Miryelle Resek | May 9, 2018

Google Photos and Genealogy, A Perfect Picture

So you’ve taken photos of old photographs, scanned others, and are still hoping to get your hands on the rest, but genealogy is just about preserving the memories of the living as it is the dead.

In his 2017 RootsTech presentation, Devin Ashby says, “Of course, we want to preserve the stuff of those that have gone before us, absolutely. But we definitely want to preserve the memories that are happening now that very few of us, I think--maybe we're capturing, but we're not storing, and we're not saving.”

So how do we store or save the photographs we’re taking?

By the end of this year, a high estimation of 14 trillion photos will have been taken. Some of those photos may be taken by professionals, others by budding amateurs, but most of them will be taken by everyday people, of their everyday lives: bursts of a child’s first steps, grandma’s birthday, and the never ending images of selfies.

We post those photos on Instagram, Facebook, Visco, or send them via WhatsApp. People look through them, comment on them and hit “like” on their way to the next batch of someone else’s photos.

Photos help us see how friends of the past are doing, what our family is up to, and reminds us of places we’ve seen and been.  We can even turn photos into picture books and give them away as family gifts.

But they also have practical uses. We can take pictures to help us remember what an object looks like before tearing it apart and rebuilding it, we can zoom in on the photos to show store employees what we’re looking for, and we take photos of celebrity hairstyles that we want our hairstylists to mimic.

While the nice thing about using smart devices means that we can store hundreds, if not thousands, of  these photos before running out of space, sometimes we need help organizing all of the pictures we have.

Ashby’s solution?

Google Photos.

He says, “So I feel like what Google's tried to do is a lot of people have been saying this for years. Please, someone make it easy. Make my photo management easy, please. And then give it to me, and then don't charge me for it.

And Google said, OK, we'll do it. And they have.”

Once you’ve created a Google Account you can sync all your devices by signing into Google with that device. The photos, videos, and documents you have saved under your account will be accessible from your phone, tablet or desktop.

For example, after taking pictures with your smart device, open up Google Photos (you may have to download the app for your Android or iPhone) to begin using Google Photos to back-up all of your pictures. These photos can then be accessed from your desktop even though you had taken them on your phone.

The tool offers several other features besides just backing up your photos:

  • Assistant
  • Albums
  • Edit
  • Search
  • Share

These features make working with Google Photos extremely easy.

Using Assistant will help you build things from your photos such as collages, videos, photo animation, and custom photos.

Google Photos will help you build an Album by allowing you to choose which photos go together and saving them under the respected Album.

Ashby says that when it comes to editing, “Once you have a few photos in the tool, you can edit them. It’s a simple process to do, and the changes you make are simple to save.”

The tool also allows you to search for photos. This can be done by typing in the location of where the photo was taken, or through Google’s facial recognition within the photos.

Once you have an Album or photo ready to go, you can easily share it with those interested in seeing them.

Stay tuned for next time as we go in-depth on how to use the features! Tweet us @RootsTechConf with any other photo apps you enjoy using!

Miryelle Resek

Recent Posts
RootsTech

Become an Exhibitor at RootsTech in 2019

As always, exhibitors in the RootsTech Expo Hall can expect big dividends for their investment. Find out why you won’t want to miss out on your chance to exhibit at the 2019 conference.
Linda Clyde | May 15, 2018
Hand on a map

What Is a Surname Distribution Map?

Learn how surname distribution maps can assist many family historians researching in various geographic areas.
Lynn Broderick | Apr 17, 2018