The bulk of this article was provided by Yvan Cohen from OnAsia, the parent company behind the piece of software he'll be discussing. Not only is this a great possible resource for many photographers, but it's also a nice follow-up to Neil's last post on Organizing Photos. Additionally… Yvan has agreed to participate in our Birthday Party by offering a free gift to one lucky raffle winner. See my notes below Yvan's discussion.
THE IMPORTANCE OF KEYWORDING
The digital revolution means millions of images are just a mouse click away. But while picture buyers may marvel at the convenience of such access, many know the challenge it represents: searching vast online databases can be time-consuming and frustrating.
The ability to retrieve the ‘right’ picture from a digital archive now depends almost entirely on keywords. Online databases deliver results by matching search terms against the keywords associated with an image. Only through extensive and relevant keywording can images be quickly and accurately retrieved.
THE SOFTWARE SOLUTION
OnAsia’s recently launched Image Keyworder program was created to make keywording easier and faster. The Windows-based desktop solution has been designed specifically to provide an intuitive, low-cost solution for photographers and archive owners seeking an effective way to keyword and add metadata to their image collections.
Designed and developed over the past five years, the interface grew out of OnAsia's experience both as an archive owner and as a professional keywording service.
At the heart of Image Keyworder lies its comprehensive searchable thesaurus of around 40,000 terms. The thesaurus represents a huge amount of value for a keyworder because it gives the user access a structured vocabulary of terms that has been organized specifically with the task of keywording images in mind. The thesaurus is also continually expanding as OnAsia's team adds terms which are then updated to the user's own copy of Image Keyworder through the internet.
The software aims to make keywording faster, more systematic and more comprehensive. By clicking on a single thesaurus term (or simply dragging it into the keyword field) a user can instantly add a keyword plus relevant synonyms, alternate forms, singulars and plurals, misspellings and UK/US variations to the keyword field. Thus the software helps automate what would otherwise be a manual and rather hit-and-miss process of choosing and entering terms.
We've also tried to make the software as flexible as possible allowing users to add or remove specific terms to batches of images or to exclude either singulars or plurals depending on the requirements of the organization to which they are submitting.
It’s hard to over emphasize the value of thorough keywording. We liken the use of comprehensive keyword sets to creating a fine net that can catch potential clients as they swim through a sea of images in search of the right match for their needs. Naturally, the more relevant keywords that are associated with an image, the higher the likelihood it will be returned accurately in a search; thereby increasing the chances of a sale.
MORE THAN JUST KEYWORDING
Despite our emphasis on keywording functions, Image Keyworder is a broad metadata management tool. The software is designed to allow information to be added to all of the principle metadata fields such as caption, copyright information, date and location. We have included the standard IPTC fields as well as the broader range of XMP fields so there is plenty of choice.
Again, with efficiency and speed in mind, Image keyworder has the ability to create templates for repeat image types and to export metadata into an external document like an excel file if needed.
Although Image Keyworder is still a very new piece of commercial software it is already attracting interest within the photographer and agency community. We’re keen to invite new users to try out the software and are regularly updating, refining and adding features to the program.
A personal license for two computers costs just USD $79.99 and includes a 12 month subscription to a comprehensive and regularly updated thesaurus that is renewable for USD $39.99. A full version of the software can be downloaded for a 30-day trial from www.imagekeyworder.com. At this price, Image Keyworder with its broad functionality is perhaps the most attractively priced of a small number of programs aimed at the growing Keywording market.
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]
THOUGHTS FROM BRIAN
In general, I think the software does a good job at expanding your keywording capabilities. You'll occasionally find that it won't recognize keywords or phrases, but a majority of what you'll search for will exist. The most beneficial part of this software is that it drastically reduces the amount of typing you're required to do while simultaneously increasing your keyword density. I ran through several images that I had applied 20-30 keywords without assistance. I ran those keywords through the software, and that alone resulted in over 100 relevant keywords in just a few minutes!
I haven't toyed with the batch capabilities much, but it could be quite useful for filling out the non-keyword fields in the metadata. Related images could be keyworded as a batch on the first pass, thus reducing the amount of time spent even further. You can even make templates to fill in certain data fields the same way on every image. This could be really handy for placing your name, copyright info, contact info, etc, right into the files before stepping into keywording.
I'd encourage you guys to give it a try and see how you like it for yourself. I invite you to come back to this post and leave your thoughts and feedback. Like I mentioned above, these guys are giving away a free one-year subscription to the software for our Birthday Party. If you like the software, you may have a chance at winning it.
If you want in on this one for the raffle, leave a comment on this post with the phrase “KEYWORD SOFTWARE” in the comment somewhere. And don’t forget that every comment you make for the entire month of January (on any post) will count as a raffle entry for this and the other giveaways.
Also, check the main Birthday Party page to see all of the prizes being offered. And if you have a prize you'd like to give away for the birthday party, let me know!