Using Tropy across multiple devices, multiple users

Hi there,

I am a research assistant for an art historian. I have been tasked with creating an image database of artworks relevant to the research project we’re working on. The key priorities are

  • A platform that is able to accessed and edited by both of us
  • The ability to organise images by tags
  • The ability to customise metadata to categorise specific to artworks (title, artist, materials, dimensions)
  • The ability to annotate images, or add notes with references to where artworks have been cited or exhibited.

I’ve been playing around with Tropy and it has many of these features, but I’m struggling to make a database that is able to be accessed from my computer and her’s. I’ve followed the instructions to create a Portable File, which worked when I tried to access a file I created on my laptop using my university computer (I stored the photos in a folder on OneDrive), but the professor I’m working with couldn’t access the database (the images appeared as coloured blocks on her computer).

Any help anyone might be able to offer, or any recommendations for a cloud-based storage and organisational system would be greatly appreciated.

I think you’ve already found all the relevant information: it’s certainly possible to access a portable project from multiple devices, but there are currently no safeguards against potential sync-conflicts built into Tropy itself. Most network share providers will automatically make backup copies of conflicting files, but you would still have to ‘resolve’ any conflicts manually by reviewing the changes. This is something we’re continuing to work on in Tropy; meanwhile, it can be mitigated by being careful to always make sure your latest changes have been saved to the network share and that you’re not working on the file at the same time. For the upcoming release making projects portable will also be possible via the project preferences:

As for the images appearing as coloured blocks, this means that Tropy was not able to find the original photos on OneDrive or that Tropy had insufficient permissions to access them. If you post the tropy.log file here and tell us the paths to the project file and the photos, I’m sure we can figure out what’s wrong.