CUCC Expedition Handbook

Uploading Photos (complex)

Simple upload

If your needs are simple, then use the simple online form procedure.

The end-result you are trying to achieve

What you are trying to do is to get your happy holiday snaps appear properly indexed with all the others from the previous decades of expo history. You can see them all here:
which is the end result. But all you have to do is to upload the photos to the right place. A hidden script does the hard work to make it all look nice after the upload.

If you are a beginner you can use the initial simple method below (see above) for the photos you have taken of cave entrances for cave survey and prospecting purposes.

If you are looking for how to upload a GPS track, those instructions have been moved to here.

Names for your photo files and folders

Please read the instructions for your folder name and the filenames of the photos in the simple online form procedure.

Please don't upload lots of near-duplicate photos: cull them first to just the good ones. We don't want any that are out of focus either.

Using uploaded photos in blogs

The UK Caving blog requires that photos in it are actually hosted elsewhere. This needs to be a permanent place so that the blogs can be read in years to come. Imgur, Flikr or Instagram are OK though not ideal (expo has its own Instagram account) but your personal GoogleDocs or GooglePhotos stash definitely is not. Preferably they should be put on the expo server e.g. 2018 blog photos are permanently archived on in the published resolution.

Experienced users

OK the admin/nerd you have been asking to move the files to the right place on the expo laptop is getting fed up and now wants you to put the uploaded photos in the right place yourself and not just in /uploads/. This is where they go:

directory: /home/expo/expofiles/photos/2019/YourName/
or, for GPS logs (GPX files):
directory: /home/expo/expofiles/gpslogs/2019/YourName/

Obviously replace /2019/ with the current year. This is the expo year the photos are taken, so if you are uploading a previous years' photos which you never got around to uploading you will use /2018/ or whatever.

Obviously replace 'YourName' with your actual name (no spaces!). It is important that you get this right as this specific way of writing your name is standardised across the website (this is known as "CamelCase").

This is the only place in the whole system that you should use some capital letters. Absolutely everywhere else you should use only lower-case letters, no spaces, and hyphens (not underlines) when creating filenames, folder names or variable names of any sort.

Use the year that the photo was taken or the GPS track logged.

Uploading files from the expo laptop

Always learn how to use the system first on the expo laptop before trying to do it with your own machine.

OK the files have been put into the correct place on the laptop by an experienced user and now you need to copy them to the server. Don't worry about deleting them from the expo laptop after copying as we can do that clean-up at the end of expo. In fact don't delete them from /uploads/ on the expo laptop, moved them to a sub-folder called "already_uploaded" or somesuch in the same folder

The expo server has a big section under 'home/expo/expofiles/' that is not under version control. This is dangerous as there is no backup. If you overwrite some important files with holiday snaps then we are in big trouble.

This is where we store big files that we don't want to keep multiple versions of which is why it is not under verson control.

This is why we do not want beginners directly uploading photos to the server but to just put them on the expo laptop instead.

So assuming that you have the photos on the laptop in directory:

you are going to be copying them to directory:
on the server.

Now you are in and can copy and move files anywhere. But please stick to copying files from your machine (the left window) to the server (the right window) into the /uploads/, /photos/ or /gpslogs/ folders only:

(Click to enlarge).

For installing and pre-configuring Filezilla on a new machine see FileZilla install instructions which will set you up pointing at the correct folder automatically. But none of this will work on new machine until you have also done the key-pair setup procedure.

Automated magic

Note that uploading photos does not automatically update the view at immediately. An update script needs to be run. This should run automatically once/day around midnight UTC (2017 and earlier) or a couple of minutes after you do the upload to the right place (2023 maybe.. if Wookey gets this sorted out in time) but may be broken. Prod a web admin to make this happen.

Expert instructions

These have been moved to a separate page: expert upload instructions.

Using your own laptop

To use your own laptop on expo, or after you return from expo, you need need to use FTP. So become an experienced user first.

You will need to know the expo password but none of this will work until you have also done the key-pair setup procedure.

To install and configure Filezilla on your machine see FileZilla install instructions which will set you up pointing at the correct folder automatically.

Getting photo files from phones

Phones are set up these days to share photos via apps such as "Gallery" or "Google Photos" and most people never see the photo files explicitly. However you will need to see them in order to upload them.

When plugged into a computer using a USB cable most laptops will offer the option to copy files as well as charge the phone. If your phone does this, then answer "yes" when that popup appears. The photos (and probably all your other media) will be copied to the laptop. Where it copies the files depends on your phone and you will have to sit at the laptop to find the folder it has put them into. (Note that some cheap USB cables are "power only" and won't do this with any phone.)

If you use Google Photos or a similar app you can create an online album using the app and share it with your friends. Do this for your caving holiday snaps and cave entrance location photos and share them with an expo nerd who will download them the right place on the server. Be careful that you are sharing the full original resolution of the photos and not some cut-down compressed bastardized "enhanced" version of the photos.

Using an FTP app

If you want to do it yourself and the USB cable trick does not work then you will need to install a file manager and FTP app. Currently (on Expo 2019) the best seems to be the free andftp app. Assuming you can find where your phone camera has put the photo files on your phone, you can use your phone to upload photos directly to the /uploads/ folder on the expo server. However renaming them to something sensible and putting them in your own /YourName/ folder (see above for file naming guidelines) is fiddly on a phone.

To use the FTP app you will need:

  1. The hostname of the server:
  2. the username: expo
  3. the password: (the usual cavey:beery password which you can get verbally from another expoer)
  4. the target folder: /uploads/, or it may appear as /expofiles/uploads/
  5. the port number: 21 (if you leave this blank it will probably work)

But none of this will work until you have also done the key-pair setup procedure. On a phone this means that you will also need to install a terminal (command line) app. See your machine instructions, the Android bits.

  1. Install the andftp app onto your Android phone using the Google Play Store and allow it to access your files and photos on your phone (just click on the popup to do this).
  2. Click on the icon that looks like a "plus" synbol in a circle
  3. This opens a window with 3 tabs: General, Advanced and Sync
  4. On the General tab, type in the hostname, username and password as listed above.
  5. Also tick the checkbox "Enable resume support"
  6. Click OK to the two popups that appear
  7. You will now see an icon of a networked file folder (light blue) with the label "". Click on it.
  8. Wait a while as it loads...
  9. Keep waiting. Various messages will scroll by at the bottom of the screen in tiny font.
  10. Keep waiting..
  11. The tiny text at the bottom will say "226 Transfer complete" and the main part of the window will show a listing of the files in the /uploads/ folder on the server.
  12. Now click on the little icon of a phone near the middle of the top row of icons.
  13. This will show a list of folders on your phone. Initially it will show "alt_autocycle, Android and DCIM".
  14. Click on ""DCIM", it will show a folder "Camera", click on that
  15. Now you can see a list of all your photo files by name and with the size shown on the right. Typically they will be 1.3MB or so in size.
  16. Before you upload, you need to create your own folder.
  17. Now click on the icon of a little cloud near the middle of the icon bar. This will show the files on the server.
  18. Now you need to create a folder /YourName/ and move those files into it. Click on the 3-dots icon on the right-hand end of the icon bar.
  19. Select the Create Folder option.
  20. A popup appears and you type in YourName. The folder is created.
  21. Click on the /YourName/ folder. This will makeyour folder the destination for uploaded files.
  22. Now click on the little icon of a phone near the middle of the top row of icons.
  23. This shows you the list of your photo files you saw before.
  24. Clicking on each photo filename will cause a green tick to appear on the left. This is selecting files for FTP upload.
  25. Now click on the "upload icon" on the top row: it looks like a short horizontal line with an up-arrow on it.
  26. A popup will appear asking if you wish to proceed. Click OK.
  27. The upload happens and you can see progress bars for each file.
  28. When it finishes it presents a popup with an OK button. Click on it.
  29. Now you will see the files you have just uploaded. And they will be in your folder. Success.
  30. Now you need to rename the files to something descriptive. This is very time-consuming on a phone.
  31. Click on one file to give it a green tick. Then select the 3-dot icon and then select the "Rename" option in the drop-down menu.
  32. Of course you will have earlier noted down the names of all your photos and made a note of their contents (which you see using the phone's Gallery app) so that you can do the renaming intelligently.