RootsTech, Day 2.1 – Digital Images for Genealogists

The first breakout session I attended today was on Digital Images for Genealogists. Geoffrey Rasmussen of Legacy Family Tree was the presenter.

Right away, his emphasis was on using the highest resolution possible. Never make edits to the original master jpg or tiff file. He recommended as the ultimate resource on digital images.

His presentation focused mainly on PS Elements, the consumer version of PhotoShop, and Picasa. He also mentioned Heritage Collector, which was written for genealogists.

Rasmussen shared many tips for manipulating images and also discussed the benefits of tagging images for use and reference later.

I particularly liked the Picasa Face Movie tool that he demonstrated. It can show a person growing up/aging – perfect for genealogists.

He also talked about keeping images in the cloud. I was surprised to learn that Elements has options for this (I’m a PhotoShop user and it does not have this feature, so far as i know). Picasa also has cloud capabilities (but no smartphone integration without a third-party app). (NOTE: Actually, I’m hearing from others that it does work with smartphones!)

Another really neat tool he mentioned is the Eye-fi memory card for digital camera uploads, which can send pics to your computer or Picasa (and many other services) whenever it encounters a wireless network.


7 thoughts on “RootsTech, Day 2.1 – Digital Images for Genealogists

  1. taneya says:

    Sounds like a great session Missy! I use Picasa but have never used the Face Movie Tool. I’ll need to go look it up. A word though about Picasa. Android-based smartphones automatically include your Picasa Gallery in your images files on your phone b/c of the phone’s login with your Google Account. So, any images you have in your Picasa account are automatically shown on the phone; no third party app needed.

  2. Kerry Scott says:

    I’m sorry I missed that one; I use Picasa but haven’t used that tool. I’m going to have to check that out.

  3. Kevin says:

    I love the Picasa integration on my Android Phone. It’s great to have access to my pics when on the go.

  4. JL says:

    Picasa is made primarily for jpg’s and integration with other Google products. It’s extremely immature in its annotation options and is virtually useless for tiff’s, the format of choice for archivists. There are various other metadata corruption issues, some of them technically over my head but existent nevertheless. I wish people would get over the fact it’s Google and free. There is other free software that’s worth your time. Picasa is not. Try GeoSetter instead and come into the 21st century.

    • baysideresearch says:

      Hi, JL,

      I agree that there are better products out there and I use a variety of programs, ranging from free/simple to a cost of tens of thousands of dollars/complex, in my personal and professional work. However, Picasa has its place and has some capabilities that are unique and I wouldn’t dissuade others from trying it out. To each their own.

  5. JL says:

    I’ve written on my blog several times about some of the ‘hidden’ problems, including metadata corruption. It’s easy to be oblivious to them while being bowled over by the Picasa ‘cute’ factor. Then you might wonder later, “Ouch, why didn’t someone tell me?” Obviously, I don’t have a universal audience so I leave hints elsewhere. Take it or leave it.

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