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Macworthy
21 October 2006, 06:54 PM
It may just be me...When I save census images in Ancestry.com, the only choice I can find to save image as is .jpg.

I am sure earlier in the year they were being saved as .gif, and they looked nice and filled out a page when I printed them. In .jpg they are somewhat distorted and never fill the page. They jpg images don't even seem as clear when enlarged versus the gif's from earlier in the year.

After I download the census, I usually save them as a .pdf also so I can enlarge the subjects for better transcription. I see in March and April I had a lot of gif/pdf combos of a census, now they are all jpg combo's.

I tried to look through Ancestry.com's site to see if a change was made regarding downloading images, but came up empty.

Has anyone else noticed this, or it is just me? :o

Bob White
21 October 2006, 09:03 PM
Having just recently subscribed to Ancestry.com, I didn't realize there were previously more choices. I also could not come up with the answer in their relatively extensive but poorly organized Help files. (I hate it when Help is a list of questions as it takes forever to locate what one wants.) Anyway, I just popped off a question in their support area asking them about this.

Based on that experience, I added a second question. After completing required information and the question, I clicked the Submit button and it took me to a window that made me register. I was already logged in to Ancestry.com so I consider this to be a bit on the ludicrous side.

Anyway, I will pass on whatever response that I get.

Macworthy
21 October 2006, 11:19 PM
Having just recently subscribed to Ancestry.com, I didn't realize there were previously more choices. I also could not come up with the answer in their relatively extensive but poorly organized Help files. (I hate it when Help is a list of questions as it takes forever to locate what one wants.) Anyway, I just popped off a question in their support area asking them about this.



Thanks Bob. After I posted that, I decided to send them an email too and just got a response. They're reply was that they have always used JPEG files because they are smaller, and that perhaps I was thinking of Genealogy.com as they used to save images in GIF.

I've never used Genealogy.com so it will remain a mystery to me as to how I downloaded them as GIF's. At the time, I didn't pay attention to what the file format was, I just downloaded. I am wondering now if they were from Heritage Quest? I'll have to go there and check.

Thanks for answering.

Pete Cook
22 October 2006, 02:00 AM
In .jpg they are somewhat distorted ...
Census images downloaded from Ancestry.com have an encoded aspect ratio (why, I don't know).

You need to open them in Photoshop, select "Image" from the menubar, and change "Pixel Aspect Ratio" to "Square." That makes the pixels the same length horizontally as they are vertically, and should correct the "distortion."

Pete Cook
Phoenix, AZ

Mac OS 10.4.8
Photoshop CS2

theKiwi
22 October 2006, 09:51 AM
Census images downloaded from Ancestry.com have an encoded aspect ratio (why, I don't know).

You need to open them in Photoshop, select "Image" from the menubar, and change "Pixel Aspect Ratio" to "Square." That makes the pixels the same length horizontally as they are vertically, and should correct the "distortion."

Interesting - I opened one of my Ancestry.com British Census images in Photoshop and it "looked" OK, and I couldn't find anywhere a command for Pixel Aspect Ratio - Photoshop 7. What version of Photoshop do you see this in? (Or where do I need to really look to find it?)

But opening the same image in Preview, it was definitely narrower, and the file info revealed this...

JFIF
X Density 26
Y Density 20

Presumably this is the "ratio" of the distortion- that the x axis has 26 pixels for every 20 in the Y axis - in otherwords the pixels are taller than they are wide?

Roger

Karen Peters
22 October 2006, 11:38 AM
I've never used Genealogy.com so it will remain a mystery to me as to how I downloaded them as GIF's. At the time, I didn't pay attention to what the file format was, I just downloaded. I am wondering now if they were from Heritage Quest? I'll have to go there and check.

Thanks for answering.

Heritage Quest currently lets you download as PDFs or TIFFs.

Bob Goode
22 October 2006, 09:54 PM
Thanks Bob. After I posted that, I decided to send them an email too and just got a response. They're reply was that they have always used JPEG files because they are smaller, and that perhaps I was thinking of Genealogy.com as they used to save images in GIF.

I've never used Genealogy.com so it will remain a mystery to me as to how I downloaded them as GIF's. At the time, I didn't pay attention to what the file format was, I just downloaded. I am wondering now if they were from Heritage Quest? I'll have to go there and check.

Thanks for answering.

I subscribe to Ancestry (for several years) and have downloaded many census files. All of them have been .gif. I just downloaded another file and sure enough it is .jpeg. However, the Ancestry email response to you is incorrect. I have dozens, upon dozens, of .gif census files and today's was the first .jpeg. Ancestry is just plain wrong as they just recently switched to .jpeg and have not always used .jpeg as they claimed in their response to you. The disconcerting problem with the .jpeg file is the different aspect ratio. I will email them also.

Bob

Urs Geiser
22 October 2006, 10:19 PM
Heritage Quest currently lets you download as PDFs or TIFFs.
All the census images that I saved from HeritageQuest (through my public library) were GIFs, as recently as 2 weeks ago. I saved them from the contextual menu that pops up when you click the image for a while (or command-click).

Karen Peters
23 October 2006, 10:00 AM
All the census images that I saved from HeritageQuest (through my public library) were GIFs, as recently as 2 weeks ago. I saved them from the contextual menu that pops up when you click the image for a while (or command-click).

I'm saving by a different method. There is a download button just above the cenus page. If you click that, it will take you to another page that gives you the choice of Download to disk: PDF File or TIFF File or View in Adobe Acrobat.

Urs Geiser
23 October 2006, 01:52 PM
I usually do the census lookups frome home, where the internet connection is slow (dial-up). Grabbing the image from the contextual menu doesn't require yet another long wait (the browser saves from the cached copy), as the "official" download mechanism would. GIF may be more compressed (GIF is a loss-less compression mechanism) than TIFF, depending on the exact flavor of TIFF. PDF in this case is just a wrapper around one of the other image formats. Whatever works...

Macworthy
23 October 2006, 02:49 PM
I subscribe to Ancestry (for several years) and have downloaded many census files. All of them have been .gif. I just downloaded another file and sure enough it is .jpeg. However, the Ancestry email response to you is incorrect. I have dozens, upon dozens, of .gif census files and today's was the first .jpeg. Ancestry is just plain wrong as they just recently switched to .jpeg and have not always used .jpeg as they claimed in their response to you. The disconcerting problem with the .jpeg file is the different aspect ratio. I will email them also.

Bob

Thanks Bob. I know I am new to all this, but I knew something was up over this summer sometime when the files just didn't look right.

I didn't join Ancestry until May and had been using it at our library, so I thought maybe that was the issue.

Just recently I realized it was saving them as JPEG but didn't think much about it until I tried to enlarge the file to read better, and it pixelated very quickly.

Originally, I was saving them as they were downloaded (GIF) and then converting to PDF to enlarge the subject's line to print it out for easier reading and transcription for me.

My email came from "Jeff" with Member Solutions, at Ancestry.com.

It probably isn't a big deal, except I didn't understand the distortion issue and the GIF files never did it. I'll have to explore now to see if I can edit it in Photoshop Elements, as mentioned here.

Sandy D.

Tom Robinson
24 October 2006, 06:45 PM
I subscribe to Ancestry (for several years) and have downloaded many census files. All of them have been .gif. I just downloaded another file and sure enough it is .jpeg. However, the Ancestry email response to you is incorrect. I have dozens, upon dozens, of .gif census files and today's was the first .jpeg. Ancestry is just plain wrong as they just recently switched to .jpeg and have not always used .jpeg as they claimed in their response to you. The disconcerting problem with the .jpeg file is the different aspect ratio. I will email them also.
Yup, same here: have always downloaded GIFs, and recently they've switched to JPEGs. I've had no problems with aspect ratio though (using GraphicConverter to view them).

Bob White
26 October 2006, 12:41 AM
Having just recently subscribed to Ancestry.com, I didn't realize there were previously more choices. I also could not come up with the answer in their relatively extensive but poorly organized Help files. (I hate it when Help is a list of questions as it takes forever to locate what one wants.) Anyway, I just popped off a question in their support area asking them about this.....Anyway, I will pass on whatever response that I get.

So, here's their reply:

"Dear Bob,

We appreciate your message.

Census images are JPEG, therefore you can only save them as they actually are, which is JPEG. You will need an imaging program to convert them to a different format.

If there is anything else with which we might assist you, please let us know."

I have no way of knowing whether or not that is baloney but it is at least plausible. :rolleyes:

Tom Robinson
26 October 2006, 06:48 PM
"[...] Census images are JPEG, therefore you can only save them as they actually are, which is JPEG. You will need an imaging program to convert them to a different format. [...]"

I have no way of knowing whether or not that is baloney but it is at least plausible. :rolleyes:
I can't tell which bit you're unsure about, but Safari can only save JPEGs as JPEGs. They can be easily converted to another format after downloading--my favourite program for this kind of task is GraphicConverter.

Cheers

Bob White
27 October 2006, 12:08 AM
What I am not sure about is whether or not I am being given true information regarding what format that they save their images in for storage and subsequent access by customers.

I, too, am a Graphics Converter fan. I have been using it since about version 3. And I am satisfied with getting the census info in JPG format. It works OK for me. I was simply digging for an answer to a question; I have an inquisitive mind.

Stephen Hill
27 October 2006, 11:39 AM
Just recently I realized it was saving them as JPEG but didn't think much about it until I tried to enlarge the file to read better, and it pixelated very quickly.

Hi Bob

As I understand it - It is the size of the file which matters - I have from 100kb to 2mb .jpgs. The 100s I email the larger ones I modify - retouch using Photo Elements etc. So therfore, much depends on what the size of the jpeg is when it is downloaded to you or the size you scan it at. No matter what type of application you use to modify it - retouch etc - if it is in the low 100s then it pixilates etc when you enlarge it.

cheers

Steve

Peter Cook
27 October 2006, 11:45 PM
They can be easily converted to another format after downloading--my favourite program for this kind of task is GraphicConverter.

While on occasion I use GraphicConverter, Apple's own Preview.app will convert from/to a number of graphics formats using "Save As" ...

BMP, GIF, JPEG-2000, JPEG, PDF, Photoshop, PICT, PNG. SGI, TGA, TIFF are currently supported.

Peter
OS X: 10.4.8 / Reunion: 8.06

Pat Bell
29 December 2006, 06:12 PM
Thanks Bob. After I posted that, I decided to send them an email too and just got a response. They're reply was that they have always used JPEG files because they are smaller, and that perhaps I was thinking of Genealogy.com as they used to save images in GIF.

I've never used Genealogy.com so it will remain a mystery to me as to how I downloaded them as GIF's. At the time, I didn't pay attention to what the file format was, I just downloaded. I am wondering now if they were from Heritage Quest? I'll have to go there and check.

Thanks for answering.

I just took a look to see how they're handled by genealogy.com. Currently (don't know whether they did this earlier or not) they're saved as .TIFF files. That's with using Safari as a browser. Internet Explorer (w/ a Mac) seemed to hang with QuickTime and I got nothing.
FWIW.

Rauser
30 December 2006, 12:40 AM
As a prior multi-year subscriber to Ancestry.com, the switching of file formats from .gif to .jpg was just one more reason to not renew my subscription for 2007.

What sealed it for me was the lossy graphics format, "improved" website layout that only confuscated search results, and the games played with their bait-and-switch pricing and what information was provided. I've realized that they don't at all provide the value I would have associated with the $299.40 I would have to fork over next year.

At this point I'd rather spend the money on postage and do my work the good old-fashioned way. Or, perhaps I'll give my money to another service and try to foster some competition.

Ancestry.com was good for me as a someone new to the hobby, but after several years it was played out for me. Perhaps in several years (likely after the 1940 US and 1911 UK censuses are released) they will have accumulated enough new material to justify my resubscribe. Hopefully by then FamilySearch.com will have started to release their information online, as is rumored to be happening.

-Chris

Bob White
30 December 2006, 05:21 PM
Just recently I realized it was saving them as JPEG but didn't think much about it until I tried to enlarge the file to read better, and it pixelated very quickly......Hi Bob .......As I understand it - It is the size of the file which matters - I have from 100kb to 2mb .jpgs. The 100s I email the larger ones I modify - retouch using Photo Elements etc. So therfore, much depends on what the size of the jpeg is when it is downloaded to you or the size you scan it at. No matter what type of application you use to modify it - retouch etc - if it is in the low 100s then it pixilates etc when you enlarge it.........cheers...........Steve

When I get to the census image that I want, I make sure that it is displaying at 100% per Ancestry. I then right-click (control-click) and choose Save Image. The images for the 1910, 1920 and 1930 censuses are consistently about 1.1 MB and measure 2277 x 1957 pixels. Other years are about the same file size with a slightly different pixel measurement.

Needless to say, one has to make these image super large before encountering pixelation. Just used Graphic Converter to view one and I didn't see any pixelation until 400%! In order to see the whole document on my 20" iMac display, I have to view at 66%.

I use FireFox mostly but I get the same result from Safari. I don't know what I am doing that others aren't but I'm happy with the images that I am getting and don't need to do any work on them