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Digital Asset Managers Meetup June 29, 2010Taxonomies and DAM Digital Asset Managers Meetup June 29, 2010 © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Introduction Donna Slawsky MLIS, Pratt InstituteMetadata and Taxonomy consultant Instructor, DAM for Columbia University School of Continuing Ed Ontologist, Time Inc. Adjunct Librarian, Baruch College © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Questions Who uses a taxonomy of some form in your DAM?For browsing assets? For keywording assets? Is someone on staff managing a taxonomy? Do you understand what a taxonomy is? how taxonomies are used? how taxonomies assist in asset retrieval? © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Definition A controlled vocabulary is a list of words used to tag content and then to retrieve that content through either navigation or search. © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Why Use Controlled Vocabularies (CVs)?Offers consistency in language used to describe content Provides agreement in (semantic) meaning of terms used Facilitates retrieval Acts as an intermediary between the input of the user and a database of terms by interpreting the meaning of the words (computers don’t understand word meanings…yet). Enables search input to better represent the original intention of the use Provides consistent and clear hierarchies for navigation Mention semantic web Exercise: write different words for items on the board © 2010 Donna Slawsky 5
What is this? © 2010 Donna Slawsky 6
Cougar, puma, mountain lionAnd this? © 2010 Donna Slawsky 7
How do CVs work? Define the scope or meaning of termsUse the equivalence relationship to link synonymous or equivalent terms children = kids pants = slacks bags = handbags Distinguish between homographs: Example: Mercury (planet) Mercury (chemical) Mercury (mythology) Mercury (automobile) © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Types of CVs List Synonym ring Authority file Taxonomy Thesaurus 9Source: NISO © 2010 Donna Slawsky 9
Types and Complexity of CVsSource: NISO © 2010 Donna Slawsky
List Limited set of terms arranged alphabetically or other logical way. Used only if there are a limited number of possibilities. Example of list from New York Public Library Media Center © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Synonym Ring Only used for retrieval, not for indexing of content items. Ensures that a concept that can be described by a number of terms retrieves the content items of interest. The terms are considered equivalent for the purpose of retrieval. Bill Clinton = William Jefferson Clinton = President Clinton © 2010 Donna Slawsky 12
Authority File One of the equivalent terms is the Preferred Term (PT) and others are variations Preferred term - term out of all equivalent terms that will be used to represent a concept Important for consistent tagging Types of authority files include place names, person names, organization names Batman (Preferred Term) Batman USE FOR: Dark Knight, Caped Crusader Caped Crusader: USE Batman Dark Knight: USE Batman Preferred term: Use car or automobile? ie. Native Americans, American Indians, Indians of North America Example from reading: Caped Crusader, Dark Knight, and Batman aren’t equivalent terms, but the for authority file would explain their relationship. You wouldn’t tag all comic books about Batman as “Caped Crusader” or “Dark Knight,” but if a user enters “Dark Knight” you want Batman comics to be in the resuls. © 2010 Donna Slawsky 13
Taxonomy A CV consisting of preferred terms that are arranged hierarchically. Hierarchical relationships: Broad Terms, Narrow Terms NTs should be “Type of” or “Part of” © 2010 Donna Slawsky 14
Why Use Taxonomies? Classifies and categorizes information (assets in DAM) Enhances retrieval Provides a uniform language for subjects, asset types, organization depts., formats, etc. Classifies info in various ways, depending on the audience needs (asset type, subject, source, year of creation…) © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Taxonomy: Hierarchy of Broad and Narrow TermsType of: Vegetables Asparagus Brussels Sprouts Lettuce Peas Part of: Bicycle Bicycle Seat Handlebars Pedal Tire © 2010 Donna Slawsky 16
Taxonomy: Broad, Narrow Relationships in a HierarchyExplain “Roll Up” effect. Search for pants, everything tagged with NTs under pants appear in the results. Source: NISO Standard © 2010 Donna Slawsky 17
Thesaurus The most complex and detailed CV showing PT (Preferred Term), BT (Broad Term), NT (Narrow Term), RT (Related Terms), UF (Use For), Use, and Scope (term definition) giving a robust understanding of the language used for a subject domain. See example: USDA Agriculture thesaurus at USDA Agriculture thesaurus © 2010 Donna Slawsky 18
Taxonomy Examples Food Taxonomy in Excel Poly-hierarchical taxonomiesEquivalent terms or synonyms Tagging on the ‘leaf’ Use of ‘More’ or ‘Other’ Poly-hierarchical taxonomies One term, multiple parent terms Tomatoes in vegetables and fruits demonstrates poly-hierarchical taxonomy. © 2010 Donna Slawsky 19
The Concept of Facets Facets are attributes of a content itemEspecially useful for browsing Example: for a pair of pants: fabric color size brand price © 2010 Donna Slawsky 20
Faceted Taxonomy for PantsColor red green blue orange Fabric wool leather silk cotton Brand Gap Lee Marc Jacobs Size 2 4 6 8 10 For more information: Endeca Digital Asset Navigator Media Beacon For more information see sources at end of presentation © 2010 Donna Slawsky 21
Applications for DAM: Class AssignmentDoes the DAM system contain a tool out of the box to create and maintain taxonomies? 9 out of the 13 DAM systems studied have taxonomy management capabilities All 9 enable use of taxonomies in the user interface One product of the 9 doesn’t enable synonym management © 2010 Donna Slawsky
How are taxonomies used to enhance the end-user experience?Browse assets Narrow down search results Type ahead Examples: Asset Bank Media Beacon Nuxeo Canto Cumulus ADAM Browsing enables discovery. Sometimes you just want to see what’s available, or a creative person may want to get ideas for a project. Browsing by subject category, place, asset type, or any other categories set up in your DAM can greatly assist in the creative process. We’ll be presenting examples of how taxonomies are used to narrow down search results and for type ahead in search and to populate metadata fields. Search is quick. Users search when they know what they want and have an idea of the words they need to find it. In our Google-based user interface search world, people are accustomed to entering a term and voila! finding a reasonably good match for the information they want immediately. Also, photo researchers in your organization (if you have them) are accustomed to using systems with highly evolved user interfaces and keyword vocabularies, like Corbis. There’s a good possibility that users will expect the same from the DAM. Note that the examples are from the companies’ demos and that most UI’s are highly customizable. © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Taxonomy example: animalsAnimals (level 1) Amphibians (level 2) Frogs (level 3) Newts Toads Birds Birds of Prey Wading Birds Insects Bees Beetles Flies Mammals Cats Cattle Deer Dogs © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Asset Bank: multi-level taxonomy browseThis interface is open directory-style or Yahoo-type browse, where you click through each category to view sub-categories. You’re not seeing the entire taxonomy in the navigation, as we’ll see in other examples, but this demonstrates the taxonomy levels nicely. Taxonomies give us the “roll up” effect. When you click on a broad term (that is a term that has sub-categories or narrow terms) all assets tagged with narrow terms are displayed. This enables you to either go broad in your browse or to drill down to the specific narrow term. The more assets in your DAM, the narrower your categorization may need to be. Here, click on “Animals” to get to the next level in the taxonomy: © Bright Interactive © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Asset Bank: multi-level taxonomy browseAnimals (top level) Amphibians Birds Insects Mammals Primates Reptiles Rodents Sea Life © Bright Interactive © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Asset Bank: multi-level taxonomy browseAnimals Mammals Cats Cattle Deer Dogs Horses Pigs Notice another use of taxonomy in this UI is the breadcrumb Categories: Animals: Mammals. Click on “Cats.” © Bright Interactive © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Asset Bank: multi-level taxonomy browseAnimals Mammals Cats Wild © Bright Interactive © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Asset Bank: image detailThis is what you see when you click on an image. It’s the metadata for an asset. See here how the taxonomy is represented as a path. All of the terms in the path (separated by slashes) are links that will take the user to a results page based on the category or term selection. Note how the controlled keywords (not a taxonomy, but a CV of keywords) are also links. Clicking on any of the terms triggers a search for that term. Let’s talk a little bit about keyword controlled vocabularies and keywording images. Keywording images takes considerable skill in order to capture the “aboutness” and the “ofness” of a photo, so you want to be sure the people doing this type of work have some training or background in this area. And if you decide to populate the keyword field in your DAM with folksonomy or free text terms (an uncontrolled list of words) searches will yield inconsistent results. Your organization can’t afford to have one person referring to a sofa as “sofa” and another as “couch.” These terms need to be noted as equivalent terms in your DAM system. This is something you may want to discuss with DAM vendors if you think keywording will be an important part of your metadata (this is especially the case with stock-like photos). That said, there are ways to integrate a keyword controlled vocabulary with a folksonomy or tagging approach, but that’s another presentation. There’s an excellent blog post by Bert Sandie on the subject at a link for AIIM Communities at the end of this presentation. © 2010 Donna Slawsky © Bright Interactive
Asset Bank: keyword browseThis slide shows a controlled vocabulary browsable keyword list. Note that this is a controlled list of keywords, as opposed to a list of keywords that have been entered free text – like in Flickr or Delicious. A list like this would used to populate a keywords field in the DAM metadata. Don’t forget about the UI for data entry. In this case, it would enable access to this keyword list either as a dropdown, type ahead, or look up. Preferably, the DAM system will enable synonym rings, so that a search for ‘couch’ will result in images of ‘sofas.’ © 2010 Donna Slawsky © Bright Interactive
Asset Bank: browse categoriesHere’s the interface after clicking on “Browse” in the left navigation frame. This is a good interface for a DAM with a lot of stock-photo type images. Now let’s look at some other examples of how taxonomy metadata is used in other DAM UIs. Here’s an example in Media Beacon of using their “taxonomy browser.” You can see in this example, Corporate, Marketing, Production, as categories that can be used to browse for assets by attributes such as asset type or category. Here, the user has selected the “Marketing” category. A term associated with asset browse on the web is “Faceted Browse.” You see this on many sites, where you can narrow your result sets by a set of attributes like on My Recipes – you search for Chili and in the left navigation you see the facets Cuisine, Main Ingredient, Cost for Serving, Course to help you narrow down the results to fit your information needs. Note that this enables discovery – the facets you see are contained in the metadata for the specific assets in the results set. The facets will differ based on your search, so you can discover information about the content in your results set. This isn’t the case with the DAMs we’re looking at here. For more information on facets, look at the Endeca web site (see link at end). There’s an article about faceted search by Stephanie LeMieux called “Designing for Faceted Search” on Seth Earley’s web site. Link at the end of this presentation. © Bright Interactive © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Media Beacon: browse Here’s an example in Media Beacon of using their “taxonomy browser.” You can see in this example, Corporate, Marketing, Production, as categories that can be used to browse for assets by attributes such as asset type or category. Here, the user has selected the “Marketing” category. A term associated with asset browse on the web is “Faceted Browse.” You see this on many sites, where you can narrow your result sets by a set of attributes like on My Recipes – you search for Chili and in the left navigation you see the facets Cuisine, Main Ingredient, Cost for Serving, Course to help you narrow down the results to fit your information needs. Note that this enables discovery – the facets you see are contained in the metadata for the specific assets in the results set. The facets will differ based on your search, so you can discover information about the content in your results set. This isn’t the case with the DAMs we’re looking at here. For more information on facets, look at the Endeca web site. There’s an article about faceted search by Stephanie LeMieux called “Designing for Faceted Search” on Seth Earley’s web site. © 2010 Donna Slawsky Copyright © 2010, MediaBeacon, Inc Source: Media Beacon
Media Beacon: narrow down search resultsUse case: Search your DAM by a keyword “business” and results display 300 assets. This is a lot of assets to browse through. You can narrow down your result set by various criteria based on taxonomies that you’ve built into the DAM. In some systems, you can combine several attributes to find specific assets you’re looking for. Narrow down your search for keyword “business” by layout type (InDesign or Quark) in this case. © 2010 Donna Slawsky Copyright © 2010, MediaBeacon, Inc
Canto Cumulus: multi-level browseThis demonstrates well the possibilities for navigating across a taxonomy that consists of many levels. In this case, we see displayed the fully open taxonomy for the “Africa”. The full taxonomy is displayed out to 3 levels -- level l: Geographic Order, level 2 Africa, level 3 South Africa. In developing a browsing taxonomy for DAM, use only as many levels as is necessary. Users will get tired of clicking through many taxonomy levels. Keep it as simple as possible. Use live demo, if can access the web: (see sources at end) Copyright © 2010 Canto, Inc. © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Canto Cumulus: manage taxonomyCanto Cumulus: Manage keyword taxonomy. New Category = new keyword New Related Category = synonymous terms © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Customized two-level browseExample of a simple two level taxonomy browse on ADAM © 2010 Donna Slawsky ©
ADAM: multi-level taxonomy browseSometimes, simple just isn’t possible: Multi-level taxonomy browse (5 levels) as seen on the DAM for Stanley © © 2010 Donna Slawsky
ADAM: select classification for asset edit© 2010 Donna Slawsky ©
Type Ahead Controlled vocabulary termsType ahead for controlled vocabulary terms can also be used when applying metadata AKA auto-suggest, auto-complete For simple search For finding values when indexing assets © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Tips and take-aways User testing is highly recommended for the search user interface Ask users about search and browse experiences they like to use on the web Consult with SMEs for vocabularies Keywords and subject taxonomies are usually two different CV’s Don’t re-invent the wheel to create subject taxonomies. Many are available free or through a licensing arrangement. See Authority lists are available through the Library of Congress User testing – observe how users search, browse and narrow down results. It can be very enlightening. (include photo researchers if you have them in your organization) Jakob Nielsen) “The best results come from testing no more than 5 users and running as many small tests as you can afford.” Consult with SMEs – you want to be sure you’re using their terms and not yours. Keywords are a list of terms used to search for images. They can be in hierarchical arrangement or be a simple list. Synonym management is a highly desirable feature for this list of terms. © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Sources for more informationTaxonomy Warehouse Live version of Asset Bank from British Geological Survey: Live demo Canto Cumulus Media Beacon taxonomies in DAM video Blog post on integrating folksonomy tagging with controlled vocabularies by Bert Sandie “Designing for Faceted Search” by Stephanie Lemieux Faceted Browse DAM Product from Endeca: Building a keyword library for description of visual assets: Thesaurus basics by Donna Slawsky Syllabus for DAM course at Columbia University National Information Standards Organization. “Guidelines for the Construction, Format, and Management of Monolingual Controlled Vocabulary.” ANSI/NISO Z NISO Press. July 25, © 2010 Donna Slawsky
Contact Info Connect on LinkedIn Question for you: Looking for DAM managers willing to be interviewed by a student and offer a tour of your DAM system for a midterm paper in the Fall. © 2010 Donna Slawsky
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