apps

17 Jan 2015

Choosing Image Management Software

My good friend and fellow genealogist Judy Webster has started the new year with some resolutions about organizing her research using a “source-based incremental fix,” rather than a giant do-over approach. Makes sense to me!

Choosing Image Management SoftwareOne of her steps is choosing image management software to better organize her family photos. This is an essential step, and one that I cover in more detail in my e-book, Cataloging Family Photographs & Records.

But let’s take a look in this blog post as some of the software options.

Image management software is used by genealogists to:

  • Create high-resolution master scans
  • Edit photos to resize, crop, and alter master digital files
  • Make changes to many photos with a batch edit
  • Add information to digital images using metadata
  • Search for images and retrieve them using keywords
  • Use special functions, such as creating albums, employing facial recognition or adding GPS linking

Adobe Photoshop is the leader in this category, but it’s extremely expensive and complex to use. It also has a lot of sophisticated features geared to graphic designers that genealogists will probably never need or learn to use. So an alternative to Photoshop is a good idea.

Fortunately there are several lower-cost image management applications available that are easier to use. Alternatives to Photoshop include:

  • Photoshop Elements ($80-$100) – think of it as Photoshop Lite. Has powerful image editing capabilities, including GPS and facial recognition; easier to use than Photoshop but still has a learning curve. Many free tutorials available. Also has scanning feature. Mac or Windows. A 30-day demo is available for download by clicking here. Tip: Adobe releases a new version of Photoshop Elements every year, usually with only small changesbetween versions. The current version of the software is 13. Earlier versions are available for sale online at big discounts.

[…]

15 Jul 2014

Google Maps Offline – Tuesday’s Tip

Are you interested in using Google Maps offline?

There are two big advantages to using Google Maps this way:

  1. Save money by going easy on your data plan
  2. Avoid that dreaded “No Service” message

Using Google Maps online (i.e., with 3G or 4G connections instead of wireless) can chew through a lot of data quickly. Or have you ever been closing in a cemetery hunt or the location of a library when Google Maps can’t connect?

Whether you use an iPhone or an Android cell phone, you can take advantage of the ability to use Google Maps offline.

CNET, one of my favorite websites full of digital wizardry, shows in two steps how to save maps for offline access in their article, “How to Use Google Maps Offline Mode on iOS, Android.”

“With this feature, you can store large map areas for guidance, even when you’re stuck without reception,” […]

30 Mar 2014

iScanner App Flash Sale

Alert: iScanner app flash sale right now. The iScanner app scans “any document, receipt, white-board and note with your iPhone.” Download iScanner for 50 percent off at the App Store for 99 cents.

“A PDF is a trusty friend you can always rely on. Indestructible, impossible to change, always present but never intrusive. Turn all your documents, files and photos into best friends with the iScanner app. Take a photo (or choose one from your gallery), select the part to scan and, hey presto, you have all your documents in your iPhone.”

One note: between the iScanner app and Finescanner app from ABBYY I featured a few days ago? The winner is finescanner, even when it’s not on sale.

iScanner App sassy jane genealogy iscanner app sassy jane genealogy

Also free today: Create retro photos with Hipster Lomo Camera for free at the App Store.

27 Feb 2014

FineScanner Turns iPad Camera Into Scanner – Free Today

FineScanner Turns iPhone Camera Into Scanner sassy jane genealogy FineScanner Turns iPhone Camera Into Scanner sassy jane genealogyFineScanner, an app that turns photos made with the iPad or iPhone camera into a neatly scanned page, is free today only (regularly $1.99).

Short notice on this flash one-day sale, but the FineScanner app is worth the $1.99 it regularly costs to have this capability on the go. (Update: as of 28 Feb 2014, the app is still free.)

FineScanner – download it from iTunes here – is created by ABBYY, a leading provider of OCR and other scanning software used by libraries, archives, and museums. (Note: this app is for image capture only; OCR is not included.)

Use your device’s camera, edit the photo as necessary, and export it as a PDF via mail, […]