Metadata is information that describes and defines assets. It's in three formats: IPTC, XMP, and Exif. Metadata is as important as the assets themselves because it's a key component of the Widen Collective, allowing you to easily search for and find assets. When you perform a search, all metadata is searched. Assets are assigned to metadata types while metadata fields provide more details about assets.

The National Information Standards Organization breaks down metadata into these categories:

  • Descriptive: Metadata that describes a resource for purposes of discovery and identification and includes elements such as title, author, and keywords.
  • Structural: Metadata that indicates how compound objects are put together (e.g., how pages are ordered in chapters [by file format, file dimension, file length]).
  • Administrative: Metadata that provides information to help manage an asset, such as when and how it was created, its file format, and the people who can access it. Rights management metadata and preservation metadata are two subsets of administrative metadata.

Metadata is customizable for each asset and is set up to meet your site's specific needs. For example, a photo of a product may contain metadata for the product name, product number, photographer, and description. A video asset may contain metadata for location, producer, language, and description.

Click the filename in an asset's thumbnail in search results to view metadata on the Asset Details page. If Collective admins have enabled the Display Exif and IPTC Data feature, you'll see IPTC and Exif metadata tabs on the Asset Details page. The IPTC tab will not display for DNG files, however.

If you'd like, metadata can also be displayed on asset thumbnails in search results when you show details. Contact the Widen Central Support team to request this and check out our brief video to learn more about metadata.

Export metadata

After you place an order, you can export the metadata for assets in the order from the order pickup page. To export metadata for assets in an order:

  1. Click Download Metadata on the pickup page.
  2. Choose to receive either a CSV or TXT file.

Metadata best practices

We follow the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) when determining metadata best practices. Best practices include:

  • Start with a few metadata fields that are relevant to all assets and gradually move on to groups of less universally applicable fields (like those that are specific to certain file formats, products, or divisions in your organization).
  • Avoid overloading users with too many metadata fields.
  • Have a subject matter expert analyze the content of your site to help with decisions about categories and tags.
  • Adjust metadata and taxonomies as needed.