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Group Description

Flickr is the most popular of the photographic websites used to store and organize digital pictures. It also allows the possibility of forming "groups" with pictures related to a single topic from many contributors. There are Flickr groups about almost everything. However, I was surprised to find that there are no Flickr groups showing pictures of or related to linguistic field work, or, at least, none that are open to everyone. To remedy that lack, I have founded such a group.

You can reach the group at the following URL:
Everyone is encouraged to contribute pictures related to their field work experiences.

I don't envision the site as being primarily for pictures of field methods classes at first world universities, but you can post whatever you think is relevant. Pictures of people involved in your field work who are doing non-linguistic activities are definitely fine, as are pictures showing off the culture etc. of the people whose language is being studied.

I am sure everyone would agree that it is desirable for it to be easy to see all the pictures relevant to a language, place or specific linguist. This is a bit of a problem in Flickr groups. It is easy to organize your own pictures on Flickr into sets and collections within your own space, but there does not seem to be any way that we could create folders for each language in the group space. There does seem to be a work around though. I suggest that we do several things instead:

1) Everyone should add tags (keywords) in the "tag" field containing the name of the language, the field worker and the location of the field work.

2) Photos should be given informative titles.

3) The description of the photo should also contain the name of the language, the field worker and the location of the field work. It should also contain any other description that might be interesting to the viewer/reader. The description can be quite long, if you like, telling a story etc., or it can be minimal. It is up to you.

The search possibilities in Flickr are quite good. Following these guidelines will allow people to sort the photos by language and location etc., and it will permit viewers to understand what they are looking at.

To start things off, I have posted a few pictures from Gaby's and my field work in Peru in the late 1970s.

There is an additional matter that you should take into consideration in choosing what photos you wish to post. Will the individuals in the pictures object to having their pictures shown on the web? Some countries may require explicit permission from the people in the pictures. Flickr is a U.S. website and the U.S. does not. See for a discussion of the legal situation. My view is that a higher standard than that required by the law should be adopted by the group. If anyone objects to having their picture shown on the website, of if there is reason to think they would object, the picture will be taken out of the group. (That does NOT remove them from your personal Flickr site however.) Please remember that YOU are posting the pictures, and it is up to you and only you to make the appropriate decisions regarding which pictures you decide to post.

By the way, you do need to join Flickr to post pictures. It is free. Flickr is owned by Yahoo, and it does not make information on its members commercially available. I have not seen any increase in spam since I started using Flickr.

Peter Cole

Additional Info

  • This group will count toward the photo's limit (60 for Pro members, 30 for free members)
  • Accepted content types: Photos, Videos, Images, Art, Screenshots
  • Accepted safety levels: Safe
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