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Semantic Photos (26 Jan 2005)
With the growing popularity of digital photography, amateur photographers face the prospect of having hundreds if not thousands of photos to label and organize. Current photo annotation tools allow users to organise their collections in sophisticated ways, and many people do this, but there is no way to share this organisational work over the Web. True, the photos themselves can be shared, and recently a number of web portals have emerged for this purpose, but the facilities for organising photographs on these sites remains crude. Even if these facilities were to become more sophisticated, the user cannot export this organisational work, so there is lock-in to the portal on one hand, and lock-in to photo organisational tools on the other. User choice would be best served by allowing the export of organisational work in a standard format, so that different services can pick up, use and add value to the photographic collection. The semantic web metadata standard RDF is one promising candidate format. Combining RDF with a decentralized architecture similar to that used by blogs fosters the exchange of photographic metadata between heterogeneous tools and communities. In addition, the open nature of RDF means that photo sharers can contribute to, benefit from, and enrich resources that are exchanged within digital social networks such as blogs or FOAF.
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