The IPTC’s flagship news exchange standard, NewsML-G2, is now updated to version 2.31. The change was approved at the IPTC Standards Committee Meeting at the IPTC Autumn Meeting 2022.

NewsML-G2 Generator v

The NewsML-G2 Generator was also updated to create version 2.31-compliant files.

The full NewsML-G2 XML Schema, NewsML-G2 Guidelines document and NewsML-G2 specification document have all now been updated.

The only change (Change Request CR00215) is that we now allow the hasInstrument element on any concept or assert. Previously we required hasInstrument to be declared on organisations only, but we realised that not every financial instrument related to an organisation: for example an exchange-traded fund, or the instrument for a commodity, do not directly relate to a specific company.

Interestingly, hasInstrument elements in <assert>s did appear to work in previous versions, but that is because of NewsML-G2’s use of the xs:any construct which allows asserts to be augmented with arbitrary elements. No validation took place on elements which were added in this way.

Examples

Example 1: hasInstrument as a child of concept

<concept>
  <conceptId qcode="P:18040196349" />
  <type qcode="cptType:97"/>
  <name>Invesco Capital Appreciation Fund;R6</name>
  <hasInstrument symbol="OPTFX.O" type="symType:RIC" symbolsrc="symSrc:RFT"/>
  <hasInstrument symbol="US00141G7328" symbolsrc="symSrc:ISO" type="symType:ISIN"/>
</concept>

Example 2: hasInstrument as a child of assert

<assert qcode="P:18040196349">
  <name>Invesco Capital Appreciation Fund;R6</name>
  <type qcode="cptType:97"/>
  <hasInstrument symbol="OPTFX.O" type="symType:RIC" symbolsrc="symSrc:RFT"/>
  <hasInstrument symbol="US00141G7328" symbolsrc="symSrc:ISO" type="symType:ISIN"/>
</assert>

Example 3: hasInstrument within  assert/organisationDetails

This usage still works, but is now deprecated.

<assert qcode="P:18040196349">
  <name>Invesco Capital Appreciation Fund;R6</name>
  <type qcode="cptType:97"/>
  <organisationDetails>
    <hasInstrument symbol="OPTFX.O" type="symType:RIC" symbolsrc="symSrc:RFT"/>
    <hasInstrument symbol="US00141G7328" symbolsrc="symSrc:ISO" type="symType:ISIN"/>
    <rtr:anyOtherElement>
      Other elements in other namespaces allowed here due to xs:any other
    </rtr:anyOtherElement>
  </organisationDetails>
</assert>

XML Schema documentation of version 2.31 version is available on GitHub and at http://iptc.org/std/NewsML-G2/2.31/specification/XML-Schema-Doc-Power/.

NewsML-G2 Generator updated

The NewsML-G2 Generator has been updated to use version 2.31. There are no substantive changes but the version number of generated files has been updated to 2.31.

Thanks to Dave Compton of Refinitiv (an LSE Group Company) and the NewsML-G2 Working Group for their work on the update, and to Kelvin Holland on his work on the documentation.

To follow our work on GitHub, please see the IPTC NewsML-G2 GitHub repository.

The full NewsML-G2 change log showing the Change Requests included in each new version is available at the dev.iptc.org site.

Title slide of Sam Joehl's presentation "What does an Image Sounds LIke?" from the 2021 IPTC Photo Metadata Conference

Title slide of Sam Joehl’s presentation “What does an Image Sounds LIke?” from the 2021 IPTC Photo Metadata Conference

We are proud to announce that Camera Bits, Mobius Labs, Microsoft, Smithsonian, CBC and many others will be presenting at the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference next week, Thursday 10th November. With a theme of Photo Metadata in the Real World, the event is free for anyone to attend. Register here for the Zoom webinar to receive details before the event.

The event will run from 1500 UTC to 1800 UTC. The full agenda with timings is published on the event page.

We will start off with a short presentation on recent updates to the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard from David Riecks and Michael Steidl, co-leads of the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group. This will include the new properties approved at the recent IPTC Autumn Meeting.

A session on Adoption of IPTC Accessibility properties will include speakers from Smithsonian, Camera Bits (makers of the photographers tool Photo Mechanic), Picvario presenting their progress implementing IPTC’s accessibility properties, announced at last year’s Photo Metadata Conference.

The next session will be Software Supporting the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard, where Michael Steidl and David Riecks, co-leads of the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group, present their work on IPTC’s database of software supporting the Photo Metadata Standard, and the IPTC Interoperability tool, showing compatibility between tools for individual properties.

Use of C2PA in real-world workflows is the topic of the next session, demonstrating progress made in implementing C2PA technology to make images and video tamper-evident and to establish a provenance trail for creative works. Speakers include Nigel Earnshaw and Charlie Halford from the BBC, David Beaulieu and Jonathan Dupras from CBC/Radio Canada, Jay Li from Microsoft, and a speaker yet to be confirmed from the Content Authenticity Initiative.

The next session should be very exciting: Metadata for AI images will be the topic, featuring an introduction to synthetic media and “generative AI” images, including copyright and ownership issues behind the images used to train the machine learning models involved, from Brendan Quinn and Mark Milstein.

Then we have a panel session: How should IPTC support AI and generative models in the future? Questions to be covered include whether we should identify which tool, text prompt and/or model was used to create a generative image? Should we include a flag that indicates content was created using a “green”, copyright-cleared set of training images? And perhaps other questions too – please come along to ask your own questions! Speakers include Dmitry Shironosov, Everypixel / Dowel.ai / Synthetics.media, Martin Roberts from Mobius Labs and Sylvie Fodor from CEPIC. The session will be moderated by Mark Milstein from vAIsual.

Last year we had over 200 registrants and very lively discussions. We look forward to even more exciting presentations and discussions this time around! See you there. (Please don’t forget to register!)

Title slide of Sam Joehl's presentation "What does an Image Sounds LIke?" from the 2021 IPTC Photo Metadata Conference

Title slide of Sam Joehl’s presentation “What does an Image Sounds Like?” from the 2021 IPTC Photo Metadata Conference

The IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group is proud to announce the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference 2022. The event will be held online on Thursday November 10th from 15.00 – 18.00 UTC.

This year the theme is Photo Metadata in the Real World. After introducing two new developments last year: the IPTC Accessibility properties and the C2PA specification for embedding provenance data in photo and video content – we re-visit both technologies to see how they are being adopted by software systems, publishers and broadcasters around the world.

The 3-hour meeting will host four sessions:

  • Adoption of the IPTC Accessibility Properties – we hear from vendors and content creators on how they are progressing in implementing the new properties to support accessibility
  • Software Supporting the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard – showcasing an update to IPTC’s directory of software supporting the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard, including field-by-field reference tables letting users compare software implementations
  • Use of C2PA in real workflows – showcasing early work on implementing the C2PA specification in media organisations
  • Artificial Intelligence and metadata – looking at the questions around copyright and synthetic media: for example,  when generative AI uses thousands of potentially copyrighted images to train machine learning models, who owns the resulting images?

We look forward to welcoming all interested parties to the conference – no IPTC membership is needed to attend. The event will be held as a Zoom webinar.

Please see more information and the Zoom registration link on the event page.

See you there on the November 10th!

Anyone who has managed photo metadata can attest that it is often difficult to know which metadata properties to use for different purposes. It is especially tricky to know how to tag consistently across different metadata standards. For example, how should a copyright notice be expressed in Exif, IPTC Photo Metadata and schema.org metadata?

For software vendors wanting to build accurate mapping into their tools to make life easier for their customers, it’s no easier. For a while, a document created by a consortium of vendors known as the Metadata Working Group solved some of the problems, but the MWG Guidelines are no longer available online.

To solve this problem, the IPTC collaborated with Exif experts at CIPA, the camera products industry group that maintains the Exif standard. We also spoke with the team behind schema.org. Based on these conversations, we created a document that describes how to map properties between these formats. The aim is to remove any ambiguity regarding which IPTC Photo Metadata properties are semantically equivalent to Exif tags and schema.org properties.

Generally, Exif tags and IPTC Photo Metadata properties represent different things: Exif mainly represents the technical data around capturing an image, while IPTC focuses on describing the image and its administrative and rights metadata, and schema.org covers expressing metadata in a web page. However, quite a few properties are shared by all standards, such as who is the Creator of the image, the free-text description of what the image shows, or the date when the image was taken. Therefore it is highly recommended to have the same value in the corresponding fields of the different standards.

The IPTC Photo Metadata Mapping Guidelines outlines the 17 IPTC Photo Metadata Standard properties with corresponding fields in Exif and/or Schema.org. Further short textual notes help to implement these mappings correctly.

The intended audience of the document is those managing the use of photo metadata in businesses and the makers of software that handles photo metadata.The IPTC Photo Metadata Mapping Guidelines document can be accessed on the iptc.org website. We encourage IPTC members to provide feedback through the usual channels, and non-members to respond with feedback and questions on the public IPTC Photo Metadata email discussion group.

At the recent IPTC Standards Committee Meeting, NewsML-G2 version 2.30 was approved.

The IPTC NewsML-G2 Generator has also been updated to produce NewsML-G2 2.30-compliant content.

The full NewsML-G2 XML Schema, NewsML-G2 Guidelines document and NewsML-G2 specification document have all now been updated.

The biggest change (Change Request CR00211) is that <catalogRef/> and <catalog/> elements are now optional. This is so that users who choose to use full URIs instead of QCodes do not need to include an unnecessary element.

The other user-facing change is CR00212 which adds residrefformat and residrefformaturi attributes to the targetResourceAttributes attribute group, used in <link>, <icon> and <remoteContent>.

Other changes CR00213 and CR00214 aren’t visible to end users and don’t change any functionality, but make the XML Schema easier to read and maintain.

XML Schema documentation of version 2.30 version is available on GitHub and at http://iptc.org/std/NewsML-G2/2.30/specification/XML-Schema-Doc-Power/.

NewsML-G2 Generator updated

The NewsML-G2 Generator has been updated to use version 2.30. This means that catalogRef is only included if QCode mode is chosen. The Generator also uses the new layout which means that the target document is updated in real time as the form is completed.

To follow our work on GitHub, please see the IPTC NewsML-G2 GitHub repository.

The full NewsML-G2 change log showing the Change Requests included in each new version is available at the dev.iptc.org site.

Photograph depicts a visually disabled person operating a computer using a Braille screenreader.
A visually disabled person using a Braille screenreader. Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

The latest version of the International Press Telecommunications Council IPTC’s Photo Metadata Standard includes two new properties: Alt Text (Accessibility) and Extended Description (Accessibility). These will make it easier for software companies, publishers, and website developers to make websites and electronic publications more accessible.

These new properties will be introduced to the public and discussed in detail at the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference, held online next Thursday, 4th November. Registration to the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference is free and open to all.

“A major milestone in accessibility is realised through the inclusion of embedded alt text and extended descriptions as IPTC metadata for digital images,” said Beth Ziebarth, Director of Access Smithsonian. “All publicly available images can now be made accessible. As with any good inclusive practice, this benefits a range of digital image users and producers. The foresight of the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group is commendable.”

Web accessibility is mission-critical in our digitally inclusive age. As the number of images added to the web increases every day, the visual gap widens for people using assistive technologies, especially if they are blind. Embedding image descriptions for accessibility into photo metadata promises to be a game-changer, making it possible for software and systems to routinely provide alt text with images, thus giving screen reader software the ability to help readers visualise and listen to image descriptions as they are read out loud. Without accessible descriptions, images are silent for the millions who rely on screen readers to fully access the web.

As Richard Orme, CEO of the DAISY Consortium, has pointed out, “Up to 250 million people with blindness or moderate to severe vision impairment can benefit from image descriptions, plus countless more people with diverse information processing differences such as dyslexia who use text-to-speech technology for reading.”

The year 2020 was pivotal for web accessibility. Many disabled people were at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 but struggled to access the essentials online — everything from healthcare and education to groceries and supplies. Inaccessible websites and applications have always been a barrier; during COVID, they became a threat to the health and safety of a vulnerable population.

Image descriptions are essential for people with visual impairments using assistive technologies and a fundamental requirement of the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the most widely-used guidelines for web accessibility in the world (W3C Web Accessibility Laws and Policies).

IPTC’s new accessibility properties will make it easier for platforms and software to comply with WCAG requirements and deliver images that are inclusive for everyone. Embedding accessible image descriptions into the photo metadata will make it possible for alt text and extended descriptions to travel wherever the image goes on the web or in books or other documents provided as EPUBs.

If you are interested, there are a few things you can do now:

  • Attend the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference on November 4th to understand more about the new properties and how you can use them.
  • Contact your software providers to tell them about these new properties and emphasise that these features are very important to you. Ask them when they will make the new properties available in their user interface.
  • Contact your web content management software provider to make that case as well.
  • For larger enterprises, think about how you could implement these properties into your organisation’s workflow.

The online IPTC Photo Metadata Standard specification will be updated to the new version on 4 November 2021.

The IPTC is very happy to announce that Paul Harman of Bloomberg has accepted the Board’s nomination to be Chair of the IPTC Standards Committee.

Paul Harman headshot
Paul Harman, IPTC’s new Standards Committee Chair.

The IPTC Standards Committee is the core of the technical standardisation work of the news industry. It is the parent of all of the IPTC’s Working Groups. The Committee comprises all Voting Members and is the forum where specifications and recommendations created by the Working Groups are formally approved for publication.

Paul has been an active member of the IPTC for more than two decades. He has worked as a senior software engineer in the industry for over twenty years, first at the Press Association (now PA Media) and more recently at Bloomberg, representing both firms as an IPTC delegate. Paul works primarily on editorial content management systems, syndication platforms, web sites and services, and was active in the development of IPTC’s NewsML v1 and NewsML-G2 standards. He was voted onto the IPTC Board of Directors in October 2019.

Robert Schmidt-Nia, Chair of the IPTC’s Board of Directors, said: “I am honoured to welcome Paul who has volunteered to serve as the new chair of our standards committee. His guidance will support IPTC’s mission to develop relevant standards which will help us solve the dramatic changes our industry faces. My gratitude also goes out to Paul’s employer, Bloomberg, in supporting this advancement.”

Paul said: “We live in an interconnected world. As such, it is vital we have a common understanding of the structure of news and media data to facilitate interoperability, while also avoiding misunderstandings and unnecessary duplication of effort. IPTC standards play a key role in supporting this collaborative ecosystem. I am proud to have been asked to chair the IPTC Standards Committee to help continue the important work this organisation performs on behalf of the news technology industry.”

Screenshot of the c2pa.org home page.
The c2pa.org home page.

Recently IPTC has been working with many organisations who are creating solutions for the ongoing problem of misinformation and disinformation in news. We are happy to announce that this work continues through IPTC’s liaison relationship with C2PA, the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity.

C2PA was created to unify the efforts of the Adobe-led Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) which focuses on systems to provide context and history for digital media, and Project Origin, a Microsoft- and BBC-led initiative that tackles disinformation in the digital news ecosystem. C2PA creates technical standards for certifying the source and history (or provenance) of media content.

The IPTC has been working with both the Content Authenticity Initiative and Project Origin in recent years. Andy Parsons from CAI presented at the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference in 2020. IPTC members who are also members of CAI and/or Project Origin include Adobe, BBC, CBC/Radio Canada and The New York Times.

IPTC and C2PA have agreed to share information and allow each organisation to attend the other’s meetings in the areas of technical specifications of file formats, particularly around image and video files; to share knowledge and expertise around newsroom practices and workflows; and to collaborate in the areas of content syndication and distribution.

The IPTC Photo Metadata Standard is widely used by photographers, photo agencies and other photo suppliers around the world. To help photo people use it properly, IPTC has a specification document with a lot of details in document form.

Now, we have released a machine-readable version of the spec that can be consumed directly by software tools.

We call it the IPTC Photo Metadata TechReference. (See below for direct links to the data files.)

The TechReference is a data object containing all the details of the IPTC Photo Metadata technical specifications in the easy-to-use JSON and YAML formats.

The file covers all IPTC properties and structures.

For each property, we specify:

  • the property’s formal name
  • corresponding identifiers in the ISO XMP and the IPTC IIM formats, if applicable;
  • the property’s datatype, such as string, number or a custom property structure like Location; and
  • the property identifier that can be used with ExifTool to read or write the metadata property (such as “XMP-dc:creator” for XMP or “IPTC:Creator” for IIM);
  • … and a few more details.

We have also published rich documentation about the TechReference data object on the IPTC website. The data objects themselves can be downloaded from the IPTC site by both IPTC members and other interested parties.

Screenshot of IPTC's Video Metadata Hub generator tool.

IPTC’s Video Metadata Working Group is happy to announce that the first version of the IPTC Video Metadata Hub Generator tool has been released. It can be used to create IPTC Video Metadata Hub records without any knowledge of the underlying technical metadata schema.

The Video Metadata Hub tool serves as a demonstrator to show how easy it could be to enter metadata for a video using the Video Metadata Hub common video metadata schema. It illustrates the power of Video Metadata Hub to video architects, digital asset managers and developers of video software and systems.

How do I use the Video Metadata Hub Generator?

To use the tool, simply start typing text into fields in the form on the left hand side of the screen. The right-hand side will automatically update showing a JSON version of the VMHub data according to the IPTC Video Metadata Hub JSON schema.

Because one of the features of IPTC Video Metadata Hub is its rich set of mappings to other well-known video formats, we will be adding other output formats such as XML (NewsML-G2), EBUCore, XMP and EIDR.

What can I do with the output?

The resulting JSON file can be used to supply data to IT systems. Alternatively, the generated JSON file can be saved alongside your video assets as a “sidecar”. This usage is explained in the section of the IPTC Video Metadata Hub User Guide called “Using Video Metadata Hub with your video content”.

In the future, we hope that Video Metadata Hub properties will be built into many video editing tools and digital asset management systems, along with a common way of storing the metadata properties embedded into video files. When this has happened, users will be able to fill out standardised metadata fields in one tool and then view the entered metadata when loading that video file into another tool.

The current version of the Video Metadata Hub Generator shows only a small subset of the 91 Video Metadata Hub fields. In the future, we aim to add a control that lets users specify their use case (for example “video archives” or “news agency”) and all of the relevant fields for that use case would be displayed.

For more information, see the IPTC Video Metadata Hub pages on iptc.org or the Video Metadata Hub User Guide.

We are very interested in feedback from users. Join the conversation about this tool on the public iptc-videometadata email discussion group.