End users instructions

This document created to make your work with DATTALION photo and video footage database easy and effective. It is crucial to understand that we collect materials about the war in Ukraine to create a free and independent open-source aggregated database. We strive to make it as useful and user-friendly as possible based on available resources.

Data collection and publishing procedure

  1. Data sources table fulfillment (continuous)
  2. Media field analysis by data collection editor
  3. Preparation of data collection tasklist for collectors
  4. Actual data collection (search, downloading, naming)
  5. Creation of description text files with active links (metadata)
  6. Collected materials moderation and bug fixing
  7. Materials publishing on public storage


All files named in a convenient way to be searchable. File name contains date, place and short description of depicted content. In some cases keywords are used.

At the moment searching by file name via Google Drive integrated search engine does not work, because the drive is publicly available. To use search by name, you need to download the required folder and use local search on your device.

Also we currently develop an opportunity for database search from our website directly.

Data uploads

We upload moderated materials to the public storage twice a day – 13:00 and 22:00 Kyiv time. Data for the previous days are retrospectively updated.

Folders structure

In the root directory you would find separate folders for every month, which contain subfolders for every day. Also there is a separate STORIES folder.

We sort all materials by date and origin. In every DATE directory you would find folders called Official, Trusted and Not Verified. This is done to help our users understand how much verified certain materials are. We also separate photos and videos in each folder.

Here is an example of a folder structure for one day:

               MAY05 Official
                       MAY05 Official Photo
               MAY05 Trusted
                       MAY05 Trusted Photo
               MAY05 Not Verified
                       MAY05 Not Verified Photo

Materials classification

At this stage we separate 4 categories of materials by origin:

Official – materials from official channels, where information is considered to be verified by default. Here as a source of information we use government officials, city mayors, regional heads, government organizations and their official representatives. Photos and videos are downloaded from official websites and other communication channels. The information can be supplemented with materials from original sources if they can be found.

Trusted – materials from sources considered indirectly verified. The list of trusted sources include news sites with a good reputation, reliable Telegram channels, official pages of journalists, public figures, medical institutions, etc. In general we try to collect materials (photos and videos) from news, which are covered in at least two sources from this category. But there are exceptions. Photos and videos are downloaded in the best quality from the original sources.

Not Verified – materials from sources which don’t have their own content verification procedures. It can be Telegram channels, personal pages and groups on social media, accounts on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, etc.

STORIES – a separate class of videos which includes TV stories, longer interviews, edited videos, documentary clips etc. In general, these videos are directed and can’t be linked to a specific date (so we put the date of publication in the title). Usually they cover people’s personal stories or retrospective of events.

Files naming

Format: DATE City/Town/Village Region Event description with keywords

Example: MAR05 Vasylkiv Kyiv region Oil depot bombing 1

  • DATE – is formed from the first three letters of the English name of the month and the date, which consists of 2 digits without spaces in MAR05 format.
  • City/Town/Village – use transliterated official Ukrainian names (like in Google Maps). If there is no information, then only region name can be used.
  • Region – obligatory part for every file. Transliterated Ukrainian names are used.
  • Event description – short photo/video content description with keywords for easy search. Always start with a capital letter. Can be in a few phrases.
  • Number – index is used, if we have a group of files, which describe one event.
  • We use SPACES in file names to make them searchable by words.
  • We use numbers to describe quantity (not words).

Description text files

For each photo, video or group of materials which describe one event, there is a descriptive text file consisting of 3 blocks:

News link – an active clickable link for the article, publication post, tweet, etc. For official sources one link is enough, for materials from the Trusted category at least two links to different sources are required. The number of links may be bigger. For the Not Verified folder there must be at least one active link to the source.

Links to additional materials – active clickable links to the actual sources from where materials were obtained (downloaded), if these sources differ from the news links from the first block. There might be few.

A short description of the story behind it in English is a mandatory naming part that briefly describes to the database users the main essence of the story related to a particular material or collection of materials.

Which materials (photos and videos) we DO collect:

  • Injured people during the events, in hospitals and after discharge
  • Destruction and damage to civil and residential buildings, fires
  • Abandoned, wounded, killed animals (mandatory explanation)
  • Mass graves, temporary burials, exhumations, cemeteries
  • TV stories, interviews, edited videos, documentary clips
  • Dispersal of protests and rallies in the occupied regions
  • Appeals for assistance from military and civilians
  • People evacuation, volunteers and medics work
  • Shelling, shooting (where the context is clear)
  • Selfie video of eyewitnesses from the scenes
  • Human bodies and body fragments
  • Civilian blockade of Russian troops
  • Places of tortureі фтв executions
  • Video from surveillance cameras
  • Mines, unexploded ordnance
  • Consequences of occupation
  • Infrastructure destruction
  • Damaged cars

Which materials DO NOT collect:

  • With clearly visible faces of Ukrainian military not intended for capture (except for publications by military themselves and official sources of communication)
  • With visible positions of the military forces of Ukraine
  • With military and strategic objects captured
  • Memes, collages, dances, songs
  • Peaceful gatherings and rallies
  • Materials from Russian sources
  • Russian prisoners interviews
6 100+
40 000+
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