Searching and Filtering Photos in digiKam — Part 2

Besides the quick search and filtering tools at the bottom of the main window, digiKam offers more advanced search features accessible via the left sidebar. Here, you’ll find a variety of search options, including the Calendar, Tags, Timeline, Searches, Fuzzy Searches, and Map Searches. The Map Searches option was covered previously, so let’s take a look at what else digiKam has to offer.

The Calendar section lets you quickly find photos for a specific year, month, and date. Using the tree in the main pane you can easily locate the year and month you want. Select the desired month and digiKam promptly displays related photos. Want to view photos taken on a specific date? You can do that using the calendar at the bottom where dates containing photos are marked with bold. Click on the date you want to view the related photos.

As the name suggests, you can use the Tags section to locate photos containing specific tags. Besides that, this option can come in handy when you need to purge unused tags. Select a tag, and if no photos are found, you can delete the tag using the Delete command in the right-click context menu. If you have hundreds or even thousands of tags, you can use the Search field to quickly find a specific tag or multiple tags. Start entering the search criteria and digiKam narrows the result as you type.

The Timeline section offers another way to locate and view photos for a specific period of time. All photos here are presented as a bar chart, and you can view photos for a specific period by clicking on the related bar. The Time Unit drop-down list lets you specify the desired time scale for the chart: Year, Month, Week, and Day. The Timeline section has another clever trick up its sleeve: you can save searches as virtual albums. To save the current search, give it a name in the field right below the timeline and press the Save button. This adds the virtual album to the My Date Searches list.

The Search section lets you perform searches in a more traditional way. Type the search term in the Search field and digiKam automatically displays the matching photos in the main pane. To make your search more precise, press the Advanced Search button. This opens the Advanced Search dialog window where you can specify additional search options. The available options are grouped into four sections:

  • The File, Album, Tags section lets you limit the search to specific albums or tags.
  • You can use the Picture Properties section to search for photos containing the desired properties such as creation date, rating, orientation, size, file format, color depth, and file size.
  • The Caption, Comment, Title section lets you search for specific terms in the caption, author, headline, and title fields.
  • Using options in the Photograph Information section you can perform searches in EXIF metadata. You can, for example, search for photos with specific exposure, aperture value, ISO settings, white balance, etc.

By default, the search finds photos that meet all of the specified criteria, but you can change that by clicking on the Options link. When configuring an advanced search query, you can at any time press the Test button to see whether it returns the photos you are looking for. Once you’re satisfied with the result, you can save the search for later use. Give the search a name in the Save Current Search section and press the Save button. You can then run the search by selecting it in the My Searches list.

Finally, the Fuzzy searches section offers three different ways to find the photos you want. In the Image section, you can drag a photo from your hard disk onto the placeholder and let digiKam find similar images. The Sketch section allows you to draw a rough sketch of the photo you need, and digiKam returns photos that look like your drawing. This feature is a bit hit and miss, but it can come in handy when you need to find a photo by its motif. As the name suggests, the Duplicates section lets you find duplicate photos in your albums. Before you can put this feature to some practical use, you have to create a database of fingerprints which uniquely identify your photos. Once you’ve done that, finding duplicate photos is easy. Select the albums and tags you want to include in the search using the appropriate drop-down lists, specify then the similarity threshold in the Similarity field, and hit the Find Duplicates button.


Tech writer covering Linux and open source software

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Posted in Open Source, Photography, Software
4 comments on “Searching and Filtering Photos in digiKam — Part 2
  1. Patrick says:

    Hi there,
    Yesterday I had the misfortune of having my mother-in-law ask me to help her with a digital picture frame.

    She uses Mac OS 10 (Tiger).

    This has iPhoto installed. Do you think I could easily find a way of reducing the resolution of a collection of images so they could be loaded onto a USB drive? No.

    This is the second time I’ve had to use iPhoto and cannot find anything in it that is useful – other than the ability (apparently) to make a video clip of images.

    In terms of tools, function and ease of use, Digikam is in another galaxy, far, far, away from iPhoto and yet I occasionally hear people talk about it as a replacement for iPhoto. It’s like saying a Rolls Royce is a replacement for a Mini Minor.

    Well done Digikam.

    (the digital picture fame thing wouldn’t mount within the Mac architecture – said so IN the box, but not on the outside)

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by nongeekboy: Searching and Filtering Photos in digiKam — Part 2

  3. Michał Borsuk says:

    Two questions, anybody:

    1° Is there a way to combine timeline AND map?
    2° Is there a way to show non-geotagged pics? I’d like to browse through what I have not yet tagged.

  4. Justin Jones says:

    I was able to select photos without GPS locations in two steps.
    1) MySQL query directly on database to tag gps photos.
    2) In Digikam, search for not having the hasGPS tag.

    Step 1)
    a)In Digikam, create a tag named hasGPS.
    b)In Digikam, go to ‘Configure’ and look in ‘Collections’ to see the “Database File Path”.

    c)Close DigiKam.

    d) locate and make a backup copy of your digikam database.

    e) Now, in SQLite Database Browser ( or anything that lets you run an sql query ) load the database and run the following query:

    REPLACE INTO ImageTags (imageid,tagid)
    SELECT imageid, (SELECT id from Tags WHERE name=’hasGPS’)
    FROM ImagePositions WHERE imageid>0

    Now go back to digiKam.

    Step 2)
    In DigiKam, go to Advanced Search.
    a) click on the little ‘options’ lettering and choose ‘None of these conditions are met’
    b) under ‘File, Album, Tags’ select your ‘hasGPS’ tag.
    c) click ‘OK’ !

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