RootsTech 2015

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cracking the Code -- Figuring out how FamilySearch Photos Find Function works

I have been confronting a really puzzling issue. I am working in FamilySearch.org's Family Tree program and uploading photographs. The photos I am uploading have people who are unidentified. What I would like to do is tag the photos in some way, either with a place or a title or whatever and allow them to be found by the Photos "Find" function. No matter what I do, add a description, tag a place in the Event function, add a title, none of those added identifiers allow me to find the photo. It appears that unless at least one person in the photo is tagged to an existing photo in Family Tree, the photograph is invisible to the Find function. Here is a screenshot of the photo in question on my Photos page. By the way, the red dots indicate that none of these photos have yet been tagged to a specific person.


Despite adding a title, a description and tagging the image's Event to St. Johns, Apache, Arizona, United States, the photo refuses to appear in any search until it is tagged to a person. This is a serious flaw in the program. What if the photo shows a town or another location? Do I have to tag the photo to the family members before it can be searched from a location? Do I need to tag all the unknown people to my Great-grandmother, Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson before they can be identified?

It appears that the Find function is a very simple string search. It does seem to recognize using quotation marks to indicate a specific string, but beyond that it is hopeless. Even if I put the tagged place in Event in quotation marks, it will not find any photo tagged to that specific place. If I leave out the quotation marks, I get over 5,000 hits including people named "Johns." Adding another search term just increases the number of hits. I really would like to find all the photos that are tagged to a certain place, but it seems that this is not yet possible. Without a tag to a specific person, the photos seem to be invisible. Here is a screenshot of the results of searching for the following in quotes: "St. Johns, Apache, Arizona."


The other photos that are untagged to an individual, but have a link to a place do not appear. If I tag one of the photos to Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson, it magically appears in the search for place. Here is the screen shot showing the results:


Does this mean that I have to tag all my unknown photos to both a place and the wrong person to get them into the system so that they can be found?



7 comments:

  1. when you get a definite answer from FamilySearch software engineers about how Photo Find works, please share. Lots of other people have the same question you are asking. thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for pointing this out! I had been giving my photos titles and tagging locations but had no idea they weren't showing up in searches. Please keep us updated on this! Have you contacted familysearch about it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just did contact FamilySearch with this blog post :-)

      Delete
  3. Have you tried a google search?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea, I will see if there is a way to tag them so they show up in a Google search. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Delete
    2. Preliminary searches show a lot of photos, but no way to segregate out the ones that are unknown.

      Delete