Suggestions for Photo Management Software Shared Over a Network?
April 6, 2006 11:52 AM   Subscribe

I need to find networked photo management software, similar in function to Picasa or ACDSee, but with the ability to share "tags" between multiple users over a network. The products I've been able to find all allow tagging, but those tags are available only to that user, and my company needs to search the photo tags without each user having tagged each photo individually.

So an employee loads photos of a construction site onto the network. Then he goes through them, and tags them, for example, with what part is in each picture, then tags them all with the name of the site, let's say "Pinnacle Building." Then a salesperson needs to show a picture of one of a valve in the Pinnacle building to a prospective customer. The salesperson opens the software, types "Pinnacle Valve" and instantly finds all matching photos, without ever tagging them him/herself. A centralized database file would be perfect, and a product that offers an editable master tag list would be even better. Can anyone make any suggestions?
posted by XSteveMurphy to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Why don't you set up a private Flickr group? That would allow you to view them from anywhere, tag them, and annotate them.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:58 AM on April 6, 2006

Sounds like what Canto Cumulus does, although I haven't used it in a long time, so I don't know whether it uses a prescribed keyword list like you want.
posted by grouse at 12:00 PM on April 6, 2006

I second the flickr idea....probably the cheapest and easiest.
posted by nevercalm at 12:04 PM on April 6, 2006

My company does this with iView MediaPro... we keyword pictures using a centralized set of terms. Anyone can tag pics, or you can distribute a Read-Only viewer application if you don't want people mucking with the data. We can keep detailed rights clearance information with each picture, too.

It also does a nice job of storing multiple versions of pictures, so you can have cleaned-up/edited shots and still maintain the original without worrying about duplicate management.

And it's cross-platform!

(I'm becoming something of a fan boy, yes)
posted by bcwinters at 12:08 PM on April 6, 2006

Interesting. I'm in the same boat as XSteveMurphy. We're trying to set up an Extensis Portfolio system, but it's a long and arduous process... plus there's only the one machine with a 'real' set of images.

I love the Flickr idea, but how would that be at handling large (300 dpi, say 40Mb) files?
posted by ImJustRick at 12:13 PM on April 6, 2006

It'll handle them okay, it's the speed of up and download that you may find painful. Plus you may cross the 1G monthly u/l boundary pretty quick.
posted by phearlez at 1:35 PM on April 6, 2006

I hate hate hate every piece of photo-organizing software I've ever used, so I just use Windows Explorer for this.

Under My Pictures, I have a folder called Categories. Inside the Categories folder, I have subfolders called things like Travel, Landscape, Family, Buildings, Cars...

Whenever I upload a new bunch of photos, I open two Explorer windows: one with a Thumbnails view of the date-named folder I just uploaded into, and the other with a List view of the Categories folder. To tag a photo, I just right-click-drag it to the appropriate subfolder inside Categories, and select Create Shortcuts Here from the context menu.

That is: a tag is just a folder with a bunch of shortcuts in it. The actual picture files stay where they were originally uploaded.

It's easy to use multiple selection (shift-click or ctrl-click) to do mass tagging, and it's easy to add the same photo to as many categories as it seems to fit in.

The full facilities of Windows Explorer are then available (thumbnail and filmstrip views, detail views sortable by date, search, photo printing wizard). Windows shortcuts are smart enough to cope with the things they point to being renamed, too; so if I particularly want to rename the original photo files, I can do that without breaking the tagging.

All you'd have to do to make this work on your network is put the photo files and the tag folders on a network share. Salespeople could also create their own private Categories folders for shots they particularly liked, just by copying shortcuts out of the shared Categories folders.
posted by flabdablet at 8:38 PM on April 6, 2006

bcwinters, how does everyone tag the pics? Does that mean you have a full version of iview media pro for everyone? Or is there another way to go about doing this?
posted by edjusted at 2:02 PM on April 19, 2006

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