Photo archive - what to include/not include

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Photo archive - what to include/not include

As we have to assume that we don't have infinite space I think it's important that we think a little about what the photo archive is for. My ideas for this are as follows but I'm keen to hear what others think:

  • Only posting photos that have been named to species. Anything unidentified should go to the Identification Help section on the Forum until identified. I think it's key to have them all in one place. It will also help with searching.
  • We should include at LEAST a Latin name with the common name so again we can search through a large archive of species. I have certainly been guilty of not doing this!
  • I don't think we should limit the photos to rare or unusual species at all but I do think for common species we should only really post clear good quality photos. Otherwise we are just filling space. A record shot is perhaps a good way of showing other people what you have seen but is it of use on the website? I'm not sure! I don't like to put restrictions on anything but I'm also thinking about how put this out to a wider audience!

What do people think?

All of the above sounds

All of the above sounds really good to me. I'm guilty of posting the unclear, 'empid' photo, but that was when I was trying to upload it to the identification forum with no intention of including it in the photo archive.

I've just been thinking a bit

I've just been thinking a bit more about the last point in the above post and I don't think it's possible or fare to put restrictions on image quality as it's very subjective for a start and could put beginners off. We are after all, not after just 'best' with this website. Perhaps we should put something at the top of the page to say 'the long term goals of this photo archive include the creation of a high quality archive of accurately named species over a wide range of taxonomic groups to aid identification and promote conservation'. Or something.

Could there be an arguement

Could there be an arguement for things being too high quality? Whilst it's nice to see a fantastic piece of macrophotography of a damselflies head it isn't necessarily useful to identification should it be included? 

Image archive

First and foremost: decide what it's for. Is it an identification aid, a place for people to justify their ticks, show off their best photos (this should be "gallery"), get things identified? These are all separate albums. Archive means somewhere you put stuff you don't want to lose but aren't going to look at again.

To reduce disk space suggest a maximum image size, or downscaling after the upload.

Be good to have a statement on ownership of images --- so many sites are Grand Theft Photo! :)

Nice to include links to images published on other fora/websites without copying the image. ie store the URL rather than the image, but display it as the image, perhaps in a different frame. This would reduce the disk space requirements. Obviously it would have to be a public forum/site.

Don't allow an image to be uploaded without a title.


formatting of messages
  • Please change the message handling so my nicely formatted paragraphs don't get run into a single unreadable block.
  • Please allow posters to edit their messages so I could have corrected the above.
Useful stuff Malcolm. I think

Useful stuff Malcolm. I think your two requests have been fixed now, can you let me know if this is all adequate please?

Photo gallery thoughts

Been thinking about this Graeme, and trying to think of an angle that would make the photo gallery most useful. Most of the photos on there at the moment, including mine, are just there from either testing the website pre-launch or making use of it whilst we find our way. So thinking of potential reasons for posting photos on the gallery -

1. Gallery of images of everything and anything as an image resource

Problems with this are that for the gallery to be really useful, the indexing has got to be properly thought out to ensure ease of finding/retrival and also the protocol for naming/labelling files etc has got  to be consistent. But I guess the main thing is that aside from taking a long time to build up to a decent resource, would this just duplicate existing resources? And if there are gaps in existing resources then they'll still need to be plugged, quite likely by the same contributors.

2. Place to show off latest ticks / nice photos

That's fine, but quite a few people already have their own blogs for this purpose or could/will use the PSL website blog.

3. ID queries

Think the forum is the place for that.

So in the context of this website (finding/recording/listing/ticking) I'm trying to think of a slant that would make the gallery most useful whilst combining all of the above. Maybe it could be a resource that essentially alerts other listers to things they could go and look for, probably things that are slightly off the radar or obscure, or sometimes so common that you'd be hard-pressed not to find it if you knew about it. As an example: I found Exapion ulicis on gorse, put a photo on facebook and within a day at least one other lister had gone and got it. The point would be whatever you post a photo of, provide some details that give tips and hints on how, where and when to look for it and where relevent the key ID features or confusion species to consider. I'm not suggesting posting a grid ref for scarce/rare species, more a general habitat/region type approach. This would eventually create a great resource in particular for those trying to get into new orders and build their list whist giving others a good opportunity to pass on their experiences and skills. In this context, a photo of a common weevil with some details on how to find it would have PSL value and we'd have a great resource with purpose that complements other resources rather than tries to compete. Just a thought.


And if someone can format that huge incomprehensible paragraph as it was intended that would ge great ;-)

I was just going to post a

I was just going to post a comment on this subject but Skev has said everything that I was going to. But much more eloquently. I agree completely - as an ID resource, it would take a huge amount of moderating to ensure accuracy of indexing as much as ID. As a 'things to look for now' kinda thing, it could be extremely useful for all of us. And easy to search in future years as a reminder (more so than blog entries etc).

Yes, I totally see your point

Yes, I totally see your point and I think that's a good one. I'd like to incorporate this into a brief paragraph to appear at the start of the page. The other key reason for the photos that you have not mentioned is that it looks nice and brightens up the home page, with the the four most recent photos appearing. I'll put something together and run it past everyone.