Metadata and Digital Images

data-resized-600[Editors note: Genealogy expert Thomas MacEntee discusses how to work with the metadata embedded in digital files in order to add captions, information about the people in the photo, when the photo was taken and more! You can view the recorded webinar under the Videos – Webinars menu.

What is Metadata?

What if you could store information about a file such as a description, the author, keywords, etc., and associate it with the file so it is always available? What if you could easily search on your computer for all photos with a certain person in them? By using a file’s metadata you will be able to do just that! It is a valuable means of managing any data and it is very easy to do once you know how.

Basically, metadata is “data about data” and is a way of classifying and organizing files—including digital images. A better definition of metadata might be “constructed information,” meaning a classification of various data points about a file. It is available on many different types of files formats including photo files such as: JPG, TIFF and PNG.

The main advantage of metadata is its portability, meaning that when the file is emailed to another person or posted online, the metadata stays with the file. It is like having a virtual sticky note that travels with a photo and tells you more about who is in the photo, where it was taken, etc.

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