Guidelines For Handling Image Metadata
Metadata Working Group
Note: The keyword “Dog” has not been serialized, as it is a leaf node and neither required to
reconstruct the keyword hierarchy nor any other information.
Images are organized and classified by people for diverse reasons. Users may want to group files
together by content, type, time, or any arbitrary criteria. Often, an image file’s classification system can
represent meaningful hints as to how the image should be viewed and managed.
Professional digital asset management (DAM) systems manage images with highly structured
hierarchies and vocabularies for searching and accessing content. However, consumers need to
organize and search their images using simple methods, in particular:
Consumers are generally unwilling to invest large amounts of resources in creating
and maintaining classification hierarchies.
Consumer semantics are unbounded, because motivations driving user classification
strategies are unique and organizational requirements often change over time.
While there is an unbounded set of reasons and mechanisms consumers might have for creating
particular groupings of images, a number of common cases emerge:
“My Favorite Flower Shots”, “Family Photos”
Content-based classification [who, what, where]
“Summer 2009 Photos”, “DSC-231 - DSC-554”
Time-based classification [when]
“http://www.flickr.com/photos/luigi-san“, “Scans from Grandpa’s photos”
Resource/process-based grouping (e.g., stored in an Internet repository,
processed in a certain way) [how]
“Bobby’s photos”, “http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeups.php“
Ownership or user-based classification