Metadata is the digital equivalent of the penciled note you hope to find on the back of an old family photo. This guide shows you how metadata can help you organize and manage your photo collection and your family research.
Metadata is a wonderful thing – especially when you want to document the date, time and place for the digital and digitized photos in your family collection. There’s just one problem – it ain’t pretty.
If you are an iPhone/iPad user, there are a growing number of apps offering data details with style. One of those apps comes to us from Australia and it is called Supermatic [iOS – free]. With Supermatic you can combine photos with journaling, dates, places and even design elements to tell the stories behind them.
Using Supermatic I can choose a frame style for either vertical or horizontal photographs which also provides room for date and place along with any notes or comments I may want to add. When I’m done, I can export them to my photo library or send them off to my favorite social network. As these pictures are shared and passed on via email or social nets, the text and metadata moves with them.
Alone they are an easy and elegant way to share a photo and its details. With a bit more effort they can also become part of a delightful scrapbook of a special event, a vacation journal or anything you want to remember.
Supermatic is a free app, but there is a $2.99 Premium Upgrade Pack that adds the following features:
access Supermatic’s premium fonts collection and even install your own fonts for use in the app
save templates as favorites
adds a custom color picker tool so you can pull out a color from the photo to use with your fonts and graphic elements
use your .png image files
When you first open the app, you’ll find a link at the top right corner of your screen which takes you to a series of short video tutorials showing you how to use the app. Wtih Supermatic, you have image editing tools to crop, straighten and adjust the photo along with a number of pre-set filters. Here’s the video showing how to add and style a frame for your photo.
As you can see, although at first look the workspace looks quite bare, there’s an amazing assortment of tools giving you an impressive collection of design tools while making them all quite easy to use. This one shows you how to take advantage of the text tools. The app comes with a limited collection of fonts, but the $2.99 premium upgrade not only adds more fonts, but gives you the ability to install your own fonts. Nice!
There are a broad range of templates to choose from, but you’ll probably find you have favorite ones you use most often. Those can be saved as favorites for easy access. And, if you create a custom template with fonts, colors, etc. all you have to do is “favorite” it and it’s added to your collection of favorite templates. Here’s a look . . .
When your photo creation is ready, you have lots of options. You can save it and it’s added to the Supermatic album in your Photos app. All the photo’s metadata is saved with it. You also have a number of sharing options including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tap the …More icon to display your iPhone’s share sheet for even more sharing options.
One of the interesting things on the share sheet is the Slideshow option. Think of it . . . a photo slideshow that included the story with the photo. You’d just have to adjust the timing so there’s plenty of time for viewers to read the story. This would also add a new dimension to the standard online photo book service.
What a great way to have your photo and the story too!
Is your research still in the paper age? Here are a few signs: Do you have folders set up on your hard drive for each surname you are researching? Do you make copies of your digital files and save them in multiple folders? Do you maintain an index of these folders and the files they contain? Do you have a naming convention standard for naming your files and folders? Today’s technology offers a…
I’ve talked about metadata before, but usually as a way to make your digital photos more search friendly. Metadata is the descriptive information embedded in many kinds of digital files – not just photos. In Microsoft apps like Word and Excel, it’s called properties. Apple supports tagging all kinds of files. This DayOne journal entry automatically collected some metadata – date, time, location…