Sixth international

Photo Metadata Conference
17 May 2012

"Not just searching: Finding is the key to effective business"

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Morning: presentations and panel discussions
The morning sessions provided a compact overview of the hot topics in the area of photo metadata. The speakers are experts in the discussed topic coming from photo businesses, related companies and trade associations.


Session 1: Search - finding the image
With millions of images in circulation, image collections must focus resources on image retrieval. This session reviewed some productivity aids, and took a look at the future of image search.

This session was moderated by David Riecks (

* Search by applied metadata
Metadata is typically applied to an image, either by a device (camera), a person or a software processor. The big challenge is how to return the results customers want from the search terms they entered.

  • Controlled Vocabularies: how to categorise content
    How controlled vocabularies can aid both keywording and search, and improve on legacy keywords and captions

  • Linked data: how linking metadata values enhances search and retrieval
    What is linked data and how can linked data be useful in the picture library industry? Is it only useful for news archives or is its scope broader? Is it expensive?

  • How to make your images searchable by Google, Bing, Yahoo and …
    The major search engines use only text which is visible only web pages for their indexing. Since summer 2011 Google, Bing and Yahoo have defined how they read metadata from photos and videos on web pages.

Speakers of this section:
Fran Alexander, BBC, Taxonomy Manager presentation
Andrew Ellis, Public Catalogue Foundation presentation
Alex McFadyen, Demotix presentation
Mary Forster, Getty Images presentation
Michael Steidl, IPTC presentation

* Visual search
In recent years there has been a growth in visual search software. How can visual analytics play a part in search and retrieval? How effective is it, what can we expect from the technology and how can it help people find images now?

Speaker: Mathieu Chuat, Xerox presentation


Session 2: Search – finding the rights

This session was moderated by Linda Royles.

* Linking images and rights holders -  avoiding orphans
- Ways a copyright holder can be found: by Object ID's, Fingerprinting, Image recognition.
- Registry and database solutions

* Automated licensing in the picture industry
Governments across Europe are interested in promoting easier and automated licensing mechanisms for media. What solutions can we offer from the image industry which enhance our own business.   

* The legal and political framework - pressures on the picture industry
This session looked at current and proposed legal changes involving  orphan works and media licensing. What are the challenges for the picture industry?

Speakers of this section:
Sarah Saunders, Electric Lane/IPTC presentation
Jeff Sedlik, PLUS presentation
Mark Bide, EDItEUR
Antoinette Graves, Intellectual Property Office, UK presentation
Nancy Wolff, Cowan DeBaets Abrahams and Shepard


Lunch break

Afternoon: Breakout Sessions
The Breakout Sessions provided practical in-depth details about a topic and discussed examples. They helped the attendees to draw conclusions for their business.

1. What will image search look like in the future?

This session was moderated by David Riecks (

Speakers of this session:
Andrew LaBonte, Corbis presentation
Mathieu Chuat, Xerox (presentation: see above in Session 1)
Michael Steidl, IPTC presentation + metadata mapping and markup tool (for Windows only)
Michael Hopwood, Linked Heritage presentation
Greg Reser, VRA presentation

2. What is the future of image licensing - automated licensing?

This session was moderated by Mark Bide (EDItEUR)

Speakers of this session:
Jeff Sedlik, PLUS presentation
Godfrey Rust, Linked Content Coalition
Helge Viehof & Sven Friedrichs, dpa & CPA presentation
Victoriano Colodrón, RightsDirect presentation

3. Orphan works: should we avoid them, or use them?

This session was moderated by Sarah Saunders and Sylvie Fodor.

Speakers of this session:
Offir Gutelzon, PicScout
Antoinette Graves, Intellectual Property Office, UK
Cathy Aaron, PACA
Charles Swan, Swan Turton
Paola Mazzucchi, Arrow Plus presentation
Carola Streul, EVA


Reports from the Breakout Sessions
(will be added later)