Controlled Vocabulary

Looking for the Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalog?

Metalogging Resources

The following are tools for creating captions, and generating and organizing keywords that might be of interest to those that are metalogging their images.

Caption Guidelines

A Photo Caption Checklist from the American Press Institute

Photo Caption Tips from Kenneth Irby, the Visual Journalism Group Leader at The Poynter Institute.

Keyword "Ticklers"

The "Visual Thesaurus" from Plumb Design is really fun to play with.

The Keyword Map is similar to the Visual Thesaurus, but excels at showing the intersection of words defining a term.

WebBrain is also interesting, but not as cool as it's much slower to load and may only work on windows due to it's java applet (beware).

The itools language site is something I use nearly every day. It provides a direct link to a number of dictionary and thesaurus resources, and makes it easy to try a number of resources when you are writing, keywording and more.

The automatic clustering done by the new Mooter search engine seems interesting, though perhaps not as interesting as their logo. ;-) This new search engine allows you to search, by "cluster", thus offering another way of locating information.

The Special Libraries Association (SLA) has a number of subject-oriented divisions -- many of which have worked on projects of developing keyword lists. While not all of the terms on these lists will be applicable to photos, many will. For information on subject divisions of SLA, go to the community page and look at the pulldown menu.


Books

The "Original Roget's International Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases" arranges words and phrases according to their meanings (the original 1852 edition is the original "classified" version). If you can't find a used copy, you can still purchase the Sixth Edition (revised and updated) as a new hardcover or paperback. At over 1200 pages it's a real bargain.

Bartleby has the 1922 edition of Roget's Thesaurus online.

The 800 page Random House Webster's Word Menu by Stephen Glazier is another good reference for discerning the hierarchy of particular words.

Programs (in alphabetical order)

AtoZ Keywording
The A2Z Keywording Thesaurus Program was developed by Alexander Zane. It operates as a runtime module under the Filemaker Pro database program and produces a tab-delineated text file with the keywords separated by a comma and a space. The program was designed to work this way as the author recognized that there are few data format standards or protocols that search engines and cataloguing programs employ for importing keywords and other terms into their programs. A tab-separated text file is one of the most basic type of file formats and quite easy to manipulate in text editors, spreadsheets and the like.

The method you use to import the simple text file that A2Z Keywording creates is up to you, though the developer is quite interested in learning of ways to make the process easier. A2Z keywording allows for the creation of captions as well. If you start by writing a caption you don't have to double enter the data. It parses the caption field and extracts the relevant keywords.

This program is similar to Keyword Compiler (below) in that it's primarily an "idea" tool to aid you in generating keywords to add (manually) to your FILE INFO (using the application of your choice). You can use A2Z to write captions, or generate keywords. The program is set up so you don't have to double enter the info. It parses the caption and extracts the keywords. Just click on the Caption option on the Control Panel screen to enter new keywords.

Upsides: Crossplatform. Extensive Vocabulary. Can manually, cut-and-paste from some areas into other applications or photoshops FILE INFO.
Downsides: Can't work as a stand-alone application (no built in feature for moving data back into the IPTC info in the image file).
Cost: $351 USD ($299 per workstation, and $52 a year for support).
Publisher: A2Zkeywording.com

BreezeBrowser 1.6
BreezeBrowser1.6 assists with the entry of keywords through the use of a user modified* integrated keyword catalog. In addition to placing the full hierarchy leading to the specific term into the Keyword field, you can also manually enter data into other IPTC Core data fields. BreezeBrowser allows you to save this metadata information back into TIF and Jpeg files (without subjecting the Jpegs to an additional round of jpeg compression) as well as Photoshop (PSD), DNG, PNG, AVI, JPEG 2000 file formats, and a number of other digital camera RAW formats.

Upsides: Fairly short learning curve, Embeds metadata into a wide variety of image formats using both IPTC Core and IPTC-NAA standards. Unlimited hierarchical Structured Keyword Catalog (catalogs created by others can be placed into your copy). Batch processing features available via templates or with purchase of optional Downloader Pro software.
Downsides: User must create keyword catalog (in text file or spreadsheet) or purchase.
The installed version does come with a demo of the Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalog. Requires Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP.
Cost: $69.95 USD, or $89.90 if purchased as a bundle with Downloader Pro.
Publisher: Breeze Systems

Camera Bits, Photo Mechanic 4.5
The Structured Keyword feature within Photo Mechanic 4.5 automates the entry of keywords through the use of a user created* integrated keyword catalog. In addition to placing the full hierarchy or specific term into the Keyword or Caption field, you can also manually enter data into other IPTC Core data fields. Photo Mechanic allows you to save this metadata information back into TIF and Jpeg files (without subjecting the Jpegs to an additional round of jpeg compression) as well as Photoshop (PSD), DNG, and a number of other digital camera RAW formats. These terms can be added singly, or as part of a "batch" process.

For more details see the Controlled Vocabulary review on Photo Mechanic 4.5.

Upsides: Cross platform (Mac and Windows versions available), fairly short learning curve, Embeds metadata into a wide variety of image formats using both IPTC Core and IPTC-NAA standards. Unlimited hierarchical Structured Keyword Catalog (catalogs created by others can be imported into your copy). Batch processing features.
Downsides: User must create or purchase keyword catalog, though the installed version does come with a demo of the Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalog. Requires OS 10.3.9 or higher (Mac), or Windows XP or Vista (Windows). [note that the Structured Keyword feature was only available in the Mac version at launch, the Windows version will add this in the first point release].
Cost: $150 USD.
Publisher: Camera Bits

Keyword Compiler
Keyword Compiler is a stand alone keyword generator built on the Filemaker Pro database. It has an extensive vocabulary that can aid you in finding additional synonyms to add as keywords to your image. It is designed to integrate directly with the Stockmedia agency and others using their infrastructure.

Upsides: Cross platform, no cost for single users (free download), extensive vocabulary, good synonym generator. Can manually, cut-and-paste from some areas into other applications or photoshops FILE INFO.
Downsides: Steeper than average learning curve. Keyword generation only. Can't work as a stand-alone application (no built in feature for moving data back into the IPTC info in the image file).
Cost: Free - for individual creators; $199 for individuals who need powerful bulk functions; or $999 for multi-user site licenses at companies.
Publisher: KeywordCompiler.com (Stockmedia.net)

Image Info Toolkit II
The IIT is a utility that automates the entry of keywords through the use of a user created* integrated keyword catalog. You can also manually enter data into other IPTC data fields and save all this information back into TIF and Jpeg files (without subjecting the Jpegs to an additional round of jpeg compression). The "batch" processing feature allows you to append to, or overwrite, existing keywords or other metadata. For a more details see the Controlled Vocabulary review on the Image Info Toolkit software.

Upsides: Cross platform (Mac and Windows versions available), fairly short learning curve, Embeds metadata into TIFF and Jpegs using IPTC-NAA standards. Unlimited hierarchical keyword catalog (plus keyword catalogs created by others can be imported into your copy). Extensive batch processing features.
Downsides: Doesn't work with proprietary RAW files, or PSD's. User must create or purchase keyword catalog. Works better with newer equipment (Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP; Mac OS 9.2 [Carbon Lib 1.6] or Mac OS X + Complete installation of QuickTime 6.0 or higher is required).
Cost: $58 euros (about $78 USD on 4-15-2007)
Publisher: Blue Box / Picturefinder.com

*Disclaimer, I was the original beta tester for these applications, and have created an extensive "Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalog" for these applications, see (http://www.ControlledVocabulary.com/products/) for details and demo files.

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