⚡️ Graph-based Photo Storage

Roam Research for photo storage.

I don’t know if y’all have heard but Google Photos is transitioning to a paid plan in June (’21). I’ve been using Google Photos for years because it’s easily been the best photo storage and organization tool on the market so this is a sad moment for me. At the same time, it’s also the exact excuse I’ve been waiting for. If you’re like me, you value your privacy and if there’s a company out there other than Facebook who would use your personal data to build an increasingly invasive profile on you, it would be Google. So I’ve been wanting to switch for a while but the product was just SO good.

That being said, as I began my hunt for a good alternative, I found myself coming up empty handed. Then I actually had this idea: what if I stored my photos in Roam Research?

Now that’s a pretty terrible idea since Roam is not set up for that sort of experience. But before I dismissed the idea outright, I actually ran with it a bit. What if there WAS a Roam for photos? What would that look like? What would it be called? I'm going with Phoam.

I would imagine that the images would be like blocks and collections of images would be like pages.

Within the photos, maybe on hover or in a metadata sidebar, you could have [Collection Links].

As you added images, machine learning would extract and auto-create Collections for things like:

  • Locations (eg. New York City, NY)
  • People/Pets (eg. Bob, Fido)
  • Objects (eg. mountains)
  • Themes (eg. party)
  • Visual elements (eg. blue)
  • Dates, Weeks, Months, Years
  • File Type (eg. photo, video, screenshot)
  • Lens (eg. selfie, wide angle, normal, telephoto)
  • Orientation (eg. landscape, portrait, square, panorama)

Each image would have a list of extracted Collection Links that you could choose from to jump into.

For example, let’s say you’re browsing a Collection from your camping trip in Yosemite National Park and you want to see all other photos of mountains. Simply select an image with a mountain in it and click on the extracted [mountain] Collection Link and you'll be taken to a Collection of mountain photos.

Instead of Daily Pages in Roam, you’d simply have a main feed which would sort your photos by date captured.

Naturally, there would be a handful of other features such as:

  • Custom Collections
  • Favorite Collections
  • Shared Collections
  • Private Collections