Dark Ages 2.0


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Presentation given at Oxford Geek Night 16 (OGN16) about the difficulty in archiving and cataloguing digital photos for future generations.

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  • Roman empire collapse Dark ages lasted until ~1000AD
  • Family Social History Dark Ages Caused by loss of data
  • Having a family has got me to think about this issue more. Recording our family history for my daughters future generations Currently 8000 pictures in iphoto. Tagging/descriptions all held in proprietory database
  • The problems will be seen in future decades Photographs since ~1850 (Box browning 1900) Very recent phenonmenon 2000 start of digital camera use The cause of the problem is happening now 2 Big problems Backing up of photos Cataloging
  • Daughters Great, Great, Great Grandmother Taken in 1887 123 Years old 123 years from now Daughters great, great, great Grandchildren in 2133
  • The Past   Until recently photos & negatives just 'chucked in a box'  Not a bad backup strategy Worked for generations
  • Now we have digital data to backup We all know a backup is a good idea
  • Lots of options for it Moving backups forward on formats Mechanical life of a hard drive Nobody will have a usb port in 123 years to plug the drive into (if it starts!)
  • It needs to be done
  • How many average people on the street do you know now who do not have backups of pictures. How many of you know of people who have lost pictures, sometimes priceless memories - weddings, holidays, people no longer with us?
  • 'Average' people do not understand/not interested incremental backups, migration, testing backups?
  • Obviously we have all our images back up, right? Multiple copies? Off site? Tested?
  • Mobile phones Do you back these up? Free services - long term viability?
  • 2nd Issue Meta Data Two options Together Seperate
  • Old photos written on back
  • Imagine if great great great relatives had numbered photos and wrote all meta data in a notebook, would the two still be together now?
  • Must keep data & images together. 1 file corrupt - all meta-data gone Software that comes with a camera, will it be around in future, data format?
  • Keep the meta-data with the picture
  • Meta-Data Standards   In computing we like standards - that's why we have so many of them.     XMP IPTC EXIF JFIF MakerNotes - problem like a RAW format (EXIFTool does understand some MakerNotes) Works for jpg and raw, though ideally want to convert raw to DNG for long term storage. Some photo software store bits in exif (and can remove other bits - Picassa) others don't at all - iPhoto.
  • Work natively with meta-data Descriptions / Ratings / GPS co-ordinates All stored in the image DigiKam to use Really my photos are just folders with all meta-data in the pictures. Most likely to endure over time
  • Dark Ages 2.0

    1. 1. Dark Ages 2.0
    2. 2. Dark Ages 1.0 410AD
    3. 3.    
    4. 4. Dark Ages 2.0  
    5. 5. Photo of Amelie  
    6. 6. A future problem  
    7. 7.  
    8. 8. Box of photos   www.flickr.com/photos/chandramarsono
    9. 9.     www.flickr.com/photos/godog/317312073
    10. 10. Picture of hard drives usb keys etc   www.flickr.com/photos/sundazed/2850194486 www.flickr.com/photos/jaymis/3190462946
    11. 11.     www.flickr.com/photos/roadhunter/68017745
    12. 12. pic of non IT people   www.flickr.com/photos/nep/4083253361
    13. 13. What is a browser? <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4MwTvtyrUQ </li></ul><ul><li>8% </li></ul>
    14. 14. picture of IT geek   www.flickr.com/photos/leader_maximo/2974206217
    15. 15.  
    16. 16. Meta-data   www.flickr.com/photos/saltatempo/323462998
    17. 17. Old family Picture  
    18. 18.   www.flickr.com/photos/sometoast/2282891409
    19. 19.  
    20. 20.   www.flickr.com/photos/freeparking/472851914
    21. 21.   MakerNotes
    22. 22.  
    23. 23. Most likely to survive digital pictures of this era - printed?