DB export, R/W to

CD, VCD, DVD. Contains: SMTP email client, FTP transport, duplicate 

file finder.

Adobe Photoshop Album Windows and Mac OS X Yes No No This product has been discontinued.
CodedColor PhotoStudio Pro Windows Commercial Yes IPTC No No
Daminion Windows Commercial Yes IPTC Exif XMP Yes No No Has a server-based version for local networks.
DBGallery Windows Commercial Yes IPTC Exif XMP Yes No No Special focus on utilizing image meta-data for finding, exploring and

organizing photos. Multi-user shared database.

digiKam KDE (Linux, Mac OS X, Windows) Free, GNU General Public License Yes IPTC Exif XMP Yes Yes Yes

23hq, Facebook, Flickr, Gallery2, Piwigo, SmugMug.

Image management application database, deals with collections of

100,000's of photos

FastStone Image Viewer Windows Freeware (for non-commercial use), Proprietary Yes Exif
F-Spot Unix Free, GNU General Public License Yes
Geeqie Unix Free, GNU General Public License Yes No No
gThumb Unix Free, GNU General Public License Yes
IMatch Windows Commercial Yes
iPhoto Mac OS X Commercial Yes Yes Yes Yes
JBrout Windows, Linux Free, GNU General Public License Yes IPTC
KPhotoAlbum Unix Free, GNU General Public License v2
Lightroom (Adobe Photoshop) Windows and Mac OS X Commercial Yes IPTC Exif XMP No Yes PicasaWeb, Flickr, Piwigo, SmugMug with

plugins

Professional image management application database, asychronously

catalog DVD collections of 10,000's of photos

Phase One Media Pro Windows and OS X Commercial Yes IPTC Exif XMP No No No Phase One Media Pro is a professional photo manager that makes it easy
to manage both photo and video assets. Supports over 100 file formats. 

Asynchronously manage, add keywords and ratings to catalog with up to 500.000 photos.

Photo Supreme Windows and OS X Commercial Yes IPTC Exif XMP Yes No Yes Cross platform photo manager available as a standalone and multi user edition
Picasa/PicasaWeb Windows, OS X and Linux Freeware Yes IPTC Yes Yes Yes (PicasaWeb only) 1 GB free online storage, integrated with Google online

tool suite

PicaJet Windows Commercial Yes Exif IPTC XMP Yes Flickr, Fotki.com Multi-user database access, unlimited category-nesting levels, hiding

private images, support for more than 60 image file formats

Phototheca Windows Freeware Yes Exif IPTC Import photos into library, organize, view and sort basing on

metadata. Detects duplicates, hide private photos.

ResourceSpace Cross-platform[which?] Free, BSD license Yes IPTC XMP Exif Open source Digital Asset Management solution.
Shotwell Linux Free, GNU Lesser General Public License 2.1 Yes Exif IPTC XMP No No Yes Facebook, Flickr, PicasaWeb, Piwigo non-destructive editing, one-click autoenhance
Shutterfly Studio Windows Freeware Yes
TSR Photo Manager Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 Freeware for personal use Yes IPTC Exif XMP No No Yes Facebook, Flickr, TwitPic TSR Photo Manager is optimized for sorting and categorizing thousands of photos in a fast and simple way
ViewMinder Windows XP and 2000 Discontinued in 2007
Windows Photo Gallery Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 Freeware Yes IPTC Exif XMP Yes Yes Yes SkyDrive, Facebook, Flickr, Inkubook plus more
with plugins
SkyDrive offers 7 GB of free online storage. The latest

version of the suite drops the Windows Live portion of the name and is no longer compatible with Windows XP or Windows Vista

XnView Windows and Unix-like Freeware (limited) Yes IPTC Exif
Zoner Photo Studio Windows Commercial Yes Exif IPTC XMP Yes No Using HTML templates

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cynthia Baron and Daniel Peck, The Little Digital Camera Book, July 1, 2002 pp:93
  2. ^ Julie Adair King, Shoot Like a Pro! Digital Photography July 28, 2003 pp:21-23
  3. ^ "Who’s got the tag? Database truth versus file truth" by Jon Udell 2007
  4. ^ http://www.oreillynet.com/digitalmedia/blog/2007/03/lightroom_and_the_future_of_or.html Lightroom and the future of organizing photos
  5. ^ http://www.ctr.columbia.edu/~jrsmith/html/pubs/PAMI/pami_final_1.html Automated Image Retrieval Using Color and Texture (1995)
  6. ^ http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1232330.1232374&coll=GUIDE&dl=GUIDE Content-based object organization for efficient image retrieval in image databases (2006)
  7. ^ http://hcil.cs.umd.edu/trs/2004-15/2004-15.pdf Semi-Automatic Image Annotation Using Event and Torso Identification
  8. ^ http://www.ercim.org/publication/Ercim_News/enw62/wilcox.html Managing Digital Photo Collections
  9. ^ http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=957093 Temporal event clustering for digital photo collections

Additional reading[edit]

  • Multimedia Information Retrieval and Management: Technological Fundamentals and Applications by David Feng, W.C. Siu, Hong J. Zhang
  • Multimedia Networking: Technology, Management, and Applications by Syed Mahbubur Rahman
  • Multimedia and Image Management by Susan Lake, Karen Bean

External links[edit]