Google Photos & Google Drive

If you have a Google account — and who doesn’t? — you may have discovered that there are various ways to upload photos to that account. You also may have noticed that there seem to be two different places where your photos can be stored: Google Photos and Google Drive. This post explains the basics of how each of these work and how you might use them to backup and work with your photos.  DISCLAIMER: Google has made many changes over the years and will continue to do so. This post describes how things work as of March 2022. As time goes by, things may no longer work as described here.

How They Work

Google Photos and Google Drive both let you upload photos to your account’s cloud storage, but their purpose is different. If you think of your cloud storage as being similar to a hard drive on a computer, Google Drive is like a file manager that allows you to see all your files, including photos, and organize them into folders. You can think Google Photos, on the other hand, as an application that not only stores your photos, but also lets you edit them and organize them for viewing in various ways. Depending on your needs, you can use either or both as cloud storage for your digital photos.

Data Limits

The free storage Google provides for photos and other information is generous, but not unlimited. Prior to June 1, 2021, Google did provide unlimited storage for photos 16 megapixels or less and videos 1080p or less. Such photos and videos uploaded prior to the June 1 date are not counted towards the 15G limit, but photos and videos uploaded after that date are. So when uploading to Google Drive or Google Photos, keep in mind that anything stored in these accounts, along with your stored Gmail messages, counts towards the 15G data limit.

Which to Use?

Advantages of Google Drive

Google Drive might be the right choice, if you just want to have a backup copy of photos in cloud storage to keep them safe. This is especially true if you already have your photos organized in a set of folders that also contain files such as text notes about your photos or files created by photo-editing software such as Photoshop. You can use Google Drive to upload an entire folder structure (subject to some size limits) with subfolders and files of various types. Your folder structure will be preserved and, for backup purposes, you can upload any type of file to Google Drive. This would allow you to have a backup that keeps photos and other related files (including thumbnails and metadata). In addition, Google Drive supports previewing for a variety of file types (.e.g txt, docx, pdf, psd). If, for example, you have txt files with notes, you can use Google Drive to look at those notes as well as your photos. If you later want to download the folder structure you’ve uploaded, Google drive will package your content into an efficient zip file (or multiple zip files for large amounts of data). The files and folders you extract from this will be identical to the originals you used for uploading.

Advantages of Google Photos

Google Photos might be the right choice if, in addition to backup storage, you want some tools for basic editing and organization of your photos. These are not as sophisticated or flexible as those you might find in a computer-based application or in a cloud photo service such as Flickr, but they provide some quick and easy ways organize, search, share and improve the appearance of photos.

Google also provides keyword searching with image recognition capability. This means you can find photos based on the nature of the photo itself, even if you have not give the photo a name or description that matches the keyword. In addition to terms like “birthday” and “flower,” the Google found a nice set of matching photos for “rock,” “ocean,” “bike,” “blue,”and “plaid.” It also correctly recognized that my collection contained no photos with elephants, though a search for “hat” missed party hats, military hats, women’s hats, and many instances of traditional men’s hats.

Strategies for Uploading

Uploading via Browser

Once you are logged into your Google account in a browser, you can upload photos either from the Google Drive ( or from Google Photos ( The main difference between the two is that you can upload either files or folders (which can include subfolders as well as files) to Google Drive, but you can upload only files to Google Photos. Another difference is that you can copy photos from Google Drive to Google Photos — a process Google refers to as “uploading from Google Drive”– but the process does not work in reverse.

One Copy or Two?

If you upload photos to Google Drive and then copy them to Google Photos as described above, keep in mind that each copy will count separately against the 15G data limit. This was not always the case, so if you used the tools Google provided to sync photos in the past, you might want to read the article that appeared in Google’s blog about Changing how Google Drive and Google Photos work together.

Uploading via App

An alternative to uploading via browser is to use an app that will automatically upload photos you put in specified locations to Google Drive or Google Photos. If you are using a Windows or Mac computer, there is a single app you can use, as is explained in the Google support pages on Back up photos & videos and Use Google Drive for desktop. If you a phone or tablet running Android or iOS, there are separate apps for Google Drive and Google Photos, and these usually can be found in the relevant app store for your device, but may not be available or fully functional on some devices (e.g. Amazon Fire tablets).

the app to use is Google Drive for Desktop, which can be set up to upload to Google . You can find information about how to use both methods on the official Google support page: Upload files and folders to Google Drive.

Uploaded vs. Original Files

Sometimes people find it so convenient to use Google Photos that they delete or lose track of the original image files. There are, however, some reasons why you should hang onto your original image files.

By default, Google Photos uses compression to reduce the storage space required for uploaded photos. The compression techniques are good, so you probably won’t see any difference on the screen of your computer, tablet or phone. However, you are likely to get better results with the original uncompressed image if you want to do things like enlarge and crop. Since you can’t always predict future uses for your photos, keeping the original files preserves details that might someday be useful or important.

After uploading photos, you may make changes with Google Photos editing tools. If you later download those photos, depending on the method you use, you may be given a choice between downloading the “original” version or the “edited” version. The “original” version in this case does not mean original quality, but rather means the photo as stored in Google Photos (i.e. perhaps compressed) before you did your editing. Also keep in mind that, while you can undo and redo edits in Google Photos, you cannot do this with edited photos that have been downloaded.

Multiple Backups for Important Photos

Ideally, for photos you value, you will keep three exact copies of your original image files: two on separate media locally and a third in a separate backup location. For example, you might copy your photo files to SD cards or an external hard drive for local backup. For offsite backup, there are a variety of cloud storage service you can use, including Google Drive. You also can change the settings on Google Photos to upload with original quality — but be careful about how you deal with images you have edited with Google Photos.

Additional Information

For additional information, check out Google Photos Help and Google Drive Help.

Ecological Correlation

An ecological correlation is a correlation based on group means, rather than measurements from individuals. For example, if we are interested in the relationship between urbanization and national prosperity, we might look across countries to see if there is a correlation between the percentage of people living in urban areas and GDP per capita. This is an ecological correlation because it is based on data about groups of people, i.e. countries, rather than individuals. If our interest is in national economies, then it’s appropriate to look at ecological correlations based on aggregate data for countries. However, if we find a correlation at the country level, we cannot assume we will find a similar correlation at the individual level or even for groups within countries. We cannot assume, for example, that people who live in urban areas are more prosperous on average than those who do not. Nor can we assume that urban areas within countries will be more prosperous than non-urban areas.

Consider another example. Suppose we find a positive correlation at the national level between life expectancy and Internet use. Can we conclude from this that individuals who use the Internet live longer than those who do not? No, we cannot.

Assuming equivalence between correlations derived from group means and correlations derived from individual data leads to the ecological fallacy.

From Wikipedia:

The term comes from a 1950 paper by Robinson (1950). For each of the 48 states in the US as of the 1930 census, he computed the literacy rate and the proportion of the population born outside the US. He showed that these two figures were associated with a positive correlation of 0.53 — in other words, the greater the proportion of immigrants in a state, the higher its average literacy. However, when individuals are considered, the correlation was −0.11 — immigrants were on average less literate than native citizens. Robinson showed that the positive correlation at the level of state populations was because immigrants tended to settle in states where the native population was more literate. He cautioned against deducing conclusions about individuals on the basis of population-level, or “ecological” data.

Wikipedia also notes that, according to a book by Gelman, Park, Shor, Bafumi, & Corina (2008), in recent elections wealthier states were more likely to vote Democratic and poorer states Republican.  At the individual level, however, wealthier voters are more likely to vote Republican, and poorer voters more likely to vote Democratic. This illustrates the need to be careful about what we conclude from ecological correlations.

As Lubinski & Humphreys (1996) have advised, however, there are times when an ecological correlation is the proper way to look at the relationship between two variables.  For example, to understand the impact of smoking on public health, looking at group-level relationships between smoking and lung cancer is more useful than looking at correlations based on data from individual smokers.


Gelman, Andrew; Park, David; Shor, Boris; Bafumi, Joseph; Cortina, Jeronimo (2008). Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13927-2.

Lubinski, D., & Humphreys, L. G. (1996). Seeing the forest from the trees: When predicting the behavior or status of groups, correlate means. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, volume 2, pages 363-376.

Robinson, W.S. (1950). “Ecological Correlations and the Behavior of Individuals”. American Sociological Review 15: 351–357

Cookies & Candy

Dan and I have been making cookies for over 35 years now.  We especially enjoy making cookies at Christmas time to share with family and friends.  In the early years, we kept with a few tried and true recipes: pressed spritz, brandy balls and Dan’s famous chocolate chip cookies.  After tiring of these, we began taking chances on new recipes we’ve found or invented. The photo above shows our 2013 Christmas cookies, which included red velvet with cream cheese frosting, peppermint chip, chocolate chip with walnuts, chocolate mounds (dusted with powdered sugar), and sugar cookies with various flavors of icing (cherry, creme de menthe, cinnamon, and orange).

We’ve also branched out into making chocolate truffles. These are fun because you can experiment with various flavors and additions in micro batches. The photo below shows the truffles I sent to my Mom for Valentine’s day in 2011.

Chocolate truffles in a variety of flavors

Paris in 1976

Dan and I first visited Paris in 1976, arriving at Gare de l’Est on May 31. Our first day was stressful because our lodging arrangements made in advance by correspondence somehow fell through. On a limited budget, we were unable to afford a hotel. Fortunately, people at the Society of Friends office in Paris were able to arrange a room for us at guest house in a convenient location on the left bank.

Years later, I recall walking along the Avenue des Champs Élysées from the Place de la Condorde to Charles de Gaulle-Étoile, and I remember how hair-raising it was at that time to be a pedestrian trying to reach the Arc de Triomphe.

Image by Anton Lovász from Pixabay

The Arc is surrounded by a traffic circle that’s typically filled with fast-moving cars. The technique for getting across was to wait until a large group had gathered so that everyone could venture forth together.

Today there are two pedestrian tunnels that go under the traffic circle, but the technique for crossing still applies for other busy streets where there are lights to stop traffic while pedestrians cross.

In 1976, Paris was a great place for students on a tight budget. One of the best bargains was the Metro, which provided quick and convenient transportation.

Image by Rayman78 via Wikimedia Commons, distributed under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license

Although the buses routes were more difficult to understand, we had a memorable ride that took us through the Bois de Boulogne which appeared to be under the protection of a large tribe of cats.

Photo by Nick Zefish, distributed under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license

We stayed in Paris for about two seeks. Although full summer had not arrived, the midday heat was sometimes oppressive. So we adopted the habit of lounging under a cafe table umbrella and sipping anise-flavored pastis diluted with cold water.

For breakfast we’d visit a cafe for a croissant or brioche and strong, hot coffee. Lunch was usually a snack from a boulangerie (bakery) or street vendor. One day we visited the MacDonald’s restaurant on the Champs Elysee to see how if the hamburgers that chain served in Paris were better than those served in the USA (they were). Another day we purchased attractive saffron-colored Moroccan pastries that turned out to be so intensely sweetened with honey that we were unable to eat more than a few bites.

By carefully conserving our centimes and francs during the day, we were able to splurge on dinners at neighborhood restaurants where waiters used creative methods, including making sketches on table coverings, to explain the prix fixe menu choices.

Until 202, when the Euro was adopted, centimes and francs were the currency of France. I still remember the look and feel of those earlier coins. I was also stuck by the colorful banknotes.

Coins of France prior to adoption of the Euro

We were not able to afford notable vintages, but we enjoyed the house wines served with our meals. Coming from California, though, we were partisans of Napa Valley. As it turned out, even French experts gave high marks to California wines in the famous tasting that’s come to be known as The Judgement of Paris that was held on May 24, 1776. Decades later, however, I have a growing preference for French wine. Competition can be a good thing.

For those interested in further exploring the Paris of 1976, I’ve embedded some YouTube videos from the period.

This first video below, has accompanying music but no commentary. Jumping from place to place, it gives glimpses of what Paris looked like in 1976, but it doesn’t provide an organized tour or overview.

Archival footage shot by a filmmaker while visiting France in 1976.

The next video below is a documentary made in 1975. It focuses on the changes that were occurring at the time. The dialog is in French.

1975: The old Paris that is disappearing

The next video below focuses on markets in Paris. The dialog is in French.

1975: The markets of Paris

The first minute of this video will give you idea of the Metro experience, both in 1976 and still today. Once caveat I’d offer is that many older Metro stations have only stairs rather than the more modern escalators. The video continues with more in-depth information about the Metro. The dialog is in French.

Behind the scenes of the Metro in 1975

This video has no dialog, just the sounds of the car from which the video was taken during a fast and furious drive across Paris.

This video focuses mainly on historic conservation work, but it has some footage from working bakeries of 1978. The dialog is in French.

1978: In the historic bakeries of Paris

A Farewell to Google Sites

There are different ways one can go about building a website, and the choice of methods should depend on the nature and purpose of the website. Years ago, I created a new website for using Google Sites, and it was a great choice at the time. As an early adopter of Google Apps, I was able to use Google Sites with my own domain and enjoy the synergy between Google Sites and other Google services.

In addition to providing free website hosting with ample storage, Google Sites allowed me to quickly add new content that would automatically be added to a navigation menu. I could do basic text formatting using a visual editor and then drop into an HTML editor for further tweaking. I could edit and then upload photos using (now defunct) Picasa, make a slideshow, then insert that into a page with a few clicks. I could select from a library of widgets to enhance my website — and if I needed something special, I could create a widget of my own. What I discovered over the years, however, is that Google Sites tended to require more monitoring and more unexpected maintenance than the websites I created using other methods.

People often assume that, once a website is working, it will continue to work unless you forget to pay your hosting fees or become the victim of hackers. In truth, websites depend on various technologies that continue to move forward. In some cases, those technologies are managed to provide maximum backward compatibility. In other cases, not so much. Indeed, there’s often a tradeoff between making big advances and maintaining backward compatibility.

So, for what I expect are good business reasons, Google has decided to discontinue the “classic” version of Google Sites that I enjoyed using for many years. That presented me with the choice of rebuilding my website with the “new” Google Sites vs. using some other method. For reasons I may explain some other time, I decided to rebuild this website using WordPres

Cath’s Notes

I created the first website for in 2008, initially to experiment with website design. Designed as a static HTML website, it didn’t change much. Around 2010, I created a new website for the domain using Google Sites. Google Sites was a content management system that I wanted explore, and that motivated me to add content to the site. As a consequence, over time, this website became a way for me to document some of the things I was learning and doing.

In 2021, I moved this website from Google Sites to WordPress. I’m still in the process of redesigning and reorganizing the site, so the layout, navigation, and overall look-and-feel of the website may change. I’ll also be removing some old information that is no longer up-to-date. Finally, as time permits, I will update and repost articles that may still be of interest. Please bear with me during these changes.

Last Updated: 28.March.2022

Rome in 1992

I first visited Rome with my mother in October of 1992. Soon after we checked into our hotel, we were met by cousins and taken to a birthday party. We’d gotten off a plane mere hours before and had not slept for over 24 hours. To stay awake, I drank many cups of espresso. When the party ended, sometime after midnight, our cousin asked as we walked to his car what sights we particularly wished to see in Rome. After I described our wish list, he declared that he would take us on a tour right then, as it was absolutely the best time for driving in Rome. As I recall, it was about 2 am. So the photos I’ve selected for my slideshow, courtesy of other photographers, are an attempt to capture my first experience of Rome while in a somewhat altered state of consciousness.

I returned to Rome in December of 1993, accompanied by my husband Dan. We were once again embraced by my Italian cousins, who welcomed us into their home and organized another party. The wonderful staff at our hotel then helped us to organize a party of our own so that we could say farewell to everyone before returning to the USA to celebrate Christmas with family.

For many years, we’ve wanted to return to Italy. We were scheduled to do so in May of 2020. At that time, however, the world was in the grip of a pandemic that hit Italy especially hard. So until I’m able to visit Rome again, I’ll enjoy my memories of that amazing city.

Embedding a Google Doc

If you have Internet access and a Google account (and who doesn’t?), you may know that Google Docs is a handy way to create a document you can store on Google Drive, and also print or download if you wish.

A Google Doc can also be embedded into a website. The embed is dynamic and shows the current version of the Doc. That means you can change what a visitor sees on the webpage simply by editing the Google Doc. In theory, since Google Docs can be shared for collaborative work, this allows a group of people to participate in updating a website just by editing one or more Google Docs.

Unfortunately, embedding a Google Doc doesn’t work as well as one might hope for anything other than a Google Site. To the left you see a reduced size snapshot of a Google Doc that I created to experiment with embedding. As the snapshot shows, the document was formatted to center the title at the top of the page and to have the text wrap around the two included drawings.

Below I’ve added an embed of this same Doc. As you can see, the embed doesn’t preserve the formatting. Also, to get the embedded document to display in a frame large enough for viewing, I had to tweak the embed code Google provided, changing the HTML to add width and height parameters.

Google Docs also offers the option of sharing documents via a link. However, when documents are shared in this way, there are again problems with formatting in the web page that’s displayed when you follow the link Google provides. You can see this by clicking on this link for sharing the Sample Document.

Sacred Harp Music

In this video the Quire Cleveland performs a song called Sherburne, sung to music written by the 18th century American composer Daniel Read. The music first appeared in The American Singing Book (New Haven, CT, 1785), a hymnal published and sold by Read himself. [1] In that publication, the song is shown with “Words by unknown.”[2] However, according to some modern sources, the words are attributed to Nahum Tate, dating from a 1700 supplement to the New Version of the Psalms of David (1696), authored by Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady and published in England. [3]

I first heard Sherburne sung by The Boston Camerata as part of the album Sing We Noel: Christmas Music from England & Early America (Joel Cohen, director) recorded in 1978. I found the sound of the music unique and hauntingly beautiful. It came to mind recently when I heard music that seemed to have a similar sound. I’ve since learned that Sherburne is part of a body of early American music that’s sometimes referred to as Sacred Harp music. There are a number of YouTube videos that provide additional information and various performances of this music. Here are links to some of the videos that have contributed to my understanding of this music:

Sacred Harp Singing
The Sacred Harp of Hoboken
“Soar Away” (Sacred Harp 455) Cades Cove Primitive Baptist Church
Coming Again, White Hill AME Zion Church, Rock Hill, SC
Quire Cleveland sings Shiloh by Williams Billings
Anonymous 4 sings Bethleham by William Billings

[1] Rhoades, Mark D. Anthology of The American Hymn-Tune Repertory. Retrieved from

[2] ibid. Retrieved from

[3] See Wikipedia article While shepherds watched their flocks.

1757 – Richard Marshall

This Richard Marshall was born ~1757, probably in Virginia, and was part of Virginia regiments during the American Revolutionary War. According to his wife, Keziah, she and Richard were married in Virginia in 1784, probably in Spotsylvania.

He came to Ohio, probably before 1809, and spent the rest of his life in or around Muskingum County, Ohio.

Information about his military services comes from the Pension Application of Richard Marshall, kindly transcribed by Will Graves, who maintains a website for Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters.
Census records of 1800 and 1810 for Ohio were mostly destroyed in a fire, so it’s difficult to track those who came to Ohio during the critical period of settlement from 1790 to 1820. I infer that Richard Marshall came to Ohio before 1809 because there is a record of the marriage of his daughter Frances “Franky” Keziah in that year. That’s the only record of Frances that I’ve been able to find, but I am confident that she’s Richard and Keziah’s daughter based on a variety of records establishing that Marshal and Elizabeth Stults are Richard Marshal’s grandchildren.

U. S. Census records for Muskingum County, OH place Richard there from 1820 until his death in 1841.