Important information regarding the language to be used for metadata

Information about changes to our system that could affect your workflow

First off we would like to thank you for your continued support. We would like to share some important information about developments to our system, that, in some cases, might affect the way you work with us.

Changes to the search and retirement of the controlled vacabulary approach

This year we are looking to build on last year’s good growth rate. One of the areas we are focussing on in our system is taking the search to the next level. In recent years we have been putting significant effort into our multilingual controlled vocabulary.

However, looking at current developments in AI and with language-APIs we now see new approaches to optimizing this element of our system.  Furthermore, we are looking to enable voice entered search instead of relying on keyboard entry only. In an environment increasingly dominated by Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant we are confident that this will also lead media searchers to want to use these possibilities when looking for photographs. Voice entry will not work within the tight constraints of a controlled vocabulary.

After careful analysis we have concluded that on a global basis English is the language in which metadata exists or is added with the greatest level of overall consistency. It is for this reason and in preparation for voice entry that we have decided to change our approach related to languages. This constitutes a paradigm shift and will trigger a number of changes to workflows in some areas.

As a result of this new and innovative approach all future searches will be carried out in English in the background while a search request is converted on the fly from any input language to English. This does not affect the work of customers and is invisible to the user. It does, however, enable vastly more searchers to use their own language for entry. This will, however, change how we accept metadata (keywords, captions, etc.) in future.

From August onwards we will only be able to accept metadata in English, as the old cross language glossary will be deactivated and retired. Images already uploaded prior to that date do not need to be changed.

We understand that this might be a big change for some, but we scincerely hope that many will already be familiar with providing metadata in English, with other agencies for example.

Although this change may seem inconvenient initially, we are confident, that it will increase customer satisfaction in fairly short order and increase our mutual sales potential.

I hope we can count on your to help us with this critical re-invention of search to get us ready for the age of AI and voice search entry.

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