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Is is possible to define virtual folders based on metadata?


Olli-Pekka Isola
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Hi experts,

Does the Daminion allow to define virtual folders? Those folders should provide alternative (data driven) paths to navigate in photo catalogs. That is, the virtual folders are dynamically drawn from the metadata read from the photos.

I'll take an example, what I am looking after... In addition to great search capabilities, I would like to offer an user a possibility to navigate in photos in few predefined structures. For example, one three level virtual folder structure could be based on person's family name in first level, person's given name in the second level and year (from date taken property) in the third level. Another example could be a combination of the theme (custom property) in the first level and location in the next three levels (country, state, city) and so on. The system should utilize/expand the hierarchy, if the element of the virtual folder structure definition is the hierarchical keyword.

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9 hours ago, Olli-Pekka Isola said:

alternative (data driven) paths to navigate in photo catalogs

You may consider each Daminion tag as some kind of "virtual folder" and as Uwe suggested, if you need a logical combination of tags, you can define a Saved Search and give it name.

I see the folders only as  structure, how the items are stored. After importing an item into Daminion, I completely ignore the term folder, unless I need to do something with it outside of Daminion. This is basic idea of Digital Asset Management (DAM). Computer users tend to use folders instead of DAM, as long as they don't have any other solution, but that is not the right concept (in my opinion).

9 hours ago, Olli-Pekka Isola said:

For example, one three level virtual folder structure

Hierarchical tags can do this easily. Although not all tags allow creating hierarchies, the People tag does (and so does Keywords, Categories and several others). If you don't find an appropriate tag, it is easy to define your own custom tags.

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9 hours ago, Olli-Pekka Isola said:

The system should utilize/expand the hierarchy, if the element of the virtual folder structure definition is the hierarchical keyword.

After reading your post again, I understand better what you mean. I would rather call it a "Hierarchy levels based on different tags". Not sure, whether there is an easy solution for that, but a suggestion to the Daminion developers.

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I agree that data driven hierarchies of multiple tags, or as WilfriedB said "Hierarchy levels based on different tags", is against the idea of pure tagging. (Thanks, WilfriedB, to put it in understandable way!)

Due to the long history of file systems, the users are used to narrow down the results by navigating in hierarchical folder structures. There are use cases where it is still viable to provide few alternative hierarchies for users to navigate instead of exposing the full tag search facility. The nice thing about tags is that they allow the placement of single physical photo in multiple virtual hierarchies simultanously, since hierarchies are drawn from the metadata.

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One option could be to use the predefined Tags views. If you click the cog in the left hand pane you can see a list of views to the tag hierarchy. If you select Customize, you can create a new preset simply by writing a new name for the tag group and then selecting the tag hierarchies you want to show. E.g., your example on person and year, you would only select the People and Creation datetime tags. This is not exactly fulfilling your specs as the user can select the year and person independently.

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