Adobe Extensible Metadata Platform XMP becomes an ISO Standard

Issue 38 – May 2012

Have you accessed or modified the data embedded in a file today? Even if you have not, there is a good chance you did recently. This is because the XMP (Extensible Metadata Platform) for tagging information electronically has become part of the digital document landscape of today. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published ISO 16684-1:2012 Graphic technology – Extensible metadata platform (XMP) specification – Part 1: Data model, serialization and core properties, which will allow users to have a thorough understanding of the XMP data model.

ISO 16684-1 is based on the XMP specification part 1 version developed by Adobe Systems. Establishing this international Standard ensures the stability and longevity of its definitions and encourages broader integration and interoperability of XMP with existing Standards.

'I am excited to see ISO advance open and extensible metadata by releasing the first part of the Adobe XMP specification as an international Standard,' says Adobe Systems Director Engineering, Frank Biederich. 'Going forward, this allows industry experts to influence the direction of XMP and drive innovation leveraging an established metadata ecosystem.

'Effective metadata management has become increasingly important with the explosion of digital media. The Adobe XMP offers a powerful metadata infrastructure to the industry and is a widely adopted technology, specifically in the area of image and document management.

'The XMP platform not only helps operating system vendors and software companies to seamlessly exchange media related information, it also has been adopted by camera manufacturers applying metadata to content early in the creation process.'

ISO 16684-1 offers content creators an easy way to embed meaningful information about their projects. It is useful for anyone using XMP metadata, including both developers and end-users of applications that handle metadata for resources of any kind.

Adobe's XMP is a labelling technology that allows users to embed data about a file, known as metadata, into the file itself. With XMP, desktop applications and back-end publishing systems gain a common method for capturing, sharing, and leveraging this valuable metadata – opening the door for more efficient job processing, workflow automation, and rights management, among other possibilities. This is where ISO 16684-1 comes in.

Metadata can greatly increase the use of resources in collaborative production workflows. For example, an image file might contain metadata such as its working title, description, and intellectual property rights. Accessing the metadata makes it easier to perform such tasks as searching for images, locating image captions, or determining the copyright clearance to use an image.

ISO 16684-1:2012 supplies two essential components of XMP metadata: data model and serialisation. In addition, this part defines a collection of core properties, which are XMP metadata items that can be applied across a broad range of file formats and domains of usage.

Future parts of ISO 16684 will address formal validation of XMP and XML syntax for describing XMP UI elements. In addition, ISO 16684-1 will serve as the foundation for domain specific ISO activities, for example, ISO technical committee (TC) 42, Photography, working group (WG) 18, Electronic still picture imaging, or ISO/TC 171, Document management applications, subcommittee 2, Application issues, WG 5, Document management applications – Application issues – PDF/A.

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