What ?

Clepsydra is a free web application for managing a numeric data collection (it's pictures centric, but can also store other type of content).

It allows you to share your documents over the internet. So you don't have anymore to send your pictures by email or to check ten different web sites to look at the pictures of the same wedding. Different people contribute by adding their pictures or documents and the other users can look at them, search for them, view a satellite map containing them or display a slide show. Instead of trying to collect all the pictures from you friends and family, you can just manage them in a central server, and publish them to everybody easily in one shot. But if you want to look only at the pictures you took it's real easy too. The goal is that each one is not running it's own gallery system, but instead one gallery system is used by everybody.

You can see screenhots of the application, and it's really easy to set it up for a quick try

If you have any question, suggestion, or problem you can drop me an e-mail

Current features

  • Create document bases that will contains documents and all related entities and are isolated from each other

  • Import documents one at a time, or by uploading a zip file containing documents.

  • Describe your documents by name, description (rich text), significance, keywords, event, location, authors, people (that are appearing on a picture for example), date.

  • Automatic detection of mime type to guess if it's a photo or a video document for example

  • For photos thumbnail creation, rotation and automatic date detection for pictures that contains EXIF data

  • Creation of locations, events, persons and arbitrary keywords that will be assigned to documents

  • Search of documents using all the defined attributes, for example all picture of renée and that were taken in the caucasian area, searches can be saved to create "virtual collections" of pictures. That is to say you can save a search for all the pictures of a new family baby and then have a dynamic collection of this pictures that will reflect the pictures of that baby after you saved your search, then you can see a slide show of this pictures for example.

  • User management and permissions, users are people that can connect to the application, they can have different permissions on each document base : viewer, contributor, administrator, and they can choose the language they want the application to be localized in.

  • Configurable e-mail notification support to be warned when new pictures are added to a base, and when an error occurs

  • E-mail support to send documents by this media

  • Printing support to send pictures to printing services (really early stage for that feature, not usable yet)

  • Map support to see your documents on a map, by defining a tree of geolocalized locations, so you can see a satellite map of the locations from one of your trip and the pictures located there

  • Slide show

  • Localization is supported (for now french, english and partially italian)

  • From a technical point of view clepsydra is following the MVC principles, so one can use the data API without the web interface, to automate tasks, or build a new user interface on top of the api. Unit tests are used to test the API so they're examples of how to use it. For now just one content transformer (image rotation) is implemented, but it's a matter of implementing an interface to add a new one.

  • Everything is stored in the database even the content of the documents so it's pretty simple to save and restore an instance of the application, and data integrity can be better checked.

  • next features

Project page

The project is hosted on javaforge at project
This is were you can download it, post a message on the forums, submit bugs reports or features requirement and view or download the source code.


Clepsydra is Free Software licensed under the GPL license , copyright is owned by Jean-Yves Sironneau.

It makes use of open source software components listed there. So basically if you're interested in it you can use it, and if you have suggestions, problems, insults, or if you want to contribute (to code base, or by adding a translation in your language) i'll be happy to hear from you.

If this software meets your needs you can thanks it's author by donating a small amount of money (you have to get a paypal account if it's not already the case).