Working with Still Image Data

There are two different ways to work with still images in Transana. You can place images in a Document or a Transcript when the Document or Transcript helps provide important context for the image. This can be particularly applicable to screen shots from videos that can be embedded in Transcripts as a way of incorporating visual elements into the broader analysis. You can also code still images, whether from video screen shots or other sources, outside of Documents and Transcript, which affords a much more detailed form of coding of the image.

Images in Context

Transana allows you to insert still images into Documents and Transcripts. The position of the image in the Document or Transcript can provide useful contextual information about the image.


You can also add stand-alone still images into Transana for detailed coding. Stand-alone still images are treated differently than other data in Transana.

With text, PDF, and media data, a researcher generally makes a small selection from a much larger document or media file. The selection usually stands up by itself conceptually and is identifiable as an instance of something without necessarily having to reference the full context of the source data.

With still image data, there is a different relationship between the analytically interesting part of the image and the image as a whole than there is with other data types. You often don’t need to “see” the whole of the source document or media file in order to understand the analytic meaning of a selection. With still images, a selection, an analytically important portion of the image, more often requires an understanding of the whole image to be interpretable or understood, to make analytic sense.

As a result, still image data is brought into Transana in Collections rather than in Libraries. Placing an image in a Library, then copying the whole thing to a Collection, would introduce unnecessary steps to the process of analyzing images.

Thus, we add a still image to Transana by creating a Snapshot that includes the whole image in a Collection. We can still code parts of the Snapshot, but there is no image element in any of the Libraries to represent that still image.