Media selection & tagging & locations

Having imported many media items from FamilySearch that are not associated with existing source or evidence records, if I then go to edit a record such as a birth or create a new source record I don’t see a way to attach an already imported or uploaded media record to it, only to upload a new one.

Alternately if I go to edit a media record I don’t see a way to create sources and evidences from it or associate it with an event.

Is there a way to do this without having to download and upload the media again and then try to delete the old media hoping I don’t accidentally delete what I just uploaded?

Having asked that, some further thoughts about media items and locations…

It might be useful to be able to tag the media type as being either a photo or document and perhaps have an optional subtype as well such as wedding photo, headstone photo, location photo, church record, civil record, court record, land record, military record, public record (city directory/phonebook), family record (family bible), correspondence, and maybe some others but those are the main ones that come to mind right away.

It might be useful to be able to tag specific locations as residences, churches, or cemeteries. Many locations are usually generic, but some are very specific and for good purpose. If the “Place Details” field contains a street address for a residence or the name of a church or cemetery I would argue when displaying it you should display that portion first. A marriage location would be “Saint James Church, Manchester, Hartford, Connecticut, United States” and not “Manchester, Hartford, Connecticut, United States, Saint James Church” which is how it displays now. Locations by convention start from the most specific identifiable place name and work out so to speak.

It would be nice to be able to associate wedding photos with the marriage event and possibly church location record, a photo of the church where the wedding took place with the church location record, of a house a family lived in with a residence location record, of a christening with the baptism event and possibly church location record, and any headstone photos with the burial event and cemetery location record. There may be other similar things but those are the main ones that come to mind.

In that line it would be nice to be able to look at locations so you could see all the people buried in a given cemetery or married in a given church or born in a given city. I know that can be found in the places report but a way to browse it online would be useful for family we share our tree with. It would be nice to be able to associate some notes/stories and other information with a given place/location as well.

I’m not sure how you could try to handle location names based on date, maybe that should tie in somehow as well. An event in 1743 did not occur in the United States, it occurred in British Colonial America. And the borders in Europe changed a great deal over time. I see FamilySearch seems to be working toward adding better support for that sort of thing which I think is good. In some sense that seems to be the one thing all the genealogy sites miss, the genealogy or history of a given location. The location has a modern name and many possible previous names as the country or administrative division it was in changed over time, many events happened in them over time, different photos may be available of them over time, and some of them may no longer exist being abandoned over time or destroyed in war.

Finally, just as you are looking at allowing users to specify the displayed date format you might want to support something somewhat similar for location abbreviations. Some users prefer USA, some United States, some United States of America. Some might want to use state abbreviations like NJ and others would spell out New Jersey in full.

Sorry if this is really several things rolled into one and I should have split them all out into separate posts but it all kind of flows together in my mind at the moment.

Unfortunately there isn’t a way to add an existing media item to an evidence, or similarly a way to add an existing evidence/fact to a media item. I agree it makes sense to do this; you’re the first person who’s asked about it. I’ll add it to the roadmap as a higher-priority item.

Tag media items also seems reasonable. How about a free-form “tags” field?

Regarding tagging place details, would it be sufficient to always display place details before the place?

Regarding browsing places, are you thinking of a google-maps-like interface showing all events occurring at each place, like we’re currently doing on ResearchLogs? (If you create a research log and add a bunch of evidences / stories / media to it, you can get a map view showing the places associated with the items in your research log.) I assume you’d want to basically have this same view but for every item in your tree? That would be fairly easy.

RootsFinder uses the community-editable place database from WeRelate: (another website that I manage). WeRelate has the capability to store different names and jurisdictional hierarchies for places over time, and people are working on filling in the data. RootsFinder recognizes all historical names and jurisdictional hierarchies found in WeRelate, and we pull over updated places from WeRelate about once a quarter or so. Since WeRelate is a wiki, various individuals are working on the places that are most important to them. Here’s an example page for England: Note that the page shows some date-ranges on the names and jurisdictional hierarchies.

By the way, you can enter place abbreviations if you wish. If you type “Chicago, IL, USA” for example, we will display the place exactly as you entered it, but will use the abbreviations found at WeRelate to link this place to

Thanks for making the media item stuff there a higher priority item, it is much appreciated Dallan!

Not sure if free form is a good idea. I saw you will give thought to the “Browse” vs “Research” type view and maybe something like that might come into play in how you construct a “Browse” type view. Sometimes it’s better to step back and think things through, and compared to some of the other things you have in the works it’s not that important at the moment and just a thought.

I agree displaying place details before place all the time should work fine, I can’t think of any way the field would be used that doesn’t fit in with the most to least specific convention normally used when identifying a place.

I will need to look at the Research Logs feature, I haven’t done so yet. But the map view of the events in a persons like fits nice into the “Browse” type view. I really like what FamilySearch just enabled with their new Timeline view and optional map.

I’ll also take a closer look at WeRelate.

Thanks again,

Putting place details ahead of place is a simple fix. That will be out later tonight.

Three more thoughts on the tagging media items topic again…

I would think at a minimum you would want to support a photo vs document tag like FamilySearch does so on the media wall you can filter to only look at photos and also only select actual photos for generating a mosaic?

It might be nice to have some way to filter photos on the media wall by line. i.e. I want to look at all the photos from my maternal Grandmother’s family line, paternal Grandfather’s family line, that sort of thing. That is useful for those who have lots of photos in their tree, a monolithic wall for 1000+ photos doesn’t work so well.

The idea of having marriage or other tags for photos doesn’t make sense in hindsight. The idea I was reaching for was the ability to associate a photo media item with an event like a birth, baptism, marriage, graduation, military service, residence and likely others. You already do that with evidences for media items that are normally documents, doing so for photos would facilitate creating a “Browse” timeline view as those could be shown as part of the timeline in place of the evidences shown in a “Research” view.

Ok, the photo vs document tag makes a lot more sense than general tagging.

I need to think more about attaching (non-evidence) media to events. I agree it’s a good idea and it should be possible, but I need to think more about how exactly to do it. I’ll add this to the roadmap so I don’t forget.

Just noticed that after adding facts during the process of adding an evidence item when you display the item afterwards it shows place detail, date and then place instead of date, place detail, place and there is no comma delineation between fields.

Oops, I will fix that this weekend.