Chapter 2, Metadata
generate when you rate, assign keywords to, and group image files so that
you can find them quickly when youre searching. Typically, this informa-
tion takes longer to assign because it is part of a more complex evaluation
process. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at these higher levels of
metadata information.
Applying Ratings, Keywords, and Groupings
Ratings, keywords, and groupings are different categories of evaluation that
can be cross-referenced with each other to narrow down your searches to
a small number of likely results. For example, if you are looking for “good
pictures of Josie” for some purpose, your work assigning ratings, keywords,
and groupings can be very helpful.
If you use a comprehensive rating system, the concept of “good can be
defined by the rating (e.g., “search all three-star or better images”). The
term “Josie,if it appears in the keywords, enables you to search through
only those images that have something to do with Josie. If you have saved
previous groupings of “good pictures of Josie”—images used in a birthday
slideshow, for instanceyou can narrow your search even further. Let’s
examine these tools a little more closely.
Tagging Images for Quality: The Ratings Pyramid
Figure 2-6 shows one visual representation of a collection of images. As
you can see, if the images were not organized in any way it would be very
difficult to find the particular one that you were searching fora bit like
looking for a needle in a haystack.
Ratings, Keywords, and Groupings
Figure 2-6. Finding a specific image in an unorganized collection is like looking for a needle in a
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Digital Asset Management
As you can see in Figure 2-7, that haystack becomes a lot easier to search if
it is divided into sections. By making broad classifications of subject matter
(the vertical lines) and adding ratings (the horizontal divisions), you can
more easily find what you are looking for. You can, for instance, search just
your best images (at the top of the pyramid) for a particular photo. If you
find something that’s close to but not exactly what you want, you can follow
that thread downward to see if there is a more appropriate image included
in that subject-matter group.
The most basic component of higher metadata is the rating. Rating is the
evaluation of images based on relative quality. This is what you do when
you look through a group of images and indicate that some are better than
As you rate your images, you are assigning a higher value to better pictures,
and you are making it easier to find the high-value images within the groups
at a later date. Rating an image as superior will make it much easier to pick
it out from amongst its more ordinary brethren during a search.
In general, when you are searching for images, you will first want to look
through pictures with the highest rating. If you are unable to find a suitable
image among those, you can move down the pyramid, broadening your
search to include images with the next-highest rating, and so on. By using
ratings this way, you can instantly reduce the size of the haystack you are
looking through in order to find your needle.
In addition, rating your images will help you ensure that you spend more
production time on your highest-quality images and less time on images that
Ratings, Keywords, and Groupings
Figure 2-7. Dividing up the haystack allows you to more easily pinpoint the image you’re looking for.
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Job A
Job B
Job C
All jobs
All personal
Family vacation
Home life
Personal project 1
Personal project 2
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