imagining New methods to Explore image collections using personal data or New Metadata Not captured by Digital Cameras.

Viewing metadata in Aperture.


I looked towards finding ways of providing more context for the experience captured in the image and more access points for the audience to explore the story. I wanted to find ways to record personal data as well as other data that digital cameras were not recording. 

The relationship of capture to view is at the heart of my research. From my perspective as a designer, I discovered how important it is that they work together. To a designer, the user experience is the focus--how is the information being used, who is it for, what is the goal of putting this information in the hands of the user, and what do you want them to get out of the experience. Often something gets lost between the level of capturing an experience and the point when it reaches the viewer. 


Metadata is data about data. It describes how and when and by whom a particular set of data was collected, and how the data is formatted. 

Metadata has been embedded into many of our digital devices. It can record date, time, location at the very minimum and in cameras, shutter, ISO, light, exposure, and RGB values. This information however, is about the device, not the user. I imagine what stories metadata tell. If we think of an image as a container, or collector, of data what pieces of information would we need to have to understand the story being communicated? 


My goal was to provide a new way to control, filter, and explore large collections of photos. With this new data, viewers would have an additional access point and more context for the experience in the photographs. 

I recorded heart rate, a piece of personal data when capturing photos at a concert to see if anything new could be revealed about the experience. I later brought in the songs played at the concert and mapped the beats per minute. In another study, I recorded elevation data while taking photos on a hike in my neighborhood. Elevation data is a piece of data that cameras can not yet capture.

The final product was a protoype for a mobile application to view images through multiple data points, mapped to the respective experience in the images. 

Lo-fi paper prototype. 

Lo-fi paper prototype.