Digital asset management (DAM) consists of management tasks and decisions surrounding the ingestion, annotation, cataloguing, storage, retrieval and distribution of digital assets. Digital photographs, animations, videos and music are samples of media asset management (a sub-category of DAM). The term “digital asset management” (DAM) also refers to the protocol for downloading, renaming, backing up, rating, grouping, archiving, optimizing, maintaining, thinning, and exporting files. [Wikipedia]
I have 20,000 digital photos from 2002 to yesterday in a folder on my computer. More are being added every week. I wanted to be sure I knew what I had, that I could find what I want, and that I had a backup in case anything went wrong.
I did a bit of research with Google into workflows and digital photos:
I looked at different applications for managing photo collections including Picasa, iPhoto, F-Spot and Digikam and used all four. I used Picasa on Windows and found it relatively straightforward but there are areas where the workflow could be streamlined: tags, metadata and file renaming. iPhoto on the MacBook running Leopard just works but there are no advanced tools that I have used other than labeling events. F-Spot on Ubuntu and Linux Mint worked well although I did manage to lose my metadata database acouple of time and had to rebuild. It doesn’t really have any work flow tools but it is easy to learn to use for the average home user / digital snapper. I came across digikam when exploring Linux Mint and it just happened to be at a time when there was a lot of development happening. Just in the last 5 months it has gone from 0.9.6 to 1.0.0 to 1.1.0 to 1.2.0. Version 1.3.0 is due out at the end of May.
Digikam has everything you need, and more, to manage your digital photo collection. From reading the posts mentioned above and also the digikam handbook and subscribing to the users mailing list, I have worked out a workflow that seems to cover all the bases.
- Take some pictures.
- Connect the camera to the Linux Mint 8 KDE box and have the digikam download manager open. Here I have set up a default metadata template for all my photos. This template is applied to all my photos as they are imported into the image library.
- I import the photos into date based directories like 2010-05-13.
- I rename the photos with a descriptive name, a number and a date/time stamp like “GlenClovaWalk_001_20100513.jpg”. I import these in batches according to the event.
- I delete the obvious duds.
- Once all the new images have been downloaded I then tag them according to Place, Event, People or Theme with further tags for specific places, people or themes.
- I run some rsync commands to backup the photos to three separate places.
- from /storage/Photos to /archive/storage/Photos
- from /storage/Photos to remote server backup directory
- from /storage/Photos to portable 250GB Lacie hard drive
- I back up to DVD when I have enough images to fill a disk.
- I then tweak selected photos, combining any bracketed images and merging panaramas.
- A further selection is uploaded to the Mixed Gallery site.
That’s about it really. When I am not adding new images then I try to go back to the images from pre-digikam days and systematically go through them adding tag and comment information.