QromaTag

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  1. Aromatagr
  2. Qroma Tag
  3. Qromag
  • Tell QromaTag the date, location and people in the photo, and we create industry standard photo metadata.

  • QromaTag can embed up to 2,000 characters into a photo. Tell us your story and we can put it in the photo forever.

  • Import your GEDCOM file into QromaTag and we create a custom vocabulary so you can tag photos just by saying a name.

  • Flip up on any photo to see it's location, or drag and swipe to tag your photo to it's exact location

QromaTag is about photos and stories, and here’s mine. There were two events in my life that were key to building QromaTag. The first was losing my father when I was 28. I inherited his collection of photos and so many of them, especially the ones when he was young and traveling around the world, were a mystery to me. Many were striking in a way that made me wonder what they were all about. What was the story there? Where, when and why were those moments important? Without knowing the story, something about those photos always seemed missing. My second big epiphany was more ho hum. I worked at Apple when iPhoto was first released and soon I moved my growing photo library there. When iPhoto’s facial recognition feature was introduced, I was thrilled. Being able to find my photos based on people’s faces was amazing. I spent untold hours tinkering with this feature in hopes of tagging every face when disaster struck; database corruption. Without rhyme or reason; everything I worked for vanished. Gone were untold hours of effort, but I learned an important lesson about what kind of data survives and what doesn’t. From then on, whenever I spent time adding my stories to my photos, I used industry photo standard metadata written directly into each image, or I would never be sure if my work would be around for my children or their children.

How many times have you looked at a photo and wondered what was going on? If it was a print, you might be tempted to flip it over to see if anything was written on the back. Digital images have the ability to store so much more that the back of any photo could ever hold but with acronyms like EXIF and IPTC, few get it’s full benefits.. For my 40,000 or so images, this wasn’t a problem. I wrote custom tools that helped me work around the fact that most photo organization programs didn’t ever actually write metadata back to the image. They merely stored all your photo information into their own database. I was always concerned with precision. It wasn’t ever good enough to say a photos was taken in San Jose; it had to be the exact GPS coordinates, with as precise a date as I could muster. I’ve always looked at my own photos thinking about how my children’s children’s children would interact with them. What questions would they ask? What would it mean to be able to impart much more than just a scribbled notation about something that was meaningful enough to photograph?

It’s always been technically possible to put a story inside a photo. That’s the beauty of standards. It just hasn’t been practical for most of us. This is why QromaTag came to be.

QromaTag is an iOS application that makes it easy to put the most important parts of a story into any photo in a way that will survive for generations. Using two voice recognition systems that work in tandem, QromaTag creates industry standard photo metadata based on what you tell it about your photos. Using natural language, tell us the date, location and people that are in the photo and QromaTag takes care of all the technical details and embeds that information into the photo. Because these tags are industry standard, they will work on any platform, any device or any web service today, tomorrow and long into the future. With QromaTag, you can attach a description of of to 2,000 characters to any photo, ensuring that your future generation will experience your story in a way the ‘back of the photo’ never could.

Five teams made it through to the final of the Innovator Showdown competition on Friday, 10th February. Congratulations to Old News USA (1st), Qromatag (2nd), Double Match Triangulator (3rd) and Kindex with the coveted People’s Choice award! As one of last year’s winners, Twile were invited back on stage to give an update on what we’ve. . QromaTag – is an app that helps tag your photos. Tell the app the date, location and people in your photos and QromaTag creates industry standard photo metadata tags that are embedded into your images that go wherever your photos go.

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QromaTag will be the second product from San Jose, California based Qroma LLC. It shares more than a few genes with its sibling QromaScan, which is a book-like device that turns into a mobile scanning solution for iOS users. Both QromaTag and QromaScan share the ability to create industry standard metadata through the tandem use of two voice recognition engines. While QromaTag will see its first users in early 2017, it has benefitted from a year of upgrades, bug fixes and new features as QromaScan moved from version 1.0 to 2.0.

By far, our biggest challenge was related to voice recognition. For detecting dates and locations, there were a number of ‘off the shelf’ web services that we could choose from that were reasonably accurate. Where they fell down significantly was recognizing proper names. These ‘online’ recognition systems, which work very much like Siri, simply didn’t contain phonetic transliterations for anything more than an handful of common names. We nearly gave up completely before we discovered something we had almost dismissed. It was a ‘local’ or ‘offline’ voice recognition system that was based on some excellent open source work from Carnegie Mellon University. It allowed us to dynamically generate phonetic sentences on a device by device basis and keep that information local to just that user’s phone. What this meant was that we could use the user’s Contacts or a GEDCOM file as the basis for generating a custom voice recognition vocabulary that could recognize proper names with a very high success rate. Over the past few months, we have worked on perfecting this ‘tandem’ of recognition engines in a way that helps us capture the most important details of a photo with the tool most of our users know best; their own voice.

I started with a simple idea about wanting to help people protect their memories and stories in a way that would survive to benefit their heirs. Slowly the idea evolved until it had a name. It’s a twist on the Greek word for color (chroma) and giving it a unique name helped give it life. Over the past 18 months, we have sold QromaScan Lightboxes in 43 countries and this word has become a part of other people’s lives. More importantly, our app analytics give us an idea of how many images were scanned and tagged during that time frame. Knowing that we played a part in bringing these stories and images into the digital age in a time when the use of physical scanners is declining is quite rewarding, and I think QromaTag can do even more.

Loads and loads. I’ve had a nice career developing software for many well known companies, and things that I have worked on are in use by millions of people around the world. Building your own idea from the ground up has its challenges, rewards and learning opportunities. Perhaps the biggest lesson I have learned is that there is a delta between how you perceive something is going to be used, and how it actually is by people that were not involved in its design. Patience, customer input and iteration have helped us close this gap .

We are actively beta testing QromaTag now and working on developing the support material that will help users get the most out of it. We expect to launch worldwide on February 8th, 2017. We are also expecting to launch an Android version some time in 2017.

QromaTag is currently in beta testing, and we expect to launch it at RootsTech 2017. TestFlight versions are available for testing and judging purposes. You can download a before and after of the image that was feature in our demo video here. The zipped file includes the original untagged photo that was downloaded from Facebook, and the version that was tagged using QromaTag.

Submitted to

Created by

  • Qroma LLC

    Tony Knight
    Father, Inventor, Photographer and Traveler

Have you heard of metadata? Do you know what it is? Does the idea of it scare you? Caroline Guntur of Organizing Photos helps us understand the complexity and simplicity of it all.

We’ve all heard the term metadata, but for many, it’s an intimidating word. It can be really overwhelming to learn about this topic, just because of the sheer volume of information that’s out there. Typing the word ‘metadata’ into Google yields 125,000,000 results, so it’s no wonder that many choose to ignore it completely. But it’s a critical part of your photo organizing workflow, so in the next few hundred words, I hope to turn your overwhelm into curiosity, and get you to give it a try.

What is Metadata and Why Do You Need it?

Metadata is all of the information that is stored with your digital files. It’s the whens, wheres, whos, whys, and hows that describe your files, and put them into context. Context is everything. Without accompanying information, your digital files have no meaning, so we want to make sure that we are as descriptive as possible with all of our files. That’s a simple enough concept, right?

There are many types of metadata, for example:

  • Administrative metadata (helps you manage digital files)
  • Descriptive metadata (helps you find identify & find digital files)
  • Structural metadata (helps you order digital files & relate them to each other)
  • Preservation metadata (helps you migrate & maintain files over time)

Without giving you a longer list, let me say that you don’t need to learn everything about all types of metadata because not all types of metadata apply directly to the field of digital photography. Unless you work for an institution, you’ll mostly be concerned with descriptive metadata because that’s where the stories live.

[bctt tweet=”Metadata is the whens, wheres, whos, whys, and hows of your photos. @CarolineGuntur” username=”photoorganizers”]

What Metadata Should I Understand?

There are three main players in the metadata game that I feel every photography-lover should know and understand:

  • EXIF metadata (Exchangeable Image File)
  • IPTC metadata (International Press Telecommunications Council)
  • XMP metadata (Extensible Metadata Platform)

The EXIF metadata is also known as technical information about your digital photo. This type of metadata is embedded into the digital file at the time it’s captured. Examples include the focal length, the ISO setting, and the make and model of the camera that was used. If you are scanning photos, the EXIF metadata will include information about the scanner instead of the camera. However, the purpose of the information is the same: EXIF metadata shows you the conditions surrounding the creation of your digital file. This is helpful stuff to understand if you’re trying to recreate a photo in any way, or if you just want to get better at photography. Specs all the way!

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IPTC metadata is the type of metadata that cameras can’t quite capture on their own… yet. Who took the photo? Who is in it? What happened? This is where you come in. These types of descriptions tell the stories of the photos, and it’s your job to embed them into your photos so the two stay together. The technology to capture this type of metadata in more efficient ways is emerging as we speak (You can use QromaTags with your iPhone, for example), but the practice has yet to go mainstream. Until the day it does, it’s up to all of us to preserve our stories the old-fashioned way – by typing them into the right fields, and hitting save.

You may also have heard of XMP metadata. This is a format that Adobe originally created for use with their software applications close to twenty years ago. It’s a flexible format that allows for additional information, such as image edits, to be saved alongside the other IPTC metadata. XMP metadata is either embedded into the file (for file types that support it), or saved as a sidecar file stored alongside the original master file. This type of metadata is very useful because it’s not tied to photos specifically, but can be used with many different types of digital files, like graphics, videos, or documents.

Adding Metadata to Your Photos

Now that you know what metadata is and why you need to add it to your photos, let’s explore the ways to do it. Though you can add some metadata to your photos from your operating system, it isn’t the easiest and most productive way to do it. Windows users can access select metadata fields in the properties panes of their images, but some of those fields aren’t “official.” Mac users will face the same conundrum. Most of the metadata that you save to your photos in the Mac operating system doesn’t “stick” with the photo if you move it. It’s internal, a.k.a. ’system metadata’ only.

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A third-party software is your best bet for adding metadata to your images. Some great options include Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Bridge, ACDSee Pro, Photo Mechanic, and Mylio. Look for a software that lets you browse your files versus opening and closing them, not only for productivity’s sake but also for keeping the integrity and quality of the file intact. Though a software may be a purchase, you’ll definitely earn that money back in time saved because you can batch process your photos and use presets to be more efficient. More on that in the next post.

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Qroma Tag

What Fields Should I Use?

If you have ever looked at a metadata panel, you know that there are lots of options for adding different types of metadata, but the average Joe doesn’t have time for all of them. So what fields should you focus on? Simple – focus on the core fields that matter the most. I recommend using the following:

QromaTag
  • Title (sometimes known as Headline)
  • Description (also known as Caption)
  • Date Created (EXIF)
  • Time and Date (IPTC)
  • Keywords
  • Creator
  • Copyright Holder

The title and the description will show what the image is of (i.e. what), the dates will show you when, the keywords will let you find it fast (i.e. how), and the Creator/Copyright holder fields will show you the who. If you have the ability to add location information, that is also very useful because it shows you the where. All of them put together tells the full story of your photo, and that’s what we want to preserve.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Metadata is the digital equivalent of writing on the back of your photo, so if you’re not currently adding it to your files, I encourage you to start now. It’s important to remember that not all file collections will need the same types of metadata, so just like with other organizing steps, the metadata can (and should) be adapted to the collection its serving. However, adding even a little bit will help your future family understand your life better, and after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Learn more in Metadata & Photos, Part 2: Let Efficiency Rule!

If you need help organizing and preserving your lifetime of photos, videos, and keepsakes, find a photo organizer near you at the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.

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Caroline Guntur of OrganizingPhotos.net is a Swedish Certified Photo Organizer and Personal Historian, specializing in digital organizing and family history. She is the owner of The Swedish Organizer, LLC, a company that provides customized family history solutions to clients all over the world. Caroline also hosts webinars, workshops, and creates online courses.