Oh I’m in a marvelously good mood today, not the least of which is that the weather is perfect for a gentle walk in the woods, I and my code are one, and my life is become full of wonderous possibilities.
The first of my metadata plugins is almost finished and it is a pure delight, and sure to be the selling point for those who embed photos into their pages. It will take a URL to a photo and create as rich a metadata block about that image as it can, just given the URL and, optionally, some additional information provided by the weblogger.
There is a great deal of information that can be extracted automatically for a photo. For instance, if there is exif information attached to the photo, this information will be extracted and added to the metadata. If the photo is at flickr, accessing the API this site provides gives the number of comments, ratings, tags, photo information, notes, description, etc, which are also added to the metadata. In addition, if the photo is at flickr and you want to identify a local name for the picture (just in case you replace the flickr link with one locally), you can do so and the metadata will not only map the photo to the page, but also to the local photo name.
(If the photo is not at flickr, you’ll then have the option of adding additional information: description, title, tags (or keywords), license, and notes. But you don’t have to–it’s all optional.)
But wait, there’s more…
If you search for weblog posts based on some category or search keywords, clicking on the link provided by another plugin will take this search result and access the metadata and extract out a mini-photo album containing photos in these posts. You can then click on each photo and see the rich metadata attached to it, as well as link to the post where the photo is found (or link to flickr). To make things more interesting, I’m also looking at what I can do with the tags for the photo — this chain could go for miles before I nail it to the ground.
But the metadata can be used for more than just reporting. I’m also looking at building a second plugin that will convert the URI for a photo in case the location of the pictures has been changed. This will make updates not only in the metadata, but in the actual IMG link within the post, itself.
Another benefit to this functionality is if the weblogger is using Creative Commons licensing, they can now identify a separate CC license for each photo, in addition to the page writing, all separate from the overall page design and stylesheet–that’s precision in licensing.
The issue has been with rich metadata that it takes too much effort for people to add it when they write their posts or other web page content. Well, how is clicking on a list item in the edit page and in a page that opens, filling in a minimum of one field and a maximum of six and making a selection from another list box just to get all of this? Still too much work?
In fact, there’s no reason why a person can’t do another plugin which scans for images within posts and automatically pulls in whatever it can find, allowing the weblogger to add the additional information when time and opportunity presents itself.
Lordy but this stuff is just too much fun. I have to go on a walk before I burst from all the fun.