DAM

Tagging Reinvented

How it works

picurl is a management application for distributed photo collections. It focuses on standard-based, storage independent photo tagging. picurl is written in Python and is available for Windows and Linux. But let’s see how it works in reality:

Step 1: Define your photo stores

First, you define photo stores in picurl, telling the program where you saved your photos. A photo store can be any device/media or service that saves/hosts your photos. To be more precise, picurl currently supports hard disks, removeable devices and media (USB-stick, mobile hard drives, CD-Rs and DVDs), HTTP and FTP servers plus the photosharing service Flickr (Picasa support is under development) as stores for your photos.

Step 2: Super-Fast-Indexing

After entering one little shell command, picurl indexes your photo stores. during this process, picurl looks for photos on your stores and saves a miniature version (thumbnail) of each photo to your user directory. picurl only requests a tiny fraction of the actual image data for generating thumbnails, so indexing is rather fast in most cases.

Step 3: Metadata conversion (done automatically)

This step makes picurl unique: picurl doesn’t just write the thumbnail to disk, it also includes the image metadata from the original photo. If you index photos from a photosharing service like Flickr, all tags and other flickr metadata are exported to the thumbnail too. The great deal about this: when you download photos from flickr.com, “proprietary” metadata like flickr tags normally gets lost. picurl preserves this information and converts it to standard EXIF/IPTC data, so that a wide range of applications (e.g. Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom, Apple Aperture) can read it. But how does this help you?
picurl also saves the URL of the source image in the thumbnail and turns it into a visual bookmark: when you want to download the original image, simply pass the thumbnail(s) to picurl. No need to remember cryptic URLs of photo galleries.
For the Photo-Geeks among you: picurl doesn’t rely on the presence of thumbnails/metadata in the source photo (EXIF/IPTC headers), it can also obtain this data from other sources (e.g. APIs, filesystem, HTML scraping…)

Step 4: Enjoy unlimited possibilities

Now you have a complete, yet minimum-sized offline version of your distributed photo collection… and unlimited possibilies:

  1. Browse your collection in Windows Explorer or IrfanView and right-click’n download the photos you want.
  2. Inspect the contents of ALL your photo stores at a glace with picurl’s powerful HTML Interface – you don’t need to insert your photo DVDs or connect to the internet for that.
  3. Run powerful, SQL-like Queries on your photo collection to find all images you took on your exciting Barcelona trip with your OLYMPUS 740Z cam.
  4. Send your friend Brian a best-of collection of his portraits within a small zip file – and let him decide what he wants to download.

Because of its standard-based approach, picurl can teamplay with many other image editors, photo management apps, file managers or other tools. We will continuosly update our tutorial section to give you more examples.

http://www.picurl.org


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