Bulk Image Upload and Bulk Node Edit

The client that received the upgraded image gallery really likes it! They have been creating new galleries and adding tons of images.

The image gallery is built such that each image is uploaded to its own node and image nodes can select which gallery node they should belong to. This parent/child structure gives us a lot more flexibility for storing meta data with the image than you would get with the standard "node gallery" structure where multiple images are uploaded to each gallery node. For example, the names of the photographer, photo subjects and where photo releases are stored can all be kept in fields and saved with the image node itself. It also makes it easy to move a photo from one gallery to another while keeping its meta data intact.

But creating lots of new nodes with basically sequential or redundant data is very tedious, time-consuming and therefore (in my case at least!) error-prone. The second time that the client brought me more than 300 images to upload to the gallery, I decided that it would be worth the time invested to build the admin tools to do this right.

The new gallery admin tools have an overview of all the current published and unpublished galleries, with a count of image nodes in each. It also tracks images that don't belong to a gallery at present. Selecting a gallery opens a page with tabs showing all of the operations that can be performed: Of course we can edit the parent gallery node (publish/unpublish, etc.), or view the gallery in Colorbox mode, but we can also manipulate the child image nodes related to this gallery in bulk. There is a bulk image upload tool that allows us to define default values for each of the fields in the new nodes as they are created. There is also a tool which allows us to sort the display order of child image nodes in the gallery using drag and drop. And we have a tool that gives us the opportunity to bulk edit the caption that will be displayed with each image. It is such a time-saver to be able to see all of the images on one page, adjust their values as needed and click 'save' one time!

It took 32 hours to build the bulk admin tools and average handling time for each image has dropped from at least 10 minutes to around 2 minutes. The tools paid for themselves in handling the first batch of 300 photos. Now that's intelligent technology!

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