What Is Asset Metadata?
Metadata is the information and keywords used to describe an asset. It also helps users easily find being searched for within Simpleview DAM. Metadata includes data such as the asset’s title, description, keywords, credit, location and use information.
Because your metadata structure plays a big role in how user-friendly your digital asset manager (DAM) is, it’s important that you implement a thoughtful and consistent metadata strategy.
How is Metadata Used?
Metadata is used to organize and filter the assets in your Simpleview DAM library. The metadata applied to an asset displays in search results as well as in the Download Queue.
Below is the metadata that displays in search results:
- Thumbnail image
- Title (up to 25 characters)
- Simpleview DAM Number.
- A larger file preview will appear when a user hovers over an asset with their mouse.
- The preview will display:
- Use Information
- The preview will display:
Below is the metadata that displays in the Download Queue:
- Use Information
Review the information below to determine the use of each metadata field.
Title: A brief description of the asset. This information is available for view by users and is included in the search functionality. If a title is not entered, it will default to the original file name when uploaded. When a file is downloaded, the Simpleview DAM title will become the file name.
Do not enter any special characters into this field.
Description: A more detailed description of the asset. This information is viewable by users and is included in the search functionality.
Do not enter any special characters into this field.
Keywords: Other words to describe the asset. These words will not be visible to the user, but are included in the search functionality.
Auto-Keywords: (only available in Premium Package) With our Visual Recognition feature, this field automatically populates with keywords upon file upload. If needed, these keywords can be manually edited. These words will not be visible to the user, but are included in the search functionality.
Location: If the image/video was taken at a specific location, please indicate it here. This field is viewable to users and is included in the search functionality.
Credit: Use this field to credit a photographer, videographer or organization. This field is viewable to users and is included in the search functionality.
The word ‘Credit:’ will appear before the contents of this field, so you do not need to include it as part of what is entered.
Use Information: Copyright, usage restrictions or any other relevant file information. This field is viewable to users and is included in the search functionality.
Administrator Notes: This information is not viewable to users. It is used as an internal reference for DAM administrators. Common uses for this field are to note a photographer, dates or any other relevant information. This field is not included in the search functionality.
Link Documents: This button allows an admin to assign existing document in your DAM portal to an asset. Users may do this to attach model releases and/or license agreements for photographers. Not all DAM platforms have this feature enabled. Click here for more information about linking documents in the DAM Knowledgebase.
Download Request: This section allows a user to select how an asset can be downloaded by users. Not all DAM platforms have this feature enabled.
Options for this request are outlined below:
- No request required: this option allows users to immediately download assets from the Download Queue.
- Enter Reason - No Approval Required: This option creates an additional workflow for select users when assets are requested from the Download Queue.
When downloading an asset, the user receives a prompt for the asset, providing guidelines as outlined by the administrators. This prompt also asks for a usage of the asset to be provided by the user. Once submitted, the user is granted instant access to the image and can download directly from the Download Queue with no further actions needed.
- Enter Reason - Approval Required: This option creates an additional workflow for select users and admins when assets are requested from the Download Queue.
When downloading an asset, the user receives a prompt for the asset, providing guidelines as outlined by the administrators. This prompt also asks for a usage of the asset to be provided by the user. Once submitted, the request is submitted to administrators to review, approve or deny the request. The user is then notified of the request decision and may either continue to download, or no further action can be taken.
Agreements associated with ‘Enter Reason’ options can be managed using the ‘Edit Agreement’ button.
Access Groups: This section allows a user to assign the assets to one or more Access Groups created by admins. Access Groups organize both assets and users into groups. Users are only able to view and download the assets in the Access Group to which they are assigned.
Activate / Deactivate: This dropdown allows users to change the status of the selected assets.
Options for this request are outlined as follows:
- Select Deactive to Deactivate Clips:
- Deactivate all items: Using this option will change the status of all selected assets to ‘Inactive’. Inactive assets do not display for users and only show in the Files page of the DAM.
- Activate all items: Using this option changes the status of all selected assets to ‘Active’. They will then display in the ‘All Files’ view and any Access Groups, Categories or Collections for which they are assigned. Active assets can also be viewed, downloaded and edited, as allowed by a DAM user’s access.
Assign Categories: This section allows a user to assign the assets to one or more categories created by admins. This organizational tool helps group assets by topic or theme. Categories are used as a dropdown filter option in the All Files page.
Overwrite Existing Data: This only applies when batch editing the metadata of multiple assets. This option removes all previous metadata and overwrites with the current changes.
Using the ‘Overwrite Existing Data’ option overwrites all metadata fields, not just the fields that are edited. This is not a common option and we do not recommend using it when batch updating meta information.
How Should I Structure My Metadata?
Below is the recommended process for setting up metadata to help keep your assets organized, making them easy to find in the Simpleview DAM platform.
1. Create a list of Categories for your assets
Think of this as creating a folder structure to distinguish the main types of content. For example, your categories could be; Outdoors, Culinary, Hotels, Weddings, etc.
For good organizational practice, we recommend keeping these categories general and concise. Categories are the first level of organization and a best user experience is to have general choices on this level.
2. Create a list of Subcategories for each Category
For example, subcategories of "Outdoors” could be; Hiking, Biking, Lakes, etc.
3. Create a list of Common Keywords for each of the Subcategories
For example, keywords for "Hiking” could be; Trails, Camping, Backpacking, etc. The streamline of your search functionality is affected by the number of keywords provided here. The more keywords you have, the broader the search results. Fewer keywords creates a more specific search. It’s best to avoid conflicting or overlapping keywords.
4. Determine the approximate range of keywords to be assigned to each asset
For example, 5-10 keywords per asset.
5. Determine how detailed to make the Title & Description fields
Following a consistent format will increase the usability of the platform.
6. Implement your Metadata Structure
Using the preferences you determined in this exercise, implement the metadata using one of the processes explained in the following section.
How Do I Add Metadata to My Assets?
Users have multiple options available to update metadata of their existing assets. This depends on the quantity of assets that you wish to update.
Individual Asset Metadata Edits
Individual asset metadata is managed in the main library of your Simpleview DAM. In this screen, select the pencil icon on the asset.
Selecting this option opens a pop-up, allowing the asset’s metadata information to be updated.
Refer to the Metadata fields section above for guidance on the fields.
Once all edits are made to the asset, select the ‘Update → ‘ button at the bottom of the pop-up to save the edits.
Batch Edit Metadata
Batch editing allows you to update the metadata of multiple assets at once. Using this option means that any asset you select in the batch edit gets the same metadata applied.
To make a batch edit, select ‘Review’ then ‘Files’ from the left navigation.
Selecting this navigation opens the files page with all assets listed in a grid view. Asset details can be previewed along with additional functionality.
From here, various filters or searches are available for identifying specific files during batch editing.
The filter options at the top of the grid include:
- Keyword: Use this filter to search through the assets in your grid by a provided keyword. Enter the keyword and select ‘Apply’ to update the grid view.
- Asset Type: Use this filter to select one or more asset types for the search. Select the check box next to the asset type and select ‘Apply’ to update the grid view.
- Number of Assets in View: Use this dropdown to select how many assets to show in your grid view. Choose between
To select files, either mark the checkbox of individual assets, or select the checkbox from the top header row to select all assets displaying in the grid. Up to 100 assets at a time can be edited. Once all assets are selected, click the ‘Edit Selected Asset(s)’ button appearing in the header row.
Selecting the ‘Edit Selected Asset(s)’ button takes you to the Batch Editing screen which displays the metadata fields, along with thumbnails of the assets selected to receive the updates.
Assets can be removed by selecting the red "x” on the top right corner of the image. Otherwise, any metadata information added by you will apply to all selected assets.
Using this screen, updates can be made to the metadata for the assets selected. It’s important to know that when batch editing, you will append existing metadata of the assets. If you would like to remove all previous metadata, select the ‘Overwrite Existing Data’ option.
Using the ‘Overwrite Existing Data’ option will overwrite all metadata fields, not just the fields that are edited. This is not a common option and we do not recommend using it when batch updating meta information
Refer to the Metadata fields section above.
To save your batch edit, select the "Update” button at the bottom of the screen.
Upload Via the Simpleview DAM Metadata Spreadsheet
If you would like to update your Metadata en masse using a spreadsheet, our DAM Support team is happy to assist. If you are in the onboarding process and it is your initial upload, your Account Representative will send you the metadata sheets, once your files have been uploaded to your library. If you are an existing client and would like a metadata spreadsheet pulled, please reach out to your Simpleview Account Representative to get a customized spreadsheet created.
Once you receive the spreadsheet, the Simpleview DAM ID and File Name will already be filled in. For new clients, there will be columns for all the additional metadata fields, and it’s up to you to fill those in. For existing clients, all of the metadata that exists for the files in your library will be entered.
Along with adding metadata information, you are also able to assign assets to Categories and Access Groups. Please ensure the Category and Access Group names match the platform exactly when entered into the spreadsheet, or the field will produce an error and will not be merged.
Once completed, send the spreadsheet back to your DAM Support team and we will merge the data with your platform.
Best Practices and Tips for Metadata
Be Strategic About the Keywords You Use
The more keywords you add to your platform, the broader the search functionality will be. The fewer keywords you have, the more specific the search will be, which may help users navigate your system.
Keep Your End User In Mind
Make sure to use terms and keywords that a user would think to utilize themselves when searching your database.
For example, if your employees will be the primary users of your platform, it’s okay to use internal or industry terms and abbreviations. However, if external users will primarily be using the platform, you’ll want to tailor the information to words they would be familiar with.
Additionally, try to avoid the use of special symbols (?, ‘, +, etc.).
Review the Top Keyword Search Terms
You can find out the Top Keyword Search Terms in the Statistics section. Look at this report from time to time to make sure users are able to find what they are looking for and the proper keywords are being used.
Remove Underscores From Asset Titles
When files are uploaded, any spaces in the file name will convert to underscores; however underscores do not need to take the place of the space in the Title. Removing the underscores can help with finding assets in the system.
Frequently Asked Questions About Asset Metadata
Q: Is it mandatory to fill in every metadata field?
A: No. It is not mandatory to fill in every field. Determine what information is necessary based on internal requirements.
Q: How does the search functionality identify word matches?
A: The system searches the entire word, so if you search ‘guest’, assets with the word ‘guestroom’ will display.
Additionally, if a user searches ‘palm trees’ assets with both of those words in the same metadata field will appear – they do not have to be together (ex. palm of trees will appear). If the words are in separate fields, the asset will not appear.
Q: Do Categories show up in keyword searches?
A: No, they do not. If you have a Category structure, we recommend adding the name of the Category and sub-Category (if applicable) into the Keywords field. If you are an existing client and would like to implement this, please reach out to your DAM Support team or submit a ticket in the Client Portal for assistance.
Categories can be used in filter options in the top search bar. This can couple with keyword searches to drill down search results.
Q: Will exif data applied to my file be uploaded to Simpleview DAM?
A: If exif data is embedded into a file, upon the initial upload or if files are sent to our Production team to upload, we will extract the data and transfer it into the platform. If uploading directly to the platform, the exif data will not transfer into the system.
Q: Does the frequency of keywords affect how assets sort in the search?
A: No. If keywords appear in multiple fields, it does not affect the search sort.