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Paul Bellamy  
#1 Posted : Thursday, August 13, 2009 6:22:38 PM(UTC)
Paul Bellamy

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OK chaps and chapesses....

I've started this off as a dedicated thread to deal with all matters relating to getting the "NARA" 401BG photos sorted correctly and online.

A brief precis to clarify what this is all about:

NARA hold a duplicate copy of the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) WWII AF Photo Archive, as part of the NARA WWII Photo Collection.
This is the primary source of period 401BG photos.
The NARA copy of the archive is from where the Association received the digital copies of the "401st NARA Photos" that were in the relevant website gallery pages.

Currently identified issues:

1:
There are 639 images on the discs received from NARA.
At the present time there are over 670 401st BG photo's in the AFHRA WWII AF Photo Archive archive, all of which are currently available free of charge to download online from NARA via footnote.com.
We need to first identify those images on the CDs supplied to the Association from NARA, make arrangements to compile the outstanding images into the Association's archive then make them available to interested parties.

2:
Index cards.
These photo's have been held and released by a number of agencies, each of whom have allocated their own catalogue number to any given image.
Off the top of my head I can think of AFHRA, NASM and NARA, who have indexed them in their own particular manner.
The good thing is that at each stage the original Air Force index number seems to have been carried through as a backup, which is what we need to be using as our base reference.
This is the xxxxx-x AC number usually visible in the lower right corner of the image.

3:
Captions.
The notes on the various agencies' index cards are NOT the captions originally pertaining to the images.
The original captions were typewritten and pasted onto the reverse of the master copy of the image.
Many of these caption were written as and when possible, so may be not 100% accurate regards date and subject, but can usually be relied on to be within a day or so of the photo being taken, and other descriptions are as accurate as wartime security restrictions would allow.
Once we have a confirmed AC number for a given image, the NARA copies via footnote have the original pasted caption in 90% of cases, plus the source of the original image, usually those the Blue Book was compiled from.

Apologies for waffling.
I feel this "re-start" gives us an opportunity to go back to basics and construct a WWII 401BG online photo archive with a clean slate, drawing together every image we can get our hands on, to present the fullest coverage possible to show all the aspects of what went on at Deenethorpe to future generations.

I hope that we can make this a busy and constructive thread, and remember that there's no such thing as a stupid suggestion.

All the best,
Paul
Paul Bellamy
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EDanaII  
#2 Posted : Friday, August 14, 2009 12:03:37 AM(UTC)
EDanaII

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Well, to be clear, I interjected in the other thread because I suspect that the indexing method used on this photos can be used as part of the Wiki when we get to it. This is why I want to see what's on the index cards, to determine if they can ultimately be applied to a wiki.

My two cents for now...
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donaldbyers  
#3 Posted : Friday, August 14, 2009 9:02:24 AM(UTC)
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Are we talking about the additional information associated with the pictures or are we talking about something elses. If we are talking about the additional info it is indexed by the same number that the picture is. I have all disks and associated information.

Don
Sgt. Donald C. Byers, 613th Bomb Squadron, Togglier, 42-97344 Carrie B II, KIA 08/24/1944.
EDanaII  
#4 Posted : Sunday, August 16, 2009 5:44:42 PM(UTC)
EDanaII

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I believe we are speaking of something broader than that. For my own part, we are talking about a means of identifying a photo based on relevant keywords. Paul will have to speak on whether or not that matches his own goals within this effort.

For example, let's talk about the photo of the Hard Seventeen... you know I couldn't resist. :D There are a number of Keywords that we can use to identify it for a search, the most obvious of which would be the name, itself "Hard Seventeen." Also things like R.B. Thompson Crew, E.G. Dana, 614th Squadrons, etc... Additional keywords would be: 401st, 8th Airforce, World War Two, and so on... a match on any of these would then produce its NARA identifier as a result. I.e. for the Hard Seventeen: A-65425 A.C. This assumes, of course, that this designator uniquely identifies the photo. My understanding is that it does.

One of the things that we should probably do for starters is identify all the keywords that will likely ALWAYS be applied to a 401st NARA photo. Something like: what I identified above but not including anything that specifically addresses the H17.

My two cents.

Ed.
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ElmersTune  
#5 Posted : Monday, August 17, 2009 5:22:54 AM(UTC)
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Thank you to everyone for this effort, it is something several of us have asked for in the past. It will be a joy for those remaining members of the 401st air and ground crews to sort through, identify people, and reminisce over.

Bill Gillespie
donaldbyers  
#6 Posted : Monday, August 17, 2009 10:52:52 PM(UTC)
donaldbyers

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So then are we talking more like a Meta Tag. Again I will ask what happened to the NARA photos that were on-line a one time. The next question would be what are we talking about going to a Wiki again.

Don
Sgt. Donald C. Byers, 613th Bomb Squadron, Togglier, 42-97344 Carrie B II, KIA 08/24/1944.
EDanaII  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, August 18, 2009 7:28:24 AM(UTC)
EDanaII

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To be clear: *I* am talking about the _possibility_ of a Wiki. I'm simply looking forward to in order to figure out what it might take to add those photos to a Wiki.

With regards to the missing NARA photos. We're workin' on that too. We may need yours and others help when the time comes. :)

Ed.
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donaldbyers  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1:49:19 AM(UTC)
donaldbyers

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I know there are lots of ways to put a gallery in Joomla and I like Expose4 and the way it will expand a picture to a bigger size. I am assuming that you would have to have a PHP type Gallery to run on a Wiki....

Don
Sgt. Donald C. Byers, 613th Bomb Squadron, Togglier, 42-97344 Carrie B II, KIA 08/24/1944.
EDanaII  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, August 19, 2009 7:13:13 PM(UTC)
EDanaII

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Not necessarily... :) I've been looking into an ASP based Wiki -- not that I care that much for ASP (I do know it and can make a living with it) -- because the current 401bg web is ASP based. This makes the two easy to integrate if we need to go that way.

But this is neither here nor there, since at this point I'm more interested trying to figure out how to approach the categorization of NARA (and other) photos.

I discussed this with Rick the other day, I'm leaning towards the idea that the best way to tackle this is take an Object-Oriented approach. For any who don't know, OO is a design methodology used by programmers to build software. Put simply, it's a way of describing "things" a computer needs to represent in a way that both the computer and a human can understand.

The typical approach is for the user to describe what they want the computer to do in simple English and then the programmer identifies all the Verbs and Nouns. These two things then becomes the system does and the things that to be manipulated.

For example, Win was good enough to send me some NARA index cards the other day. On one the caption read: "A Boeing B-17 'Flying Fortress' landing on an 8th Air Force after missions over Kiel, Germany, on 13 December, 1943. England"

Nouns become "Boeing, B-17, Flying Fortress, 8th Air Force, Missions, Kiel, Germeny.

One Verb: landing.

These then become the things we tag the photo with for a search.

Another example: as many may know, I have photos of the Hard Seventeen crashed in a field in Belgium. There are many Nouns in these photos. Among them, the Hard Seventeen, Thompson Crew, Snow, A Damaged Engine, A Damaged Tail, A Damaged Port Landing Gear, Grimbergen Basilica, Belgium, Belgians, RAF Truck, etc... and Verbs include: salvaging, landed, inspecting, etc...

Now, it's possible to get too carried away with selecting nouns and verbs for this image and we need may reduce them. Since we are talking about a search function, I'm thinking the best way to constrain the Nouns and Verbs selected is by those a search is most likely to enter into the function. These would be most likely names. Names of the plane and names of the crew, so Hard Seventeen and Thompson Crew (including individual names) are legit. Crash and damage are possibilities too, but lesser than names. Dates seem logical and may be even locations (Grimbergen, Belgium). The condition of the plane (damage) is also a potential candidate for search, but snow, Belgians and Basilica may not be.

I think some simple rules like these will help decide what to search on and what not too, but ultimately I think this needs to be decided by group consensus. The more brains on this, the better.

That's enough (plenty) for now.

Ed.
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donaldbyers  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, August 19, 2009 7:44:08 PM(UTC)
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That was a great respons and understand it a little more now. We had talked about the OO before.

Don
Sgt. Donald C. Byers, 613th Bomb Squadron, Togglier, 42-97344 Carrie B II, KIA 08/24/1944.
win-win  
#11 Posted : Saturday, August 22, 2009 12:41:49 PM(UTC)
win-win

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Don -

Ditto about Ed's post. Reading your and Ed's posts make me feel like I'm taking an 'extension course' in Web-stuff, except when you write about various Web systems, then it's 'greek' to me. Hope there's no Quiz. Regardless, I really apppreciate your expertise, and maybe something will 'stick' with me.

One thing did (I think) - I thik I 'get' Ed's search-tree description and the (design) difficulty in balancing simple vs. complex...and importance of 'user-friendliness' and 'wayfinding'.

Doesn't the Forum have 3-kinds of [photo] 'users' or 'searchers' (to design for):
- - Those who are 'new' or have little or no idea how to search for what they're looking for;
- - Browsers, and
- - Those who are experienced, looking for something specific.
The 'trick' being to design a 'tree' that works work for all. And doesn't the 'Old Forum' have pretty good 'tree-genes' to work from or build upon?

Anyway, these search-tree/wayfinding 'polar' examples came to mind:
- - NARA & NASM photo 'image' and 'index' cards show some of the Archives' basic (search/file) categories [like AIRPLANES/GROUND], but
- - The NARA Website - Here's the Agency with the most records about anything, and it has absolutely the worst search-tree & wayfinding processes on the face of this Earth! (But I love the NARA, anyway - can't help it).

As for [Forum] A/C photos, could search-tree categories for 'Aircraft' work as:
Type:
- - B-17;
- - Other; (visiting A/C; etc)
ID:
- - Serial No./History; ( manuf. >Deliv>Missions>end disposition).
- - Squadron Code;
- - Nickname;
- - Art; (Nose; A-2 Jachets, Combat Mess ceiling Panels)
View:
- - Airborne;
- - Ground;
- - Crashes and Damage.
Photo Source:
- - NARA;
- - Other

Regardless, two other 'search' considerations (that may already be integral):
- - It'd help (me, for sure) to be able to 'see' the search-tree to help me pick & click my search choice. (It's like viewing a roadmap in order to see where 'there' is); and
- - It'd also be nice to accommodate 'browsers', to go to (then through) groups of photos in a category.
Are these already 'designed-in'?.

Anyway, will try to mock-up some 'trees'...or some forests... Keep-up the amazing work.

Win
EDanaII  
#12 Posted : Monday, August 24, 2009 8:13:37 PM(UTC)
EDanaII

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Excellent input, Win, that search tree is a good idea.

I don't know that a wiki can accommodate it, however, and it would definitely have to be built into the old web... not shooting it down, just describing some possible obstacles. I have to add that I don't know that a wiki couldn't accommodate it. :) Regardless of all that, it is if anything an excellent tool for provoking thought. I'm definitely looking forward to what you come up with.

Ed.
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