Your holiday photos are part of big data.
Peter Sweeney – Waterford Technologies
Many years ago when I was young, I spent hours annoying my mother with sinks full of chemicals trying to keep them around 40 degrees to process my colour slide films. The bathroom shower rail was a hanger for numerous strips of drying film. I had a couple of cameras and a range of lenses and as a hobby it was all consuming. I carried my Nikon F2 around absolutely everywhere like a battered war correspondent.
Over the last 15 years, I had been taking pictures less and less as the cost of film rose, it became less available and the cost of developing rose year on year. High street photo labs closed down and the reason was that digital photography had arrived. But, for a photographer brought up on high quality Kodachrome 64 film, the end results from the early (and some recent) cameras were less than impressive. So, I ended up with a small point and shoot digital camera for holidays that fits in your pocket for the last 10 years.
I thought, if I want to share my old film photos on line, then I can scan them. Well, I tried that. For a good scan that captured all of the detail in a slide transparency it took 20 minutes and created a file of 60Mb i.e. big and a lot of data to store, sort and archive!
Fortunately for old school died in the wool film photographers, the last couple of years have seen the arrival of what are called “full frame” cameras. These have a sensor that replicates the size of the old film cameras and give the same perspective and depth of field as the old film cameras with old lenses. They are now (just) affordable for a keen photographer and having got mine recently, I have set about filling memory card after memory card with loads of data sometimes at 6 frames per second.
However, this brings it’s own problems. At full resolution the images produced are up to 40Mb in size. One card can capture 500 x 40Mb images and there are two in my camera! So, I have had to use dedicated software to index and archive the data that makes up my of collection of photos and then get a second disc to back up the images with another external one to act as a further back up and then send the best ones to the cloud for extra security! The bad photos I delete.
Which brings me to an interesting point. The photo files are digital files. The image and colour details are just ones and zeros on a magnetic disc. Those ones and zeros in another order could be your accounts in Excel spreadsheet format or an email containing a vital contract.
File Archiving is Vital for Everyone
I can manage my data on my home PC by spending a lot of time working at it. But for an IT manager with 10 or 100 or 1000+ users this is an impossible task to do manually. File archiving is vital for everyone, from the photographer to an architect or doctor or accounts clerk. You won’t have the rights to manage your data on a company network. The IT team have to do this. There are tools out there to make this the simplest job imaginable and it is vital to do so even if your Iphone is now your only camera!