Let's say you attend a marathon where participants wear bibs with their race number. You take hundreds or (cough) thousands of pictures and would like to upload them to share them (for free) with racers.
Rather than simply upload them to (for example) Picasa Web, give the link to people and say "here, go browse several thousand pictures and try find yourself," I'm looking for clever workflow and/or tools that might help.
I can think of two main high level options:
- Photographer tags before they upload. They view each picture, enter the bib number(s) they see in each picture (how is TBD), then upload them somewhere.
- Photographer uploads all pictures, then asks participants to tag them (again, how is TBD) while they are viewing them.
Option #2 is preferred because, well, the photographer has done enough and wants to get on with their life.
With either option, a requirement is that users be able to search for their bib number and have a list of applicable pictures returned.
So this is a multi-part question:
What sort of techniques/tools do professional websites (e.g. ASI) use for large races? Do they use automation (e.g. OCR of bib numbers?) or is it manual (e.g. each individual photographer (or centralized resources) tags and uploads pictures using custom and/or off-the-shelf software?)
Is it possible to simulate what those sites do using software/workflow/an online service (preferably free for the online service part)?
A friend and I chipped away at doing this with Picasa Web but we couldn't quite pull it off.
A not-particularly elegant alternative we considered was a simple google spreadsheet with a column containing the name of each picture (in order). People (or the photographer) could simply populate the second column with bib numbers as they browsed through the pictures and then people could search the spreadsheet to find pictures of interest.