LATEST NEWS: Google’s “Licensable Images” feature is now live

Learn more about it here

The WireWax system presented by invites guest Steve Callanan on Wednesday

We had a great IPTC Member Meeting last week, our second online event. We’re getting used to online events now!

After introductions and a get-to-know-your-fellow-members session, Dave Compton of Refinitiv presented the NewsML-G2 Working Group‘s report. We didn’t have a new version of NewsML-G2 this time but we are doing work on making NewsML-G2 easier to understand and to use. We have been working on a NewsML-G2 Generator (soon to be launched), NewsML-G2 unit tests and a Python module. Some proposals for additions to NewsML-G2 were also discussed.

Brendan Quinn, IPTC Managing Director then hosted a re-introduction to semantic web technology: RDF, SPARQL, schema.org and how they relate to GraphQL, knowledge graphs and other buzzwords in 2020’s world of data. This proved to be a useful background and refresher for many of the following sessions over the next three days that touched upon semantic technology in almost every presentation!

Paul Kelly, individual member and group lead, presented the Sports Content Working Group‘s report highlighting the work that the group is pursuing on looking at a more semantically rich successor to SportsML.

Jennifer Parrucci of The New York Times presented the NewsCodes Working Group report. The focus since the last meeting was on a new batch of Media Topics terms, refreshing some labels and definitions, and adding more translations – we are now up to 11 languages in the Media Topics vocabulary! We have also updated the Genres vocabulary and launched the Trust Indicators CV.

Still on metadata and controlled vocabularies, we hosted a presentation and discussion session about Named Entities for News, including presentations by IPTC members Christoffer Krona from iMatrics, Jennifer Parrucci from The New York Times and Jeremy Tarling from BBC showing their organisations’ approach to managing metadata for named entities such as people, places and organisations. We had an interesting discussion about how IPTC can help the industry to move forward in managing named entities. Look out for more information from us soon!

Jeremy Tarling of the BBC presented their current approach to classifying content and their desires to go beyond simple “aboutness” tagging in Monday’s “Named Entities for News” session

On Tuesday, we started with Michael Steidl‘s Photo Metadata Working Group presentation, including a report on how the Google Licensable Images work has been received. Pam Fisher, lead of the Video Metadata Working Group then presented ongoing work towards a new user guide for video metadata, based on use cases and scenarios so we can make video metadata more approachable for people in different parts of the media industry.

Johan Lindgren of TT Nyhetsbyrån presented the work of the News in JSON Working Group, including discussions of work towards a ninjs 2.0, looking at how ninjs can map to binary serialisation formats such as Protocol Buffers and Avro, and support for machine-readable rights in ninjs documents.

The second half of Tuesday was filled by the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference 2020 – see our separate news post about that event!

Wednesday morning was dedicated to important IPTC internal business, including the IPTC 2020 Annual General Meeting, where we re-elected the current board including Robert Schmidt-Nia of DATAGROUP as IPTC Chair. Linda Burman, individual member and Chair of the PR Committee, 

We also held the Autumn 2020 IPTC Standards Committee Meeting, chaired by Stéphane Guérillot of Agence France-Presse, where we discussed our ongoing project to “make IPTC standards more usable”. If you have any ideas about how we can make our work more usable or more accessible, please get in touch!

We ended the day with presentations from Laurent Le Meur of EDRLab, Steve Callanan of WireWax presenting their video analysis and manipulation tools, and Andy Read of the BBC speaking about their implementation of the GRID open source image management system.

IPTC members can find PDFs of all presentation files on the members-only event page.

The IPTC Autumn Meeting 2020 will take place next week, from Monday 12 October to Wednesday 14 October. The meeting will be held online using the Zoom platform, as we did for the IPTC Spring Meeting in May.

Over 30 IPTC member organisations will be represented, with more still finalising their attendance.

Presentations will range from Working Group updates and our 2020 Annual General Meeting to presentations from invited startups, discussions on IPTC participation in industry projects, and exciting presentations from members on relevant projects within their companies.

The IPTC Photo Metadata Conference 2020 is “co-located” with the IPTC Autumn Meeting – so we will be moving from the member meeting to the Photo Metadata Conference on the Tuesday afternoon.

Attendance is free for IPTC members. If you are not already registered, please go to the Members-Only event page to register.

We are very happy to announce that this year’s IPTC Photo Metadata Conference will be conducted fully online, and for the first time ever, is free for all to attend.

This year’s conference takes place on Tuesday October 13, 2020 from 15:00 – 18:00 UTC time (see times in other timezones below).

We have some very special guests for this year’s conference:

Michael Steidl, IPTCMichael Steidl, Lead of the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group, will introduce IPTC Photo Metadata, and discuss recent developments, and what we see in the future of photo metadata.

 

Francois Spies, GoogleFrancois Spies, Product Manager, Google Images will present Google’s recent work on the “Licensable Images” project, which adds a “licensable” badge to images in Google search results, and links from the image preview panel in search results pages directly back to a place where users can obtain a licence to re-use the image.

 

Andy Parsons, Adobe / Content Authenticity InitiativeAndy Parsons, Director of Content Authenticity Initiative, Adobe will present the Content Authenticity Initiative, which is “designing components and drafting standards specifications for a simple, extensible and distributed media provenance solution.”

How will the Content Authenticity Initiative work? What work has been done so far and what still needs to be done? How can you help?

Please register here via Zoom – it’s free!

The IPTC Photo Metadata Conference has been held in conjunction with the CEPIC Congress for many years. The 2020 CEPIC Congress has been postponed to 19 to 21 May 2021, but with so much going on in the world of image metadata, we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity, so we are holding a virtual event this year. We look forward to joining CEPIC again next year, hopefully in Mallorca in May 2021.

IPTC Photo Metadata Conference 2020: times around the world

  • UTC / GMT: Weds 13 October, 1500 – 1800 UTC
  • London: Weds 13 October, 1600 – 1900 BST
  • Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna: Weds 13 October, 1700 – 2000 CEST
  • Helsinki, Dubai, Tallinn: Weds 13 October, 1800 – 2100 EEST
  • New York, Toronto: Weds 13 October,  1100 – 1400 EDT
  • Beijing, Shanghai: Weds 13 October, 2300 – Thurs 14 October, 0200

When you register for the webinar on Zoom you will be sent a calendar invitation so you can make sure you attend at the right time!

Ed Boyling of Thomson Reuters demonstrating LYNX Insights, TR’s “robot journalism” tool – see Day Two below

Last week IPTC did something we had never tried before: we ran a complete three-day member meeting virtually, using videoconferencing, which worked very well! Thanks to all our participants and presenters.

Spread over three days, over 50 attendees from the majority of IPTC member organisations across 16 countries heard over 20 presentations from IPTC Working Groups, IPTC member organisations and invited speakers on topics from AI-generated stock photography to tracking entities in news stories. The culmination of the event was the approval of new versions of ninjs, NewsML-G2 and Video Metadata Hub, and the (re-)election of Robert Schmidt-Nia as Chair of IPTC.

Monday: Photo Metadata, Sport and Web Publications

Monday set the tone with an introduction from IPTC Managing Director Brendan Quinn, and introductions from all attendees. Michael Steidl gave the first Working Group update as Lead of the Photo Metadata Working Group, covering the group’s wide-ranging work over the past six months including releasing the Photo Metadata Standard 2019.1 including Image Regions, plus partnership projects with Google on exposing embedded IPTC Photo Metadata fields in search results, and emerging work with camera industry association CIPA and schema.org.

Some of the attendees on Day 1 of the IPTC Spring Meeting 2020.

Laurent Le Meur, previous IPTC board member and currently CTO at EDRLab, gave a thought-provoking presentation on W3C Web Publications spec and how it might apply to the news publishing industry. Paul Kelly, lead of the Sports Content Working Group presented his group’s investigations into semantic modelling for sports content, looking at existing sports models and current projects investigating schema.org and semantic / linked-data modelling of sports information, which will feed in to an upcoming version of SportsML.

Tuesday: NewsML-G2, ninjs, Robojournalism, AI, Blockchain, Trust and Video

Tuesday was a busy day: we started with Dave Compton from Refinitiv, lead of the NewsML-G2 Working Group, presenting the group’s latest work including their proposal for NewsML-G2 2.29. Johan Lindgren of TT and lead of the News in JSON Working Group presented a proposal for ninjs 1.3, including many updates suggested by users and the community.

Ed Boyling of Thomson Reuters demonstrated a tool called Lynx Insights that is used by TR to generate news stories based on a rich set of rules defined by journalists. After a rule is created, an incoming news event (such as a company publishing a set of financial results) can automatically be converted to a readable story published on the wire within seconds.

Tao Chen of 500px (part of IPTC member Visual China Group) and lead of the AI Expert Group presented their latest work on AI for images, including automatic quality detection, face anonymisation, subjective feature detection (photos about “happiness” or “romance”), moving from simple face detection to age, gender and celebrity detection, automatic cutouts and more.

Angelo Marrara of ANSA and some project colleagues from EY presented their work on ANSACheck, a way of ensuring that content matches what the agency originally published using blockchain technology. The project has launched and you can see the tool embedded on ANSA’s pages.

Brendan Quinn presented IPTC’s latest work on trust and credibility in the news, including the IPTC Trust and Credibility Guidelines document draft that was published recently.

Finally, Pam Fisher of the Video Metadata Working Group presented the group’s proposal for Video Metadata Hub version 1.3, an update to clarify and simplify some points and take on some suggestions from the community.

Wednesday: NewsCodes translations, Entities, Standards Committee and IPTC Election

Wednesday started off with Jennifer Parrucci of New York Times, lead of IPTC’s NewsCodes Working Group, presenting the group’s work since the last meeting, announcing translations of the core Media Topics controlled vocabulary into Danish, Simplified Chinese and Norwegian. We now publish Media Topics in 11 languages!

Jennifer Parrucci introducing the NewsCodes Working Group update with the obligatory picture of her cat

Christoffer Nilsson of new IPTC member iMatrics and Joacim Ståhl of Elysium AI (part of TT) both gave presentations on their work on extracting entities (people, places, organisations and objects) from news content, and we discussed the possibility of working as a group on an industry-wide “news entities” database.

The Spring 2020 IPTC Standards Committee Meeting was led by Stéphane Guérrilot of AFP, Chair of the Standards Committee. The first part of the meeting was a wide-ranging discussion on “how to make IPTC standards easier to use”, which will lead to some interesting projects in the next few months on documentation, marketing materials, and open source software. The second part of the meeting was the formal IPTC member vote on the proposed new standard versions: we are pleased to say that ninjs 1.3, NewsML-G2 2.29 and Video Metadata Hub 1.3 were all approved!

Finally we held a General Meeting of IPTC voting Members, during which Robert Schmidt-Nia of DATAGROUP Consulting Services was elected as IPTC Chair. We also voted through a change to IPTC’s official Articles of Association, introducing a new membership category. More on this in coming weeks!

Thanks again to everyone who made our first fully virtual member meeting such a a great success!

The agenda for the IPTC Spring Meeting (May 11 – 13 2020) has been announced, featuring a focus on news automation.

Brendan Quinn, Managing Director of IPTC, says “we are very excited to host the first virtual meeting of IPTC. All members are encouraged to attend via Zoom video conferencing, and we hope that many members who find it difficult to travel to the face-to-face meetings will take the opportunity to attend the online meeting.”

Presentations and topics for discussion will include:

  • Ed Boyling of Thomson Reuters will present their Lynx Insight system which blends human and machine insights for news creation. Tao Chen of 500px / Visual China Group, Lead of IPTC’s AI Expert Group will present on 500px’s work on AI stock photos. Claudia Quinonez of Bloomberg will give a presentation on “Deep Data-driven Stories”
  • Presentations and discussion on metadata entities with Fredrik Lundberg of iMatrics and Joacim Ståhl from TT
  • Updates from IPTC Working Group leads on the latest proposed updates to ninjs, NewsML-G2 and Video Metadata Hub, and voting on the proposals by the IPTC Standards Committee
  • The latest work of the Photo Metadata Working Group, including recent work with Google on surfacing embedded copyright and licensing metadata in Google Image Search results
  • A presentation from W3C Web Publications working group on the Web Publications standard
  • Updates on IPTC’s recent work on the Google News Initiative project C-POP and on our work on expressing trust and credibility indicators in news content

The meeting will be held on the originally planned days — Monday 11th through to Wednesday 13th May 2020 — but will take place over five hours each day so attendees still have some time to do other work if necessary.

Attendance is free for all IPTC members. Members should sign up at the members-only registration page to be sent an invitation link.

There is still time to join IPTC to attend the meeting. If you are interested in joining IPTC, please see the join IPTC page

The IPTC Board was looking forward to having a meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, and hopes that we will be able to have an in-person meeting in Tallinn in coming years.

We were very much looking forward to our IPTC 2020 Spring Meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, beautiful city on the Baltic Sea and home city of Brendan Quinn, Managing Director of IPTC. But unfortunately, circumstances mean that we can not hold the meeting in person this time.

Instead we are looking forward to hosting IPTC’s first ever virtual Spring Meeting!

We will be going ahead with the dates that we had planned: Monday May 11 to Wednesday May 13, but rather than having all-day sessions, we will be having sessions from 13.00 to 18.00 UTC on each day.

This meeting will include:

  • The usual updates from our working groups including the Photo Metadata Working Group, Video Metadata Working Group, News Architecture Working Group, NewsCodes Working Group, News in JSON Working Group, Sports Content Working Group
  • Speakers from IPTC Members such as Reuters, New York Times, Bloomberg and TT on related projects in their newsrooms
  • Invited guest speakers from companies related to our standards and key topics
  • The special topic focus for this meeting is “robojournalism” and automated media generation
  • Because we know how attendees love the networking and interaction sides of our face-to-face meetings, we will have several sessions that aim to let attendees discuss issues with each other and encourage participation in side rooms and through other channels such as our Slack community.

All IPTC Members are invited to attend. For this virtual meeting, there is no cost for IPTC members to attend.

IPTC Member Delegates should look out for an email from Brendan Quinn containing the registration link, or see the event page on the IPTC Members-Only Zone for the registration link.

This is part of a series of posts about the IPTC Autumn Meeting 2019. In Ljubljana. See separate posts about Day 1 and Day 2.

Day 3 of the Ljubljana Meeting was where we got down to business: we hosted the 2019 IPTC Annual General Meeting, where Voting Members get to have their say on how the organisation is run, voting on the budget and the Board.

We are very happy to announce that Jennifer Parrucci of the New York Times and Paul Harman of Bloomberg were both voted as new IPTC Board members and Directors of the company, and that Robert Schmidt-Nia of DPA was voted as Chair of the IPTC Board.

On behalf of all IPTC members we would like to say thanks, and welcome!

Then we had the IPTC Standards Committee meeting where we approved the latest versions of two of our key standards: IPTC Photo Metadata Standard 2019.1 and ninjs 1.2. Stay tuned for more information on both of those very soon!

In the afternoon we had a visit to the Triglav Lab  where we were able to see some interesting developments in the Slovenian tech scene related to media. Thanks again to Aljoša Rehar from STA and Marko Grobelnik from Jožef Stefan Institute for their help in organising the afternoon.

We heard from:

  • Event Registry , a “news intelligence platform” that semantically tags content to identify meaning and disambiguate between potential meanings for the same words, allowing for cross-language tagging and clustering to create “news events” across articles in multiple languages
  • Embeddia, a JSI project in partnership with STT Finland and Ekspress meedia in Estonia, looking at using structured data to create “intelligence augmentation”, as opposed to AI, helping journalists to do their jobs better. It also focuses on less-popular languages such as Slovene, Finnish and Estonian where some standard AI tools don’t work as well.
  • Internal projects at STA including an article tracker which allows the agency can track usage of their content, even if it is modified; a tool called D4 which allows STA to see which stories they have been missing and how they can find new stories; and Newsmapper which provides analytics about STA’s own content – where was it popular? with what types of readers? 
  • Behaviour Exchange, a user analytics tracker that allows publishers to understand their users’ demographics and preferences, including their own ad network, rather than outsourcing their user analytics to the big platforms.
  • A representative from Blockchain Think Tank Slovenia spoke about media implications of blockchain and what it could do for the media industry.
  • Finspektor showed how they are used open data to analyse how the Slovenian government is spending their taxpayers’ money
  • and Parlameter showed how they are bringing politicians to account, showing their activity in parliament, on social media and in the media.

IPTC members visiting Postojna Cave, Slovenia.

It was a great way to end a fascinating three day event!

And on the Thursday some of us were able to go on a networking day to Postojna Cave where we were able to see the beautiful tunnels and some very impressive underground. Some of us were also able to go on to the stunning Lake Bled, which we definitely would recommend!

Thanks again to Aljoša, Nejc, Marjana, Marko and the team from STA and JSI for helping to organise the event.

Day 2 of the IPTC Autumn Meeting 2019 was just as busy as Day 1: we heard from the IPTC NewsCodes Working Group, the AI Expert Group, and the News Architecture Working Group including updates on IPTC’s work on trust and credibility projects. We also had updates from the Video Metadata Working Group, an update on IPTC’s Rights work, and news from the Sports Content Working Group. Phew!

Jennifer Parrucci from the New York Times, lead of the IPTC NewsCodes Working Group, introduced IPTC NewsCodes and discussed recent progress, including cleaning up large parts of the Media Topics vocabulary. The Working Group also announced new language translations coming very soon: Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese are ready, Chinese is almost ready, and some other language versions are in progress.

We also had an interesting and productive discussion about the workflow and process around Media Topics translations. As the team adds and retires terms and definitions, how should translations be managed? Should we not publish changes until we have translations in all languages? Or should there be a core of languages that require translations? Should we publish interim versions with un-synced changes and less frequent “stable” versions of Media Topics including all translations? We are having success using GitHub issues to manage regular changes to the taxonomy: can technology also help in managing the translation process and if so, which tools? Many ideas and thoughts were shared, including the perspectives of many member organisations who already work across multiple languages.

Tao Chen, 500px, lead of the IPTC AI Expert Group

Tao Chen, 500px, lead of the IPTC AI Expert Group

Tao Chen, VP of Machine Learning at 500px and lead of the new AI Expert Group, gave a great overview of the latest developments in AI affecting the media industry. From practical developments, like removing backgrounds from stock images, detecting copyright infringement and assessing the commercial potential of images, to the dangers of face swapping apps and a potential future of completely generated images that feature no real human beings, we learned a lot about how AI affects us today and tomorrow. We are building up the AI Expert Group to become the place where media technologists can go to learn the latest on AI and Machine Learning issues, apply the latest techniques in the media industry, and share ideas with their peers. If you’re a member and not yet involved, please talk to Tao or Brendan to get started.

Next up, Brendan Quinn spoke about IPTC’s recent work with the Journalism Trust Initiative and The Trust Project, on mapping their “trust indicators” to IPTC standards (particularly NewsML-G2) so news providers can show how they comply with trust criteria. Look out for some announcements about this work in the next few weeks. Then Dave Compton of Refinitiv, lead of the News Architecture Working Group gave an update on recent work on NewsML-G2, including the trust and credibility work, a NewsML-G2 2.28 errata release fixing some small typo errors, updates to the NewsML-G2 Guidelines and the NewsML-G2 Specification documents, work on making local extensions to Media Topics, and future work, including looking at how to represent auto-generated content, and better alignment with ninjs (see Monday’s wrap-up post for more on our recent ninjs updates).

Pam Fisher presenting The Media Institute's video metadata API.

Pam Fisher presenting The Media Institute’s video metadata API

After lunch, Pam Fisher of The Media Institute at University College London spoke about her project to build a read/write API that maps metadata between various video formats. We will link to a demo as soon as it is available. Pam also discussed “compact video signatures”, part of MPEG7, which are being used to make content fingerprints for video content, used for infringement detection and content matching.

Pam’s talk was very relevant to the next discussion by Michael Steidl, lead of the Video Metadata Working Group updating on recent progress. The Working Group has been looking at new video APIs and understanding how IPTC members and others are using video metadata in their work, either with or without IPTC Video Metadata Hub.

In the afternoon Michael Steidl presented again with an update on his work with W3C’s ODRL group which impacts on RightsML. Johan Lindgren presented in lieu of Paul Kelly, new Lead of the Sports Content Working Group, giving an update on the Working Groups efforts to interview IPTC members and others about their use of sports data and to position SportsML and our work on SportsJS in the context of the news and media industry.

Brendan Quinn (IPTC Managing Director, left) and Stuart Myles (IPTC outgoing Chair, right)

Brendan Quinn (IPTC Managing Director, left) and Stuart Myles (IPTC outgoing Chair)

Finally we bade farewell to Stuart Myles, outgoing Chair of IPTC. We presented Stuart with a small token of our thanks for chairing the Board of Directors of IPTC since 2014, and has been involved with IPTC as a delegate since 1999! We will definitely miss his contributions, intelligence, common sense and enthusiasm, and we hope to see him involved with IPTC again in the future in some way.

We are now back after a stimulating and entertaining IPTC Autumn Meeting in beautiful Ljubljana, Slovenia last week!

Thanks very much to Aljoša Rehar from IPTC member Slovenska tiskovna agencija (STA) for inviting us and helping out so much with the organisation, along with his colleague Marjana Polajnar and with support from Marko Grobelnik from another IPTC member organisation in Slovenia, the Josef Stefan Institute.

Over three days, we heard presentations from all IPTC Working Groups, the new AI Expert Group and the 2019 IPTC Annual General Meeting. We also heard presentations from invited startups and research projects such as the Content Personalisation Network from Digital Catapult UK and Slovenian projects EventRegistry, NewsMapper, Embeddia, Finspektor and more. Look out for our detailed post about Wednesday afternoon’s session for more about our invited speakers.

On Monday, Brendan Quinn, Managing Director of IPTC gave an introduction to the event and all attendees introduced themselves. We had a great turnout with members coming from all over Europe, Asia and both coats of the US. Brendan also gave an update on recent work of the IPTC Board and some decisions that are coming soon.

Michael Steidl, lead of the Photo Metadata Working Group, presenting the results of the latest Photo Metadata survey

Monday’s focus was on both Photo Metadata and JSON standards. We heard from Michael Steidl, Lead of the Photo Metadata Working Group who gave an update on the recent work of the group, including the Photo Metadata Conference 2019 in Paris, recent work with Google, our latest Photo Metadata Survey, and exciting new work on introducing an Image Region capability to the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard, which will let photographers and image creators annotate specific areas of an image with any metadata fields, such as naming each person in an image exactly; identifying products, brands, logos, barcodes or other objects in an image, identifying composite images correctly, and allowing AI annotations to be embedded in the image file rather than distributed in a separate file alongside the image.

Johan Lindgren, who has recently moved from leading the Sports Content Working Group to now leading the News in JSON working group, spoke about the recent work on reviving the group. We are now meeting every two weeks like the other working groups, and plan to make many changes to our main JSON standard ninjs in the coming months. Johan presented an overview of how IPTC members are currently using JSON in their news distribution work, either based on ninjs or using their own formats. Based on change requests received in out GitHub project, the working group identified some “quick wins” that we could easily add to ninjs, and so Johan proposed ninjs 1.2 to the Standards Committee. Johan also showed recent work on a new ninjs User Guide to replace the pages at dev.iptc.org, and on a test suite so we know changes we make to the ninjs schema will be compatible with previous work and not introduce any errors.

Luca from Digital Catapult presenting the Content Personalisation Network.

Day 1 ended with a presentation of the Content Personalisation Network project from Luca and Anthony from Digital Catapult in the UK. The work on tailoring content for users based on metadata is very relevant to our members and we hope to be able to work a lot more with the Digital Catapult team in the future.

Day 1 ended with a great meal at Ljubljana Castle

Day 1 ended with a group dinner in a restaurant at Ljubljana Castle, overlooking the beautiful Old Town. After a day sitting inside it was great to have some good exercise walking up the steep hill to get there, and we were rewarded with some great local food.

Stay tuned for more updates from the Ljubljana meeting. If you couldn’t make it to Ljubljana, why not attend our next event in Tallinn, Estonia in May 2020?

Lúí Smyth, Shutterstock at IPTC Photo Metadata Conference 2019

Last week’s 2019 IPTC Photo Metadata Conference was again hosted in association with the CEPIC Congress. This year’s conference was held in a slightly rainy Paris but at least that meant that we didn’t mind staying indoors in late May.

The event kicked off with an introduction from event chair Stéphane Guérillot from AFP, who is also on the Board of IPTC and Chair of the IPTC Standards Committee. The theme of the afternoon was “putting IPTC metadata to work for your image collections” and the emphasis on practical outcomes was a constant refrain.

Isabelle Wirth, AFP at IPTC Photo Metadata Conference 2019

The first panel was around the question of “do we still need IPTC Photo Metadata?” Michael Steidl, lead of the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group started off by presenting results from the IPTC Photo Metadata surveys that the Working Group has undertaken earlier this year. Lúí Smyth from Shutterstock  showed how metadata has helped them to organise millions of photos from thousands of sources. Isabelle Wirth, photo editor at AFP discussed how the agency uses IPTC Photo Metadata along with other IPTC standards such as News Codes and NewsML-G2 to make content searchable and shareable for their clients. And independent photographer and 3D photogrammetry expert with Deep3D, Simon Brown, explained how metadata was crucial for creating 3D views of sunken shipwrecks via tens of thousands of still photographs and some innovative software. In Simon’s words: “For more than one 3D project, projects with multiple contributors, or projects conducted over a longer period of time, IPTC entry becomes mandatory.”

Andrew Wiard, IPTC Photo Metadata Conference 2019

The next session examined how creating and editing IPTC Photo Metadata could be improved. Sarah Saunders representing CEPIC presented results from the IPTC Photo Metadata surveys of both image suppliers and software makers showing that metadata usage has grown in sophistication but still varies greatly between independent photographers and large companies.  Andrew Wiard, photographer and member of the British Press Photographers’ Association, spoke with passion about how we could improve the handling of photo metadata once it leaves the photographer’s desk, a constant goal of the Photo Metadata Working Group and which will form part of our work plan for the rest of 2019. Mayank Sagar from Image Data Systems showed some exciting tools with videos showing how their AI algorithms can detect objects from luggage and handbags for commuters to brands and logos on advertisements in sports footage, and talked about the current limits of AI classification and future issues such as how to handle artificially synthesised images. Andreas Gnutzmann of popular photo management software Fotoware showed how their system is moving to the cloud, putting metadata at its core even more than previously.

Anna Dickson, Google at IPTC Photo Metadata Conference 2019

The third session looked at the end-user side and how the industry can benefit from photo metadata. Brendan Quinn of IPTC presented the Photo Metadata Crawler project, examining how news publishers around the world are embedding photo metadata in the images used on their sites. Michael Steidl showed results of the Photo Metadata Working Group’s updated analysis of social media systems and sharing platforms, which will be shared through an IPTC news article in the coming months. And Anna Dickson of Google gave us an update on her history working with images as photo editor at Huffington Post and Dow Jones among others, and discussing how Google are working with metadata and the IPTC, including our shared challenges of encouraging more site owners to publish embedded metadata so that it can be picked up by Google Search and other services. At the event, Google also announced some very interesting features that are currently in the pipeline.

Michael Steidl and Stéphane Guérillot closed out the event talking about the work the the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group would be undertaking this year as a result of the discussions and of the survey results.

All slides from the day are available in PDF format from the event page, both to IPTC members and non-members. 

Key findings from the Photo Metadata surveys will be shared in future news posts, so please watch this space for updates.

More information about the Google presentation and their proposed new features around image metadata is available to all IPTC members who have joined the Photo Metadata Working Group.

Thanks to all the speakers, to CEPIC for their assistance in hosting the conference, and to everyone who attended for making the event such a success!