Images are central to telling the protected areas story. Where and when a photo was taken as well as by whom is important. Amongst other things, such detailing offers a chance to compare changes in a protected area over time.

Procedure: Uploading an Image

Uploading an image involves the following 5 steps:

  1. Preparing
  2. Uploading
  3. Describing
  4. Using
  5. Archiving and Deleting

1. Preparing

Once uploaded, very basic editing such as cropping is possible but it is not possible to change the file name of the image nor resize it. These steps should be done in advance using a photo editing or file management tool. Preparation involves transforming the image to the standards in particular:

  • Filename: e.g. BilbyNA_2098-12-31_BobsUruncle.
  • File size: e.g. rendering an image down to be no more than 1,000 pixels on the largest dimension (Height or Width).
  • Cropping: Although cropping can be done in WordPress, it is easier at this stage.

File Naming Conventions

As a general principle, care and effort is taken to name images and files not for their immediate benefit but instead for those having to manage the file a year, decade or more in the future. The file name should be scannable to the human and at a glance tell the store of WHERE, WHEN and WHO. Some specifics include the following:

  1. No Spaces: Replace them with hyphens “-” or underscores “_”.
  2. General Format: [WHERE]_[WHEN]_[WHO]_[IDENTIFIER]
    1. WHERE: Name of the protected area including its designation at the time of uploading (Natural Area = NA, Provincial Park =PP, etc.).
    2. WHEN: The filename should contain the date (YYYY-MM-DD) and where the photo was taken. Use ‘ca’ indicating an approximate timeframe if the date is less certain (e.g. ca1987).
    3. WHO: Include the photo credit in the name if available otherwise listed as ‘unknown’.
    4. IDENTIFIER: Often a number or a subject description.
  3. Examples:
    • Not allowed: “dsc012345”
    • Perfect: “BilbyNA_2098-12-31_BobsUruncle”
    • Acceptable: WelchCreekNA_ca1987_Unknown
  4. Substance over Form: the reason to follow the above standards is to support searching, sorting and usage of the images. As long as the above standards are reasonably adhered to, the file should be accepted and used even if the order, format, etc. varies.
  5. Tips and Tricks:
    • Windows Title: the Windows attribute ‘Title’ associated with an image will override the file name when uploading.
    • Unable to Delete: holds an image in its database even if it is deleted (this is to provide continuity and support restore function). Uploading a file again will result in an ‘incremented’ file name (e.g. Bilby, Bilby-1, Bilby-2, etc.).

File Size and Format

  • Size: RAW images are not permitted but the photo should be at least 1,000 pixels on one of its dimensions (e.g. 1,500 x 1,800) but no more than 3,000 pixels on its largest dimension. Approx. 0.3 to 1.0 MB is ideal!
  • Format: Most common media-formats are allowed (jpg, png, etc.). At this time, videos are not permitted due to space limitations.

2. Uploading

Ideally upload via the Media Library function. This ensures the Describing stage is done consistently before associating a file with a page or a blog. Images can also be uploaded via a specific page or blog.

3. Describing

Photo Credit: Photo credit is provided in the narrative sections of the image and if possible, embedded in the filename (see above example).

Caption: The caption should provide a short description of the subject of image and a photo credit and date: [SUBJECT] – [LOCATION] – [DATE] – [(CREDIT)].

  • [SUBJECT]: What is being seen in the photo, e.g. People, flora, fauna, landscape, etc. E.g., white-tailed deer.
  • [LOCATION] Name of the area where the photo was taken unless unavailable.
    • Abbreviations of common terms permitted, e.g. NA = Natural Area, PP = Provincial Park.
  • [DATE]: preferred format, YYYY-MM-DD, e.g. 2098-12-31 for December 31st, 2098.
  • [(CREDIT)]: who took the photo in parentheses, e.g. (BSuruncle).
    • Typically first initial followed without a space by the capitalized last name.
    • Words such as photo credit, etc. are not required if this format is used.
  • Examples:
    • Sedge Fens, Welsh Creek Natural area – 2098-12-31 (BSurncle)
    • Bilby Natural Area Site Review, December 31, 2098 (Bob Suruncle)

Description/Alternative Text: This provides narrative for those viewing the site with audio-descriptions on. Use short and concise sentences to describe the image, e.g. “White-tailed deer face the camera from behind foliage in Bilby Natural Area”. Abbreviations should be avoided.

Files can be sorted in the media library and searched on (e.g. a search for ‘Bilby’ would return the image: “BilbyNA_2098-12-31_BobsUruncle”).

Describing an Order in Council Map

Order-in-Council Map of [LOCATION] [ADDITIONAL DETAILS AS RELEVANT] Natural Area (Government of Alberta)

4. Using

Once uploaded, the image is available to insert into a page or blog. The caption and other details noted above will be automatically carried along with the image.

5. Deleting or Archiving

A copy of the photo should be uploaded per the following:

  1. Archiving is done to at least the GDrive associated with
  2. Both the original (e.g. uncropped, before resizing) and finished photo can be stored per the above although with descriptive file names to differentiate them (e.g. Woverine_Opal_2099-12-31_BobsUruncle and Woverine_Opal_2099-12-31_BobsUruncle_1000px)
  3. In due course, SAPAA will review the above including the benefits of using a paid image management service (e.g. Flikr).
  4. Where to Store is based on the subject matter:
    1. Pertaining to a Protected Area(s) specifically
    2. Generic image applicable to multiple Protected Areas
    3. Other
  5. One Protected Area:
    1. Photo pertains to a single protected area or protected area cluster (e.g. there is both an OC and a PNT making up one reserved area).
    2. Save in the respective folder noting the following:
      1. Multiple Protected Areas, same name, different designation (e.g. Opal OC and Opal PNT):
        1. Store only in the OC folder, unless
        2. Store in the PNT folder if the content is specific to the PNT
    3. Folders:
      1. Order in Council Natural Areas: GDrive > SAPAA-Web > _NA-OC > [SITE]
      2. PNT-CNT Natural Areas: GDrive > SAPAA-Web > _NA-PNT_CNT > [SITE]
      3. All Others: GDrive > SAPAA-Web > [SITE]
  6. Generic Images
    1. Used on a non-Protected Area page: GDrive > SAPAA-Web > _Website

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