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Top 5 Metadata Resources


Metadata is as important to your digital assets as the assets themselves. Metadata not only enhances search-ability through keywording, but can also be used for to track key pieces of information such as copyright, location, image source and more. Whether you are new to metadata or you are a seasoned digital archivist, the following resources are sure to have all your metadata answers. Here goes our picks for the best metadata resources on the web:

Controlled Vocabulary

The Controlled Vocabulary website, founded by David Riecks, contains a wealth of information on building vocabulary lists and keyword hierarchies for describing images in databases.  Available for purchase on the Controlled Vocabulary website is The Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalog which provides creatives with a thorough list of terms (over 11,000 to date) across a broad range of themes that can be utilized to annotate images accurately and consistently.

International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC)

IPTC is a consortium of news agencies, publishers and industry vendors that develop and maintain the popular IPTC photo metadata standard which defines information such as copyright, location, and keywords. The IPTC website is a technical resource containing information about the latest IPTC standards as well the Photo Metadata Roadmap, describing current and future plans for photo metadata standards.


An initiative of the American Society of Media Photographers, dpBestflow provides information on different kinds of metadata as well as how to handle your metadata issues. A few examples of the topics covered on the dpBestlow website include: metadata templates, extensible metadata platform (XMP), global positioning system data (GPS), ratings, and metadata handling among many others. This website serves as a great educational tool for anyone looking to get more insight into metadata.

The Photo Metadata Project

Fueled by their commitment to promote an industry wide use of standardized metadata in all digital files, the Stock Artists Alliance in partnership with the Library of Congress created the Photo Metadata project. By reporting on metadata issues and creating online resources and educational tools, the Photo Metadata Project strives to exemplify the ease and benefits of embedding metadata in digital photos.

Abobe’s Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP)

Adobe XMP is another popular and widely adopted embedded metadata offering support across a number of file formats including tiff, eps and jpg. Adobe’s XMP website includes technical information on the XMP standard as well as a list of vendors that support XMP metadata.

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