I’m looking for anyone to share their winners and losers with managing data that comes in the form of photos and of audio and video.
I currently work with some scientists and I am looking for a software that could catalogue these files and then allow us to retrieve them with ease. Maybe by location, or project or specimen, etc.
I am just starting this, so anything you might have to contribute is appreciated.
I look forward to hearing your advice.
What you’re talking about is called DAM (Digital Asset Management). What is important I think for people on the forum to provide value-added answers would be if you could expand somewhat on what your needs are and what you’re trying to accomplish (outcomes sought) as well as some idea of what your budget might be to address this?
I work in an GC office with Scientist. We will be getting GCdocs (Opentext) in a few more months, but from what I know if it, it will not handle the photos the way I wish it would.
So when a researcher goes out to the field, takes a bunch of pictures, needs to come home and store those somewhere so that colleagues and other visiting researchers can get find them and use them. Also, there is a possibility of filming a surgery or dissection of an animal with voice over recording. We need to store that in a way to retrieve it at will.
Theses resources (Photo, A/V) might even be accessible online to anyone…. although I have not had that conversation yet.
$$ – all depends on what we are getting and how fancy they want it. We are talking about about best of the best, so there imagine they will find a reasonable amount of money.
Yeah, the GCDocs implementation of OT leaves more than just ‘something’ to be desired!
Given that it sounds like your main needs are to store, catalog, and retrieve/view (versus the much broader and deeper capabilities of a DAM system), have you considered using SharePoint Online/O365? At GoC prices from Microsoft, it’s pretty affordable; would give you the ability to determine the columns (metadata) you need to use to catalog with; can provide remote access without having to go through a months long IT request and provisioning process; you can create a simple site collection with some pages that have image galleries and such for more of a “what’s new” type thing; and you can configure a search center with your custom metadata that can deliver exactly the images a user is looking for.
Plus, with the O365 subscriptions (E3 or E5) comes ‘Stream’ which is MS’ enterprise video streaming offering that uses the MS Azure cloud in the background so that is essentially unlimited horsepower. And you can embed videos from Stream directly into the SharePoint pages. Or even a whole ‘channel’ from Stream.
And since MS is obviously a very highly trusted vendor for GoC, you won’t have to go through a vendor qualification process with procurement. And with the MS data centers in Toronto and Quebec City, residency also won’t be an issue.
If you would want assistance with getting that designed and setup, I can certainly help.
Hi – fascinating and huge subject. I can’t talk about video and audio recordings, but I have worked with jpeg and tiff files and their tagging, discovery and retrieval.
It is essential, IMHO, to determine requirements first. And those requirements cover all colleagues who will be involved in the creation, curation and management of the entities. Note I say “the entities” as it is vital to determine whether the tagging should occur at the entity or catalogue level. That is, will metadata about a jpeg travel with the jpeg, or will it reside in a disconnected catalogue entry in Open Text etc?
A little background – I am now retired, but I am trained as a clinical biochemist with minor qualification in computer science. I moved full time into the computing world and then into information management. I have had long-term interests in biological recording and currently spend a lot of time adding medatada to jpeg images of biological specimens for use in iNaturalist and moving to the Wiki environment.
Cataloging image files is not new – remember what the first “I” in AIIM stood for! But technology is helping, as are traditional IM techniques. Examine EXIF and IPTC – the required metadata fields might already exist. But will OpenText make use of them? Also look a the Darwin Core.
Accessible controlled vocabularies are vital – how will they be established and maintained? Scientists are generally very good at that sort of thing – but beware the “lumper versus splitter” battles. I have used Multites for thesaurus management for almost 2 decades. Love it – but not all “ECM” systems understand the value of a thesaurus or they have their own way of implementing them. Multites comes from an indexing background – for the last two years of my working life, I was involved in the implementation for a NLP-based search environment called SylSearch. Wonderful search capabilities – no matter how obscure the metadata element, Syl could use it for discovery and retrieval. And the usual semantic relationships could be set up – but Syl was developed using an ontology way of thinking so there were differences between the indexer’s and ontologist’s approach. These could I’m sure be resolved.
In the biological field, it is wonderful to be able to relate old and new species names (too many possible examples), new medical terminology (e.g. Evans-Kaufman cells/stem cells) etc – I could manage the relationships in Multites and use them in Syl so that a search for Halmus would find images of that ladybird and point to images of other genera of ladybirds – and would also recognise the synonyms of ladybird and ladybug. Here in New Zealand we have agencies called District Health Boards(or DHB). They can be referred to in a variety of ways (e.g Capital and Coast District Health Board can appear as the full title, Capital & Coast District Health Board, Capital and Coast DHB, Capital & Coast DHB, CCDHB, C&CDHB and so on). Those relationships could be entered into Syl so that a search for any of the variants would find all documents referring to any of the possible variants of spelling. We have 20 DHBs so there is significant effort in establishing and maintaining the information, but the benefit is huge.
Putting images onto the web opens up another issue – copyright and licensing. Complex area and much will depend on the jurisdiction in which you are based…but work out well in advance about the requirements of possible host systems. CC-BY is your friend here but is that acceptable to your organisation? Back to requirements identification and gathering.
I hope this is of some help – it’s a huge area, but well worth persevering with.
I’d suggest taking a look at Nuxeo. We have a strong heritage in Digital Asset Management with customers such as Electronic Arts, Verizon and Hormel all using us to store non-document based content.
That said the interesting thing about our solution to this versus some of our competitors, is that we deliver our DAM capabilities using exactly the same platform that we deliver ECM or Case Management or Knowledge Management solutions. Our platform is designed to work with all types of content, and includes the ability to do things like automatically re-render images and videos to multiple file formats and resolutions, automatically extract scenes from videos and advanced metadata from images.
If you’d like more information take a look at Nuxeo.com or feel free to reach out to me.
Laserfiche can store any of those types of electronic records.
Sedgewick, AB CANADA
ANY of the ECM vendors can “store” images, videos and audio files.
But can they do anything useful with them?
Dave, Renee is looking to, “…catalogue these files and then allow us to retrieve them with ease. Maybe by location, or project or specimen, etc.”, all of which Laserfiche can do. It has some very impressive Search options, Column sorting using metadata, Transparent Records Management options, workflows for auto naming/filing, etc.
I’m only familiar with Laserfiche, as a user, and I have been developing many automated workflows and paperless processes using their forms components over the past few years, all of which I’ve been impressed with. It also has the records retention/disposition component, not sure if Renee is looking for that.
As for anything interesting? It’s all interesting to me! 😉 🙂
Sedgewick, AB CANADA
There is a cloud-based solution called Workfront that you may want to check out for management of digital photos. Good luck!
Sorry – wasn’t trying in anyway to discredit your answer or Laserfiche as a vendor. My comment was more around what we are seeing that more and more people want to do with rich media once it is in the system. For example, many want to automatically extract so called EXIF metadata from photo images – so things like the resolution, when it was taken, on what device and so on. Also they want to be able to simply re-render images – so for example if a very high resolution image is saved, to be able to automatically create 5 increasingly lower resolution versions of that same image on ingestion. Furthermore around meta data, AI is increasingly being used to automatically recognize what the photo contains, and to create metadata tags automatically. We at Nuxeo work with Google Vision to provide that capability.
Those are just some of the things that traditional ecm solutions tend not to deliver, that DAM systems take for granted.
But back to your original point – yes it really does depend on what Renee is looking to do with the solution!
Thank you everyone!!!
Yes all answers are good and respected. I wanted to sound intelligent when I brought this up to my client and you guys definitely helped with that.
I’m talking with them this afternoon…..