Browse Definitions :
Definition

image metadata

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Image metadata is text information pertaining to an image file that is embedded into the file or contained in a separate file that is associated with it.

Image metadata includes details relevant to the image itself as well as information about its production. Some metadata is generated automatically by the the device capturing the image. Additional metadata may be added manually and edited through dedicated software or general image editing software such as GIMP or Adobe Photoshop. Metadata can also be added directly on some digital cameras.

Image metadata can be very useful for cataloging and contextualizing visual information. Many visual artists find the features useful in providing data about themselves and their images. 

Image metadata can also help protect intellectual property. It is important to note, however, that copyright information is not adequate protection as it can easily be stripped away. Also, as with other types of content, metadata security can be cumbersome, requiring extra measures to secure image metadata and protect it from unauthorized access.

The three main categories of image metadata are:

Technical metadata is mostly automatically generated by the camera. It includes camera details and settings such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO number, focal depth, dots per inch (DPI). Other automatically generated metadata include the camera brand and model, the date and time when the image was created and the GPS location where it was created.

Descriptive metadata is mostly added manually through imaging software by the photographer or someone managing the image. It includes the name of the image creator, keywords related to the image, captions, titles and comments, among many other possibilities. Effective descriptive metadata is what makes images more easily searchable. 

Administrative metadata is mostly added manually. It includes usage and licensing rights, restrictions on reuse, contact information for the owner of the image. 

Several standardized formats of metadata exist, including: Information Interchange Model (IPTC), Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP), EXchangable Image File (Exif), Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) and Picture Licensing Universal System (PLUS).

 

This was last updated in June 2015

Continue Reading About image metadata

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • brute force attack

    Brute force (also known as brute force cracking) is a trial and error method used by application programs to decode encrypted ...

  • spyware

    Spyware is software that is installed on a computing device without the user's knowledge. Spyware can be difficult to detect; ...

  • ATM black box attack

    An ATM black box attack, also referred to as jackpotting, is a type of banking-system crime in which the perpetrators bore holes ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • warm site

    A warm site is a type of facility an organization uses to recover its technology infrastructure when its primary data center goes...

  • disaster recovery (DR) test

    A disaster recovery test (DR test) is the examination of each step in a disaster recovery plan as outlined in an organization's ...

SearchStorage

  • disk array

    A disk array, also called a storage array, is a data storage system used for block-based storage, file-based storage or object ...

  • enterprise storage

    Enterprise storage is a centralized repository for business information that provides common data management, protection and data...

  • optical storage

    Optical storage is any storage type in which data is written and read with a laser. Typically, data is written to optical media, ...

Close