Digital Asset Management Forum Chicago 2011

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Digital asset management best practices presentation from Chicago DAM Forum 2011

Digital asset management best practices presentation from Chicago DAM Forum 2011

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  • [Exercise: think of the most important field: controlled, uncontrolled, hybrid]
  • example folder hierarchy different levels represent different categories It’s likely that this was folder structure was setup in advance Otherwise we would probably see some level of disorganization like: Spaces/underscores in filenames Duplicate folder names And “out of place folders”
  • Here’s an example of part of a cheat sheet we made for the Registrars .
  • Another example of basic documentation – cheat sheet for file standards
  • Workflow (story)Here are some example use cases implemented into real-world workflows Prof. Foster has taught with projector slides and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. However, students wanted to be able to review class images. A workflow was set up using the features in Portfolio which allow for automating cataloging on the server. Slides shown taken to photography services Slides are digitized/placed in weekly folders on server The DAM system watches the folders and adds items to the catalog putting the folder name in the keyword field Students search for images by week in web-based portal. The non-technical faculty member never touches the interface nor is any cataloging field provided
  • Images are scannedMetadata is embedded to files using Adobe BridgeThe scans are added to the DAM with extracts metadata from the fileMetadata is refined in the DAM as needed for search purposes
  • Example metadata fieldsDescription (text block)Keywords (multiple values)Date
  • Master keyword list – a list of predefined keywords
  • Predefined lists for department, event, image category, physical location
  • We see an example of a taxonomy for “Physical location matches ocean life” where a user must choose from a predfined list. We also see an example of a folksonomy where a user can enter text into a freeform field.
  • Predefined lists provide insight into collection contents
  • You can see that the search interface is customized for search by weekThe entire collection is not exposed to students, only relevant materials
  • Here’s an example of a collection of headshots from the National Gallery of London


  • 1. Digital Asset Management Best
    Edward Smith
    Product Marketing Manager, Extensis
  • 2. The Need for DAM
    Locating assets
    Understanding what assets are available
    Providing access to the “correct” assets
    Providing access to the “correct” format/size
    Reusing assets
    Recreating assets
    Inconsistent use
    Usage and rights
  • 3. Presentation Outline
    Initiating your DAM Project
    Evaluating Solutions
    Implementing DAM
    Daily use of DAM
  • 4. Identify and Involve Stakeholders
    • Find champions
    • 5. Create a project team
    • 6. Involve your IT department
    • 7. Obtain director/executive level support
  • 8. Take Inventory
    IT Assets
    • Hardware and Operating Systems
    • 9. Software and Applications
    File Assets
    Existing Systems and Data
    • Spreadsheets
    • 13. FileMaker/MS Access
    • 14. Physical Information Systems
    • 15. Other Databases?
  • 16. Making a Business Case for DAM
    How does DAM support organizational goals/mission?
    Quantify the current pain points
    Does the cost justify the outcome? (ROI)
  • 17. ROI Tool
    Handout Page #1
  • 18. Document Current Workflow
    Questions to Ask:
    Who is responsible for managing assets?
    Who needs access to assets?
    • What are they looking for?
    • 19. What formats do they need?
    What is the folder hierarchy convention (if any)?
    What is the file naming convention (if any)?
  • 20. Document Current Workflow
    Prior to evaluating DAM systems, document use casescenarios that describe how people currently work today, and how they would work in an ideal DAM system in the future.
  • 21. Document Current Workflow
    Present Day Scenario
    Images are frequently requested by staff for use within PowerPoint presentations or for print and web use. The person maintaining the image collection fulfills image requests by browsing through folders on several different file servers. Once an appropriate image is located, a spreadsheet is cross referenced for usage rights. If the image does not meet the desired usage, the search continues. Once an appropriate set of images are selected, each image is opened in Photoshop and resaved in the correct format and resolution. The images are then uploaded to an FTP server and download instructions are emailed to the requesting staff member.
  • 22. Document Current Workflow
    Ideal Scenario
    Images added to file server folders are automatically ingested by the DAM system. The collection maintainer adds search keywords and usage rights information to images in the DAM system using drop-down menus. A secure web portal allows staff to search items from the image collection using keywords and other automatically applied information such as “Date Created”. The web portal only displays search results for items that have an “approved” metadata value. Important information such as usage rights appear next to search results. Staff can download and convert images on the fly into low, medium, and high resolution formats.
  • 23. Presentation Outline
    Initiating your DAM Project
    Evaluating Solutions
    Implementing DAM
    Daily use of DAM
  • 24. Evaluation of DAM Systems
    Focus on solving problems, not features.
    • What problems do you want to solve?
    • 25. What problems are the most important?
    • 26. What problems can be solved later (phase 2)?
  • 27. Evaluation of DAM Systems
    Types of DAM Systems
  • 38. Evaluation of DAM Systems
    Give vendors your notes and documentation.
    Ask to see how the system would work with your assets, processes, and data instead of generic data and demos.
    • Use cases
    • 39. Sample assets
    • 40. Metadata schema
    • 41. Folder structure example
  • 42. Evaluation of DAM Systems
    Ask Vendors:
    • For a web demo
    • 43. For trial software
    • 44. For customer referrals
    • 45. How long have they been in business?
    • 46. What other organizations like yours are using their software?
    • 47. “How does your system…?” not “Can your system …?”.
  • 48. Presentation Outline
    Initiating your DAM Project
    Evaluating Solutions
    Implementing DAM
    Daily use of DAM
  • 49. Assign Responsibilities
    1. Project Team
    2. Catalogers – dependant on cataloging strategy:
    • Who will add files?
    • 50. How much time for initial cataloging?
    • 51. How much time for ongoing cataloging?
    3. Server Admin
    4. Training and Documentation
  • 52. Installation Steps
    Preliminary Discussions
    Post-Implementation Evaluation
  • 53. Define Schema
    Schema is the framework or structure of your DAM database.
    Your schema will affect:
    • How people add assets
    • 54. How people categorize assets
    • 55. How people search for assets
    • 56. How people will understand assets, including:
    • 57. Descriptive Info
    • 58. Usage Info
  • 59. Define Schema
    Controlled vocabulary
    A taxonomy or thesaurus that uses predefined lists of values.
    Unrestricted vocabulary
    An non-hierarchical collaborative method to categorize metadata where freely chosen keywords are used instead of a controlled vocabulary. Many organizations prefer not to use folksonomy, as it creates inconsistencies in the classification of information (kitty versus cat; product SKU versus product part number).Hybrid Vocabulary
    Offers users the choice of choosing values from controlled vocabulary listor entering in a desired value not available in the list.
  • 60. Define Schema
    Prioritize metadata field entry
    1. Crucial Info…
    • Capture device
    • 61. Asset creator’s name
    • 62. Date created
    • 63. EXIF metadata
    2. Nice to Have…
    • Conservation treatment status
    • 64. Object collection information
    • 65. Curatorial approvals
    3. Can Live Without…
    • Work order information
    • 66. Exhibition information
  • 67. Metadata Planning Tool
    Handout Page #2
  • 68. Folder Hierarchy
    A folder hierarchy is a structure of folders and subfolders.
    Folder hierarchies are used for:
    • Browsing assets (instead of searching)
    • 69. Access outside of a DAM system
    • 70. Applying metadata (keywords from path)
  • 71. Handout Page #3
  • 72. File Limitations
    • File extensions?
    • 73. Long file names (more than 32 characters)?
    • 74. Mac resource forks?
    • 75. Mac color labels applied?
    • 76. Files larger than 2GB?
    • 77. Filenames with anything other than letters (A-Z,a-z), numbers (0-9), spaces ( ), underscores (_), dashes (-), or periods(.) ?
  • 78. Documentation: Portland Art Museum
    Handout Page #4
  • 79. Documentation: Miami Dade College
    Handout Page #5
  • 80. DAM Implementation Summary
    Handout Page #6-8
  • 81. Presentation Outline
    Initiating your DAM Project
    Evaluating Solutions
    Implementing DAM
    Daily use of DAM
  • 82. Workflow: Yale
  • 83. Workflow: Miami Dade College
  • 84. Workflow: AMNH
  • 85. 33
    Workflow: National Wildlife Federation
  • 86. 34
    Workflow: Portland Art Musuem
  • 87. Adding Files
    The process of adding files to a DAM system is also known as “ingesting”, “uploading”, or “cataloging”.
    The process may be invoked or automatic (“watch folders”)
    The Process May Involve:
    • Addition of metadata by user
    • 88. Automatic extraction of embedded metadata
    • 89. Automatic generation of derivatives like thumbnails, previews, or video proxies
  • 90. Metadata Management
    • Automatic generation of keywords from file and folder names
    • 91. Extraction of metadata from files
    • 92. Embedding of metadata to files
    • 93. Batch editing
    • 94. Import or export of metadata to or from other systems and databases
  • 95. Handout Page #9
  • 96. Handout Page #10
  • 97. Handout Page #11
  • 98. Search
    Basic Search
    Advanced Search
  • 99. Handout Page #12
  • 100. Download
    After previewing an asset on screen, a user may need access to:
    • Download a high-resolution original file
    • 101. Download a low to medium-resolution file
    • 102. Download a watermarked file
    • 103. Playback time-based media (video streaming)
  • 104. Processing
    Batch processing can change one or more of the following attributes on a selection of assets:
  • 110. Self Service Web Portals
    Users maintaining digital asset collections typically use client applications to add and maintain the digital asset management system.
    Other “outside” users that are not familiar with the collection may benefit from self-service web portals that provide:
    • Access to approved assets in the correct formats
    • 111. Insight into collection contents
    • 112. Instant and remote access via the web
    • 113. Intuitive user interfaces and search forms
  • 114. Handout Page #13
  • 115. Media Sets
    Handout Page #14
  • 116. The Solution: Portfolio Server
    Handout Page #15
  • 117. Handout Page #16
  • 118. Handout Page #17
  • 119. Presentation Outline
    Initiating your DAM Project
    Evaluating Solutions
    Implementing DAM
    Daily use of DAM
  • 120. Archive != Backup
    Types of DAM workflows:
    • Production/Work in progress
    • 121. Archive/Distribution
    Back-up your files!
    • RAID is not backup
    • 122. Invaluable in terms of recovering files accidentally lost
    • 123. Get backups out of the building!
    Image source:
  • 124. Software Updates
    Major Updates (Version 2.0)
    Minor Updates (Version 2.1)
    Hosted Solution Updates
    Maintenance Contracts
  • 125. Support
    Internal Support
    Vendor Support
    The Community
  • 129. More Information
    DAM Learning Center: