From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Commons File mover.svgThis user has file mover rights on Wikimedia Commons. (verify)

This is my own User Page, which contains my autobiography, sporadic blog and general wikiphotographical nattering. My talk page can be found by clicking my talk page where everyone tells me what a splendid fellow I am or more often how I'm ruining everything.

A New Yorker since the 1960s, I've always enjoyed writing and bicycling, and in the autumn of 2006 began writing in Wikipedia (logically enough, my userpage there is en:User:Jim.henderson) about what I learned while bicycling. In October of the following year, a relative decided to get rid of a slightly broken Nikon Coolpix 2200 camera, which I used to start snapping pictures during my travels about town and uploading them to Wikipedia NYC geographical articles.

Bought a better and not broken camera in February '08, a Canon point and shoot A570IS tourist model. Advised to send my pictures to Commons instead, I started doing that at the beginning of May. Took weeks to get used to the differences, but the advantages in categorizing and sharing are worth it. Warm weather encourages more outdoors time, which brings a great increase in quantity if not quality of pictures.

Inadvertent self portrait in far east Brooklyn

Geotagging Camera[edit]

My wish list was:

  1. Automatic Geocoding in EXIF
  2. Shorter time between shutter and zoom
  3. Sensitivity, so low light doesn't make blurs

The Nikon P6000 looked like it might do the job, so I bought it Feb 16, 2009 and have studied it. Indeed its sensitivity lets it take less blurred photos in a gloomy subway station. The delay after the snap until zoom is activated seems little changed, alas.

My usual drive-by shooting style makes GPS important. I seldom spend many minutes in one place to get establishing shots and look for subtle angles, but rather take snapshots several meters apart and then pedal to the next victim on my hit list. Sometimes an interesting building a few blocks off my track redirects me, and a series of such happenstances may send me wandering in entirely unexpected directions. Due to lack of clear view of the sky, the camera's GPS rarely receives enough satellite signals here in Manhattan, except along the waterfront and on uptown hilltops lacking foliage. Outer Borough reception is more frequent, but often the camera remembers where it was five minutes ago, before I pedalled a quarter or half mile away. At first I uploaded the picture and later corrected the Wikimedia geotag online. Since Autumn 2009 with a more modern computer I can easily correct the location offline, and in any case a location that needs manual correcting is much better than not having an automatic geotag at all.

For pictures that are already in Commons and never had a geotag, I use This Google Maps crosshair page adapted from a German one by moving the crosshair from Europe to Lower Manhattan. Zoom in, move the map so the crosshair falls on the camera location, and click on the crosshair which produces a help balloon with Wiki {{Location}} template filled out for that location. Paste it into the file description and add a "heading:SW" or whatever direction the camera was pointing, save, and presto, the map will show the blue and red roundel for this camera location.

The Web page geolocator provides a sometimes easier method.

There's also an external page about free geotagging and software and related topics and other information in our own Commons:Geotagging page. A tool for geotagging can be installed: Ald-Hjl-Koord-en.kmz.

Picture pipeline[edit]

See User:Jim.henderson/Picture pipeline


Many pictures in Commons are poorly described and categorized, or not at all. Of course many are also just bad pictures, but I can't do much about that. Anyway when I see an interesting pic in Wikpedia and jump to its Commons page, I check and fix the cat and descrip. This leads to discovering disorderly and overstuffed categories which, if I've got the time, I rearrange and destuff by creating subcats. And sometimes find hidden gems that way.

Oh. In June 2008 I learned of Category:Image cleanup templates which is handy for post upload improvements, and then I started giving meaningful names to my pictures. In June 2009, learned of Wikimedia techblog.


Progress: With cat wrangling and geotagging for old pictures as well as uploading new ones, at the beginning of 2010 my Commons watchlist hit 5000, 2100 of them being my pix, the others more geotagging than category adjustments. In mid-February my Wikipedia watchlist fluctuated around 5400 and a few new pictures near Madison Square pushed my Commons watchlist above that point on Feb 14. Edit(and upload) counter. Early April, watchlist passed 6000.

Wow; I have very much been neglecting this page, due to more fun with pictures. 7400 pictures and categories on watch now, the majority being there due to geotagging someone else's. I found out about the useful {{GeoGroupTemplate}} , very handy. Jim.henderson (talk) 20:36, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

July, retired from the phone company. More bicycling and photography.


Mid January I bought my first mobile phone, a en:Samsung M910 Intercept with Internet, GPS and camera. Pictures are somewhat poorer in quality than my real camera but much more reliably geotagged. I no longer carry my separate camera every day, just on photographic expeditions. The camera phone's Google Maps program tells me about nearby Wiki articles, which I check to see whether I should take time to try to make better pictures. After an injury in April I became more dependent, often using the little "W" symbols on the map to direct my path even after my healed rib allowed me to climb on the bike again. This produced richer hunting and a backlog, usually at least two months, in processing the pictures.

Few of my uploaded pictures are from the camera phone except when the real camera runs out of storage or power or something, or I want to be sure of the geotag. The camera phone is more slippery and subject to blurring when light is poor, and its touchscreen controls don't work with gloves. Next year a bigger, better camera phone might replace both, or else I'll just go for a bigger real camera than the P6000.

Early in November the upload wizard began reading EXIF locations and converting instantly to a location template. This quickness is a big improvement and helped me discover that my adjustments by Picasa/Google Earth are a major source of failed tags, so I moved to using MSPPT exclusively despite its lower precision.


Goodness, almost a year since my hypothetical fans got an update. I uploaded more thousands of pictures, using the Upload Wizard since that started working well. Other editors began making and diffusing categories, with two benefits: I get more time for other things, and they usually do it better. I started refining my Pro Photo Tools coords with Picasa alone, which is less powerful than when combined with GE but more reliable on my old Windows Vista computer. I replaced my little old smartphone in July with a HTC EVO V 4G with much bigger screen, which is a help with the maps. Early September I started using the WTM Android app to find targets, which works well except

  1. it seems to have crippled Google Map's ability to go to a Wikipedia page, and
  2. it drains the battery quickly, so when using it on the bike I must keep the phone turned off most of the day.

Mid September the Nikon P-6000 which had become flaky with heavy use and some abuse finished dying, so I bought a Nikon P-510, bigger, heavier and mightier, but the GPS availability disappointed me so I brought it back for a little Nikon AW-100 which much more often knows where it is, and even provides a compass direction in EXIF. Buttons are inconveniently small, however. In October I began using Geosetter [1] whose complexity harbors many pleasant features including camera heading, which alas is not extracted by the Upload Wizard.

In December the Mobile Web Beta test version of Wikipedia got an upload button on every article, soon relegated to the Alpha (dragon) test version for bugs which for me don't get in the way of its high efficiency]. Reliability of my windows Vista computer deteriorated, so I wiped, reformatted and reinstalled most software but not Geosetter which I suspect of being part of the unreliability, or Picasa due to my learning to make some use of the mighty GIMP.


New toys in Feb:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 replacing my old 10 inch netbook (mightiest computer I ever owned). Handy for looking things up as they appear in TV news. Also during lectures for note taking, at dinner for showing off what Wikipedia can do, etc. Replaced it in May with a Dell XPS-10 tablet when a relative needed a tablet. Mindows 8 RT has a nice Adobe Photoshop Express, a simple photo retoucher. No EXIF geotag adjuster. Can't see Wikipedia's video.
  2. Specialized Tri-Cross bicycle with Extra-Large frame. Fastest one I ever owned, good for hilly and daylong trips of tens of miles for which the little folding Brompton bike is inadequate.
The Parmer Branch in Brooklyn of the Wikipedia Feminism and Art Editathon, February 1, 2014.

Summer, replaced my Nikon AWB-100 with a Nikon P-330. Better pictures when light is poor; much less reliable locations by GPS. Clerking old pictures somewhat burned up the time I would have used for examining and uploading new ones.


Time to vent about February's decision Commons:Requests for comment/MP4 Video to stick with only Free Software video formats that other Websites don't use and most consumer computers cannot see. Terrible idea. My old Android phone and my new Windows 8 RT tablet, for example, cannot see Wikipedia's moving pictures. Surely I'm not alone. Sales of old fashioned desk and notebook computers are declining and stagnating, respectively, while close to a million smartphones are sold most days worldwide and a million tablets every week or two. Those are mostly people who can't see our videos but can see Youtube, Netflix etc. Yes, I could search and probably download the necessary Android software for the phone. For the RT tablet it doesn't seem to exist, but I've got an old desk computer that can see our videos.

And what about the clueless hundreds of millions? Most are not computer fixers or auto mechanics or plumbers by trade. When their pipes are clogged they rely on a pro. But when they can't see our video, the sweet and bright people of the free software community recommend that they identify the cause, find out which viewer or browser will fix it, and take care of it themselves. Disregarding that most smartphone users don't know what a "file format" is. Yes, file formats are as important to modern life as fuel pumps and drainpipe elbows, so it would be ideal for everyone to learn how to do elementary repairs and upgrades by themselves. No, that's not realistic for the ignorant majority. So, those millions jump to the conclusion that Wikipedia, unlike other popular Websites, is broken. They're right, even if they don't know that it's a dumb Wikipolitical failure by the thousands (or hundreds) in our little community. Huff puff, that's enough ranting for awhile.


Decided to start listing sites that use my photos. Last year I found a few but didn't get the URL. Presumably many more have escaped my notice.


Been a long time since I blogged. Since then I've been photographing somewhat less, and put more time into sorting pictures that are a hundred years old or more. They're better than mine, and cover places and people that are long gone.

I lost my big Nikon geotagging camera at Wikiconference North America San Diego. Replaced it with a bigger Nikon P610 I bought used via Amazon. It was discontinued in favor of models without GPS. Outdoors, it gets a fix almost as often as the camera phone, though with usually bigger errors. Like, the next street instead of across the street. I usually adjust the location manually before uploading, but that's easier if the file already has a rough location. What's wrong with the P610 is, it's big, apparently because many buyers who want GPS also want the greater power of a big zoom camera.

Tour guide[edit]

See User:Jim.henderson/Tour guide

Cameras vs Computers[edit]

Target maps[edit]

There has been some progress this summer 2014 in guiding Wikiphotographers to unphotographed places. They include a somewhat rough "Unvisited" app for Android and iOS, and two Wikimedia Labs pages:

Alas, an Android app called "Geoflow" has turned out to be handier even though it does not say whether there is a photo.

By plain luck, I snapped a "Quality image" years ago.

Upload count[edit]

I am surprised that "Contributions" at the top of my page does not say how many pictures I have sent, nor does "Uploads". However, uploadsum brings a result:

July 5 2015 Total editcount : 51533 Total uploadcount : 6512 Total size : 8 GiB

Dec 8 2015 Total editcount : 56001 Total uploadcount : 6730 Total size : 8 GiB

Oct 17 2017 Total editcount : 76886 Total uploadcount : 7533 Total size : 11 GiB

March 20, 2018 Total editcount : 82370 Total uploadcount : 7918 Total size : 12 GiB

Notable photographer[edit]

An editor for a small local news website noticed that he had used many of my photos, and called me for an interview. I prefer doing business in person, and went to downtown Brooklyn. Nice bright young fellow. What's happening to this world? Most the young people I meet nowadays are smarter than I ever was, and much more pleasant. He recorded it, and the following day he published a rather flattering account. Queens Daily Eagle. Errors are few and small and umm, mostly more pleasing than the precise truth, so I recommend it.

The Queens reporter for cable news channel NY1 took this as a hint, and also made a segment about me: Wikipedia photographer

Draft of lightning talk on Wikiphotography[edit]

Wikiphoto software[edit]

See User:Jim.henderson/Camera phone


Being out of town a week and a half in late summer 2019, I decided to download the free darktable, mainly seeking its geotagging and photo adjustment features. I have much difficulty understanding it, and it seems a major part of the problem is my using it on a small laptop with usually no mouse running room. This program is not designed to work well with limited resolution and only a touchscreen. So, until I can return to easier desktop work, this is not for me. Jim.henderson (talk) 11:05, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

Handy links[edit]

I often try to fix the locations of pictures of buildings and other features long gone, and have found a few relevant websites:

incategory:"Media with geo-coordinates needing categories" 40° 73°
  • Searching for pictures from a collection and on Beekman Street in New York:
incategory:"Gottscho-Schleisner Collection" "place|New York" Beekman

Wolfgang Mayr Sundial from Munich mounted wrong

Created categories[edit]

I've made hundreds of cats in the past few years, and noticed that some of my colleagues have been listing their new ones. Maybe I can remember to keep this list up to date.

0-9, A[edit]













Personal categories[edit]

Categories to diffuse[edit]