Image Meta Data in the Image!
If you do any kind of photo or graphic management you have probably wished for the ability to store meta data about your images directly in the image file. Trying to maintain metadata in a normal db is possible but problematic as the images may get renamed or moved, thus loosing the meta data you had stored. If not tracked carefully, such a db can easily become useless. Storing meta information such as date and time the photo was taken, shutter speeds, aperature, user comments and so on is nice because that data travels where ever the photo goes, and requires no special piece of software to retain. Well, up till now I was unaware of any such solution, but with the advent of mainstream digital photography the need for that info became mroe prominent and a solution was born.
It’s called EXIF. Kodak explains that "The Exchangeable Image File (EXIF) format is an international specification that lets imaging companies encode metadata information into the headers or application segments of a JPEG file." The EXIF Spec, for all you technical folks, explains the ins and outs in detail.
The EXIF metadata can be edited manually, either by hand using tools such as the freely available Exifer photo management software by Friedemann Schmidt, or programmatically with:
- Perl using Image::Magick,
- PHP using the PHP-EXIF module,
- ASP using the ListPics script which offers a free version with some limitations.
An eagerly awaited innovation, now you all go out and make use of this… ya hear?