The DART team will attend the IPTC Photo Metadata conference in Zagreb on 26 May 2016. The theme is “Keep Metadata Alive and Intact”. Ed Pinsent will be speaking in the morning session, which is themed on “Strongly Attached Metadata, what you need to know”.
We think the Conference will allow us to speak to various image management experts, people and organisations who manage picture libraries, who may have an interest in IPTC metadata and the management of their collections with a Digital Asset Management System (DAMS).
- There’s more to preservation of image files (e.g. TIFFs or JPEGs) than most people think
- Elements of a possible digital preservation repository / system, and its workflow, overlapped to some degree with what she understood about the production chain for images, and the place of the DAMS, which leads to…
- The idea (which we tend to teach on DPTP) that a preservation system doesn’t have to be a single system, but rather could repurpose existing systems (or elements of them) to arrive at a whole that is OAIS-compliant; for instance, one system performing storage, one for access, one for ingest.
- She liked our insistence on the management of technical metadata and other useful metadata embedded in files
IPTC Photo Metadata Conference – Our Talk
From talks with Sarah there evolved the notion that I might be able to deliver a presentation which expresses some of these messages specifically targeted at image management experts. With that in mind, I’ve tried to devise a blue-sky thinking slide show that covers the following:
One – Drivers: why this audience might be interested in applying digital preservation to their image collections.
Two – How to do it for image files, involving some simple overviews of migration and technical metadata extraction. While image files will have generic technical metadata, e.g concerning the size, resolution, and color of the image, there is also specialist metadata. Of especial interest to this audience, we think, will be the management of IPTC metadata and EXIF metadata.
These are two specialist types of metadata which by and large only apply to digital image files. Broadly, IPTC metadata can be used to protect rights and ownership of images; and EXIF metadata records details about the hardware (camera, scanner) that was used to create the image.
Interestingly, although it’s possible to embed these metadata in some formats (e.g. TIFF, JPEG, and JPEG 2000), neither metadata type is guaranteed to survive permanently – especially if the file is migrated.
There’s also descriptive metadata created by a curator to help describe and identify images – names, keywords, dates. Quite often this is part of a Digital Asset Management System, and will be exposed and published online to make the images more meaningful and accessible to an audience.
Is any of this metadata useful in the long term? I would argue that it is, and maybe we need to learn how to protect it better.