OSN stores links. If you have an interesting photo collection, you can share it with other people by storing the images on a photo-sharing service. This will let other people link to your images.

Photo Sharing Services

There are a number of excellent services that keep your digital photos so that they can be shared through the Internet. We don’t have any particular preference — and the technology and costs keep changing — but we have adopted Flickr as our example. This is a large and very popular service. It is also a bit generic, so if you are a photo fanatic, you might want to use some other service.

The important thing is that we want you to share your photos. Please use some service to get those gems — which will inspire students and the public — onto a place where other people have easy access.

Since most people in OSN will be using Flickr, we offer the following orientation.

Flickr: The Good and Not So Good
Flickr provides a useful service that matches the needs of most OSN participants.

  • Free Storage. But it is limited in how quickly you can add photos and the size of the photos. It is likely that most people can work within these limits.
  • Copyright Control. You control the copyright. We suggest using the Creative Commons license. That lets educators and students share within an educational context without guilt, cost or unnecessary paperwork.
  • Easy Uploading. There are several ways to upload your photos.
  • Organization Tools. There are good ways to organize and identify your photos.
  • Public Inspection. Everyone can see your photos once they are uploaded to Flickr. They can also make copies. If you want to keep a photo private, don’t upload it.

Uploading Photos to Flickr
There are two basic ways to upload photos to your Flickr account. Both of these are available on the Flickr Tools web page.

  • Upload directly. This is a drag and drop process.
  • Desktop uploader: This is a program that you run on your computer that helps you do the upload. Versions are available for Windows, Apple and Linux.

There are also other ways. You can upload from email or you can use a third-party utility. This wide range of choices should satisfy most people.

Some Bits of Advice

  • Plan: Carefully assess your photo collection. Choose a set of your photos carefully. Remove duplicates. Discard those photos which “almost good enough.”
  • Enhance: Make sure that the size is correct (hint: limit your images to 1600 px in the maximum dimension). Crop and resize. Edit the image (read “work your Photoshop magic”). Do all of this before uploading. Flickr is not like a disk drive where you’re still working on your pictures — it is the gallery where you’re showing your pictures.
  • Protect: Make a copy of the uploaded images that you keep separately. This will provide you with a reference set that is completely under your control. It will also be available just in case you decide to quickly move to another photo sharing service.
  • Conquer: Start small and learn Flickr’s structure and features. You can afford to mess up with a small collection. Learn from your “mistakes.” (Flickr is complex.)
  • Use: Try linking photos on one of your websites to images stored on Flickr. (We have a page that tells you how.)
  • Enhance: Annotate your photos. Add verbose descriptions. Link in the location. Add tags.
  • Disseminate: Did all of this work? Is it useful? If so, tell other people. Get them involved.