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I work on large engineering projects and sometimes when we visit a site for a walkthrough or during construction, we take a lot of photos. Sometimes there are 2 or 3 different people also taking photos of the same or slightly different aspects of the project.

Has anybody found a useful software package for organizing all of those pictures and making them useful for referencing when writing reports or quickly hunting down when someone asks a question?

Our current system is just a folder structure that we dump photos into by topic and label with a date but sometimes finding a particular photo of interest such as where something was broken becomes next to impossible in a timely fashion when you can have upwards of 200 photos in a single folder.

The biggest feature that would add value is the ability to tag photos with items of note that may have been in the photo so they can be quickly referenced, but using the filename to try and go though everything is something of a waste of time.

  • Could you please edit your post and include on what OS the solution must work, plus how much money you'd be willing to spend in case of paid solutions? – Izzy Apr 26 '18 at 6:05
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You are in effect looking for a Digital Asset Management program. (DAM) with emphasis on photos.

In your case the only functionality you need is keywording. Many programs have this capability. If you are on Windows the best solution right now is likely IMatch Anywhere. https://www.photools.com/imatch-anywhere/imatch-anywhere-licensing/

Another solution is

Fotoware https://www.fotoware.com/product-tour

That said: Some other gotchas:

  • Make sure tht all the cameras are using the same time. This way when viewing the collection sorted by time, Mikes pictures of the melted reactor core will be near Dave's pix of the same.
  • Many programs allow bulk labeling on input. Using this, you can add the photographer's name to his batch.
  • Many also have a rating system. A good use of this is to consider each group of shots of an near identical subject under near identical lighting shot in a short period of time to be a "shoot" Then in ratings:
    • 1 star means you've looked at it, and didn't delete instantly.
    • 2 stars means acceptable.
    • 3 stars means you could publish it.
    • 4 stars means best of the shoot.
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The simplest way to get tagging and tag searches is to include the tag in the filename and then use GNU find or locate or a similar program to list files matching a given tag. find can also select files by modification time or access time.

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