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Wednesday, September 24, 2008
 Working Group to Create Metadata Specifications For Digital Photography
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Today, the Metadata Working Group has also introduced its first specification, which provides guidelines designed to increase interoperability and preservation of metadata in digital photographs.

Metadata, sometimes referred to as "data about data," is important to digital photography because it allows photographers to tag their digital photos with information such as where and when they were taken. For both professional photographers and consumers, this enables basic activities such as being able to find and share photos. Although the digital photography industry has several metadata standards, these existing standards often overlap in purpose and lack interoperability guidance. The result is that many interoperability scenarios between devices, applications and services are not possible because no clearly defined rules and standards exist to ensure consistent use. The Metadata Working Group's initial guidelines target still photo metadata, with a focus on common consumer uses. The guidelines also identify overlapping content between existing standards and schemas.

"Lack of metadata interoperability has led to significant frustration for both consumer and pro photographers, and our companies have spent considerable resources trying to deal with the problem," said Josh Weisberg, chairman and founder of the Metadata Working Group and director of Microsoft's Rich Media Group. "Getting these industry leaders together to rally around metadata interoperability is a real turning point, one that we believe will result in technology that's easier for photographers to use. We've been working very hard to produce guidelines that are compatible across all applications, devices and services and that provide best practices for how, when and where metadata should be changed in popular file formats."

"We've chosen to address the most common issues photographers face as we feel this will make the biggest impact for the average photographer," Weisberg said. "Down the road, we will expand our work to include other metadata issues relevant to photographers."

Based on a 2006 proposal by Microsoft, the Metadata Working Group (MWG) organization was created in 2007 by five founding members: Adobe Systems, Inc., Apple Inc., Canon Inc., Microsoft and Nokia. Sony Corp. joined the organization as a board member in 2008.
 
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