BDeed's picture

Photo Storage

I haven't been able to find this discussed elsewhere, but am curious as to whether anyone knows how long photos will be kept once uploaded as an identification? Surely with the volume being uploaded they can't be held forever?

Just curious as obviously past ID and therefore photos are available from 'My Spot', however i have also been keeping the photo on my PC, if the photos are going to be kept available to access then i would consider removing them from my PC, whereas i'll keep them if not.



miked's picture

You should always keep a copy

You should always keep a copy of all your own photos and NOT RELY ON ANY ONLINE STORAGE. have put this in capitals as some online photo storage sites have gone bust and photos been lost.
I know it can take up a lot of space on your computer, bought a 3TB external disk to back mine up and after 16hours of copying overnight it has just corrupted and now this disk is not recognized and i can't get at anything on there so its not always straightforward to do it yourself.
Hopefully ispot will be around for many years and the photos will be stored well but never rely on this.

anonymous spotter's picture

Digital photo storage

This is an issue that I think people tend not to be aware of. Digital images require long-term storage if you want to preserve them - but how?
If you burn them to CD, then you need to be aware that the "shelf life" is very variable. Some CDs will become corrupt and unreadable after only a few years. So two copies might be thought desirable.
There are on-line storage options, but there are issues relating to long-term storage, cost, and image security. I hadn't thought about the latter until one of my friends mentioned the issue of photos of her kids being potentially accessible by undesirables.
A final point - the commonest file type is jpg, and this format "discards" some data every time you save. So edit once, then leave alone.

BDeed's picture

Discarded data

Interesting side point you bring up there Roger, editing a photo does mean you loose data, not only from the visual quality of the photo but also any attached information.

iSpot has this very neat feature that photos from sources such as iPhones which have geographical and time information attached get this uploaded automatically then put up as an observation. However, this information is also sometimes lost as a result of photo editing.

Janys Hyde's picture


If you have photos that are really important to you, get them printed on museum quality archive paper. They will probably last longer than you and not be subject to the whims of technology which may leave us with redundant cds (like our redundant vinyl records etc). If you do store on disk, prefer cds to dvds because if a disk is damaged, you will lose less on a cd. You could consider saving your images as in png format which is not 'lossy' like the jpg format. And then there are the external hard drives, but as has already been pointed out, they can be corrupted just like your regular internal HD. However, there is recovery software that in many cases can be used to find lost data even in a damaged HD. I think the one I used was called File Scavenger.