Off the Deep End with Google Photos

March 15th, 2018 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

TITLE: Google Photos – A Technical Deep Dive


TIME & DATE: Thursday 03 May 2018, 2:30 pm

Google introduces new services and features all the time. In 2015, they introduced a new online “cloud” photo repository called Google Photos.

The features and free (no fee) aspects of the service offer significant benefits for the genealogist. Photos are frequently a key focus of genealogical research, and unidentified photos are likewise a part of any genealogist’s collection. Solving for unnamed individuals in a photo can be very frustrating; Google Photos can help in this endeavor.

Mark’s lecture will start with covering the formats needed to upload photos and videos. He’ll cover the wide range of features offered in Google Photos, and leave you with many tips for using these features efficiently. Learn which recommended formats from the Library of Congress are accepted by Google Photos.  Recognize some of the significant flaws in the JPEG format, and understand recommended practices for digital preservation while using Google Photos.

A unique capability in Google Photos that can be used for genealogy is facial recognition. Learn how to turn this ability into a powerhouse for identification of the friends and relatives of our ancestors. Sharing photos with others can also turbocharge identification of people when you crowdsource your efforts. Another significant feature of Google Photos is location information. Knowing where a photo was taken is a critical part of solving any image puzzle.

The features and differences between Google Photos and a companion service Google Drive will be reviewed. With the ability to upload images from PCs and Macs as well as Android or iOS smartphones, the Google Photos service can be a key part of your file backup and storage plans. Mark will also note important warnings before modifying or deleting images.

ABOUT: Mark Steven Middleton has been employed in the IT industry more than twenty-five years, is a certified project manager, and is a retired US Army Major. His other interests include his own family’s genealogy, digital preservation of personal documents, and DNA based genealogy.