From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search

When clouds, fog, rain, snow come by. When the Sun rises and sets. At night... Then, even the most common landscape can become extraordinary!

See my Wikimedia Gallery here: Giorgio Galeotti


Most of us have thousands of photos in their drawers, hard disks, the cloud, cell phones...

Many are family photos but many could be valid documents of how a place, a monument, an animal or an event were at the time.

Unfortunately prints and slides fade.... we fade... and eventually, one day...

Hard disks break down or are thrown away by the heirs. Cloud subscriptions and web spaces expire and are deleted if not renewed.

Except for famous photographers, if photos are kept in a drawer, on the PC or some cloud, sure enough, they'll be gone forever!

Wikimidia Commons and (maybe there are others) are the only ways I know of to have photos and documents with some encyclopedic/historic value preserved for posterity.

So, I started uploading old photos that fit this encyclopedic/historic concept here. Now, wherever I go, I find myself taking mostly photos with Wikimedia in mind!

Furthermore, everytime somebody shows me their photos, family or otherwise, I always see some that could fit Wikimedia perfectly.

Maybe they are not exceptionally composed or the colors are off, but they are nevertheless great documents of how a place or some exotic animal were at the time.

So, at the risk of being boring, I always try to explain them the concepts above and maybe convince them to upload to Wikimedia!

Now for the technical stuff.

Titles and descriptions

All FileNames follow the same scheme: Title - Location - Date Shot

Location is where the photo was taken from, i.e. not the portrayed location!

For example: a telephoto shot of Toronto taken from Niagara on the Lake (on a very clear day) will say "Toronto Skyline" as the title and "Niagara on the Lake" as the location.

Descriptions are usually the same as the Filenames without the date.

Canals, rivers and other bodies of water

I take and publish a lot of pictures of canals, rivers and other water works I run into but it's not always easy to give them the proper names.

Websites like only have names for the largest ones so I have to look around the Internet for maps and PDF files, usually from the local authorities that manage the resources.

Sometimes different documents give the same feature different names.

Even worse: the name on the map is often different from the name on the road sign.

Furthermore, nouns like "river", "stream", "creek" and so on are used at random.

In Italian it doesn't get any better: "torrente", "fiume", "rio", "cavo", "fossa", "colatore", "canale" and so on are mostly the opinion of the cartographer!

Anyway: if I don't find anything, I just call it "Canal" or "River" or whatever.

Therefore: please, feel free to correct the descriptions of my water photos if you have better informations than me.

Location Names & GPS

Most location names are derived from a combination of not always accurate GPS fixes and Google Maps, Earth, Street View, etc. ...

Hence locations may not always be perfect, especially near regional borders.

I mean: Italy has more than 8000 "Comuni" (each one with scores of villages) and a little error in the GPS fix will make you end up in the wrong Comune, especially in the mountains!

Furthermore, a lot of small Comuni are joining into larger ones with sometimes different names...

Therefore, location names are what I find on Google Earth, Maps, Street View, etc. on the day I edit/publish the photo.

If the photo was taken a year ago and the name of the place changed in the meanwhile, the location will be the name of the place at the time of publishing.

GPS fixes in EXIF data, if any, are what was recorded at the time of shooting and, at most, I correct them a little with GeoSetter.

For old slides and photos taken prior to GPS technology I do my best to find the locations with Google Earth, Mapy and other software. Then I set set the position in the EXIF data of the photo before publishing it on Wikimedia. If later on I realize the position was wrong, I fix the Wikimedia entry, even though this does not change the photo's EXIF data. In other words: when not the same, Camera Location in the Wikimedia page is more likely to be accurate than the position in the EXIF data.

Of course: if you find any errors in the GPS position of my photos, please feel free to fix them!

Time and Date

The time on all my cameras (except the phone cameras) is set to GMT (most of the time).

Color space

All my monitors are calibrated and all photos are saved in a sRGB color space.

More Photos by me can be found here: