Public Lab Research note

Use Google Drive to share large photo collections

by warren | May 12, 2017 20:15 12 May 20:15 | #14185 | #14185

In #balloon-mapping, #timelapse, #photo-monitoring and other methods documented on this site, you often end up with thousands of photos -- this activity shows how to upload and share them using Google Drive.

Lots of photos can be hard to upload to the web or share with others; we've collected a few different approaches to this at the Photo Sharing page. Take a look and choose a technique that works for you. Thanks to @stevie who came up with this system!

Google Drive offers 15 gigabytes of free storage for anyone with a Gmail/Google account, which is enough for, very roughly, 15,000 photos. For $2 per month, you can get 100 gigabytes of space, which is enough for, very roughly, 100,000 photos.

While there are ways to use Google Drive on the desktop, we're going to stick to the web interface for this guide.

Step 1 - Setup

First, open, and log in or create an account with Google. You'll see a fairly empty interface, but click the blue "NEW" button and choose New folder...

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I found that I couldn't see where the folder went, but I eventually clicked on My Drive and saw the new folder; click on it to open:image description

Step 2 - Sharing

Now you need to set the sharing settings, by clicking the "caret" next to the title of the folder and choosing Share... from the menu:image description

The Share pane is pretty sparse, but the Advanced link on the lower right gets you to the next menu:

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This is also not quite there, but if you click **Change... **on the right, just under the "Who has access" heading, you'll get to a third display, where you should choose **Public on the web **- the top option:

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Step 3 - Add extra permissions

Before closing that window, you're not quite done! Look to the right of Access: Anyone and choose Can organize, add, & edit from the dropdown. Then press Save.

Step 4 - Upload images

Uploading images is pretty easy - just drag them into the window, and you'll see a dialog box like this:

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You can just let this run while moving on to the next steps, especially if it's a lot of images. Just be sure to check the file counts after to ensure they all made it.

Step 5 - Send the link

Now the URL at the top of the window can be copy-pasted into an email, posted on a website, or whatever you like. Other folks will see the contents, and if they want to add or edit things, they'll need to log into a Gmail or Google account.

To see an example, I've created one here; feel free to try it out:

Step 6 - Organize folders

The folder can get pretty messy pretty fast if you don't provide some structure, especially if you're sharing with lots of people. Using a strong set of conventions for folder names, like 2017-05-12-topic-name can help get things off to a smooth start.

You can also add a document with the title READ ME FIRST, and lay out some ground rules. Or tell people where to go for help! Feel free to link to this guide, for example.

Step 7 - expand storage

To see how much storage you have, look at the bottom of the left-hand column:


To get lots more storage, you can click Expand and you'll be prompted to add storage to Google Drive.

That's it, thanks!

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