Storing and accessing precious photos has taken a new and almost surreal turn. Enthusiasts and consumers alike are not able to access their images anywhere, anytime in an increasingly “connected” world, says Heinrich Pretorius, Canon product specialist at DCC.
This has ushered in the next evolution in managing photographs in a seamless, organised and totally accessible way. An image management system, enabled by cloud computing, that not only offers accessibility and fantastic manageability but the ability to share these photos with loved ones and friends  across the globe.
And yes, cloud computing is by no means a new technology solution. In fact, without even knowing it a lot of people use it on a daily basis; whether it is to quickly save a document in Dropbox (to access via a mobile device) or even to backup e-mails, the cloud is literally everywhere.
The difference, however, is that now there are platforms such as Canon’s Project 1709 which has been designed with only images in mind. And it shows; users can manage photo collections across different platforms – whether stored on a hard drive, a social network, or in the cloud.
Indeed, these image management platforms are designed for the modern photographer, providing instant access to their entire collection whenever and wherever they want it.
Platforms like Project 1709 are totally cloud-based, accessed via a Web browser and unlike other services, integrate disparate image collections regardless of how they have been captured and where they are stored, into one easy-to-use platform that provides access to all images.
The platforms are also designed to be really user-friendly and are fresh and enjoyable, making accessing and viewing images such a pleasure. Platforms like Project 1709 feature timeline ribbons and tag-based filtering options that make it easier to find images using important dates, locations, user added tags, and much more.
In essence, the platforms have been designed around the core principles that will see users using it for years to come. It has truly been tailored with the photographer in mind.
For example, users can upload images from any device using either the dedicated desktop uploader or the Web page. Even if the same image is stored in multiple locations, advanced image matching technology identifies duplicate images and enables users to easily remove them from their library.
Users all know what a hassle finding images can be, particularly when in a hurry. Image management platforms offer intuitive search functionality, allowing users to quickly filter through photos.
Important tags as well as device information, dates and geo-tags can all be searched within the interface – making images easily findable, whichever way users search.
The advanced search functionality and advanced indexing technology allows users to create a timeline of images providing the perfect way to, for example, document a home renovation, holiday or child growing through the years.
As well as storing a library of pictures, a concise overview of EXIF data – including the camera’s model, exposure time, aperture and ISO speed – is also displayed to help users understand camera settings on favourite shots.
It goes without saying that cloud-based image management platforms also offer integration with social utilities, such as Facebook, where users upload, publish and tag favourite images.
With cloud-based image management systems, users can truly make the most of photography and the resultant images. It is safe and accessible and in turn provides users with a portal that is organised and in the end totally enjoyable – a great contribution (and evolution) to the world of photography.
The Project 1709 is currently in its beta phase (available in English and German) and users can already store and access images. Users can also enjoy the intuitive tagging and search functionality to manage image collections. Facebook integration is also available with additional third party services to be added as the beta program develops.
Project 1709 is scheduled for a full public launch in 2013, when the platform identity and additional features will be unveiled.