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The top-most section ("Details") of the page displays all the photo details and metadata information. Here, you can find who uploaded the photo, the source of the uploaded photo, and the owner of the original copy of the photo.
Please note the difference between source and owner. Source is where you found the photo, while owner is the current owner of the photo. For example, a photo owned by the Library of Congress might be posted in a Facebook group; here, the Facebook group is the source and LOC is the owner. As another example, a photo published in Military Images magazine might credit the "John Doe Collection." Here, the source is the magazine and the owner is John Doe.
Owners do change over time, especially among collectors, so it's appropriate to update the owner field if the original photo changes hands.
The photo page is divided into three main sections: Details, Faces, and Activity.
Whenever a user performs an action on the website (e.g. adds/edits/deletes information, votes on a photo, compares a photo to another photo), that activity is logged to the website's database. This tracks any changes made to the photo, while ensuring that everyone gets credit for their contributions.
In the activity feed on the photo page, you can find all user actions performed on the photo listed in chronological order. The activity feed also displays system updates such as a change in the identification quality, or a new identification source being added or removed. The icons represent the activity type.
You can edit the metadata by clicking the "Edit Details" button in the "Details" section. Learn more here.
If a photo has been identified, the name of the identity will be displayed at the top of the page. Otherwise, the title will read Unidentified.
If you scroll down, you will find more information about the identity in the "Identities" section.
In the "Identities" section, expand the identity you are interested in by clicking the "Show biography, sources and other photos" button. This will bring up the biographical information (demographics, ranks held, units served, and the biographical source) for the identity. You can edit that information by clicking the "Edit Biography" button, which will take you to a page similar to the "Add Person" page. On this page, you can edit the person's name, demographic information and service records.
In the "Identities" section, expand the identity you are interested in by clicking the "Show biography, sources and other photos" button. Below the "Biography" section, you will find a section titled:
Can Photo ID number be identified as Person Name?
Here, in this section, you will find a chart displaying all the community votes. These votes are aggregated from the photo identification step in the "Compare Interface". This chart will give you an idea of how confident the community is regarding the identification in question. If you wish to find out which users voted what, you can click on the bars in the chart. This will display the voting details. You can also give your opinion by clicking the "Give your opinion" button above the chart. This will bring up the same compare interface from the search results page, where you will first compare with other photos of the person and then vote on the overall identity. You can also add a comment to explain your decision. This comment will be visible to others. Your vote is important for multiple reasons. We are relying on the community's opinions to help prevent misidentifications happening on the website. For example, if the majority of the votes on a given identification is negative, then that photo may potentially be a misidentification, as multiple users with different perspectives and expertise are carefully analyzing all available information.
Second, your votes will be visible to other users. We hope this visibility will encourage more users to weigh in their opinions. If there are certain community members whose opinions you especially trust, you can encourage them to vote on your proposed identifications.
Third, we have introduced a new way of assessing identifications on the website through quality badges. The highest identification quality badge available is "Verified ID", which may require community consensus (or at least no community dispute), depending on the circumstances. You can learn more about that here.
In the past, some photos have been identified with "Unknown" or "Unidentified" as the name. Other photos have biographical details without any names. Still other photos are identified with just the first name, or just the last name. We classified all such identities as "partial identities". These will appear in a new section below the "Identities" section. If no "complete" identity is suggested for these photos, they will still be considered as unidentified photos.
If you are manually adding an identity for a person from the "Add Person" page, and only fill out the demographic information but skip the identity information, it will be automatically classified as a "partial identity".
If multiple identities are available for a photo, Photo Sleuth will automatically pick a winning identity. This winning identity is chosen by assessing the quality of all identifications. You can learn more about identification quality here. We display the name of the winning identity as the title of the photo, with an icon next to it to indicate multiple identities.
In the identities section, you can find all the identities, with the winning identity shown first.
If people disagree about the identity of a photo, they can express their opinions by voting either No - Highly Confident (strong disagreement) or No - Slightly Confident (weak disagreement) on the overall identification. If we have 3 strong disagreements (or 6 weak disagreements), we consider it as an indicator of community dispute. A community dispute is also initiated if the negative votes are more than half the positive votes.
A community dispute over an identity means that particular identification needs more verification. Learn more about verifying identities here.
We are relying on original reference sources (e.g. book, magazine, website, inscription, other photos, etc.) to help verify the identity of a photo. We have added different types of sources that people generally use for identifying Civil War portraits. These are all the available source types:
The sources provided before the "Identification Sources" feature was released will tentatively be listed as "Uncategorized" sources. In order to ensure that all identifications are correctly assessed, we need these old identification sources to be correctly categorized. We have automatically categorized some generic sources, such as Ancestry.com, eBay, etc. However, many sources remain uncategorized.
We are relying on the Photo Sleuth community to volunteer and categorize these sources. There are two ways you can contribute to this effort:
Yes. If a photo was manually identified, then you will find the photo listed under the "Identification Sources" for the identity on the photo page. To review the source information, click the "Review Source" button. This will open an interface where you can modify the source category and the source details.
Please note: the identification quality badge for a photo may get updated when the source category is modified. Learn more about that here.
Thousands of photos have been identified on the website by our user community. In order to ensure that photos are identified correctly, we have added quality assessment badges. These badges indicate the four levels of quality assessment: Needs Tags, Needs ID, Needs Verification, and Verified ID.
Every photo on the website gets assigned one of these four badges, based on available evidence. Here, evidence can mean photo metadata, visual tags, identification sources, and community opinions. If there's any change in the available evidence (i.e., existing information is updated or deleted or new information is added), the quality assessment levels may accordingly get upgraded or downgraded.
The identification quality is assessed primarily on the basis of two factors: 1) identification sources and 2) community opinions. Currently, we consider Primary Identification Sources to be the most reliable source for verifying an identification. For other sources, we rely on the community's opinions to help verify the identity. Here are some scenarios in which an identification can get verified: