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Tips on Indexing the Photo Archive

Here are some guidelines to help you choose useful keywords for the photo archive.

Because, in general, we look for things when looking for raw image content, the most valuable keywords are nouns and names. Also of value, but of less importance, are adjectives. For example, you might want to search the archive for all flowers, or you might want only all yellow flowers. However, it is unlikely that you would want to search the archive for all yellow.

When choosing keywords keep the following in mind:

  • First, be specific. Try to choose words that identify the image object(s) as precisely as possible.
  • Second, be broad. Try to describe the general characteristics of the image object(s).
  • Last, be descriptive. Describe characteristics that usefully differentiate the image object(s).
This is an image of geese. It might be useful to index them in the plural as geese as well as the singular goose. More generally, a goose is also a bird and a fowl. Finally, it might be useful to indicate that they are Canadian geese, or that they are swimming or that they are brown gray.
This is an image of a beach. It could also be described as the shore. It contains a number of elements which could be descriptive such as white, grassy, or sandy. Alternatively the descriptive elements could also be considered important elements in their own right, such as sand and grass.
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