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Ted Szukalski

Gallery of fine art photography.

about media html microformat


Would you know who took this photograph? When and where was this photograph taken? What is its copyright status? Would you know what it contains?

The answer is yes, because you can see it. However, when you look for an image on the Internet you relay on search engines such as Google or Bing which are BLIND and can only absorb textual content. Your greatest photograph or painting may never be found because of this shortcoming.

So, today I have decided to write something relating to the Internet and media. If you are a photographer, painter, composer or any other creative person you will know how difficult it is to describe your work on the Internet in a way for the search engines such as Google and Bing to index our work in a meaningful and relevant way.

Most of the search engines rely on the image (media) title and surrounding content to deduce what your published media is all about. Most often the end result is less than satisfactory. So, what if we could specify meaningful information to the search engines?

I hope this prepared by me and proposed microformat gets noticed, gathers some feedback and matures to the point where it can be submitted to relevant bodies to extend the functionality of the HTML markup.

about – Draft Specification 2009–06–18

1.1 Authors

Ted Szukalski

1.2 Acknowledgements

Most of this specification is inspired by IPTC specification, with adaptation for HTML mark-up.

1.2 Copyright

This specification is (C) 2009 by the author.

1.4 Patents

This specification is subject to a royalty free patent policy, e.g. per the W3C Patent
Policy (,
and IETF RFC3667 ( &
RFC3668 (

1.5 Abstract

This document is the initial draft for the proposed about microformat. The author(s) wish to encourage anyone reading this document to offer their feedback, critique, or opinion regarding the proposed microformat. You may do so on the distributed-discussion-issues page.

about is one of several microformats. By adding strong>about attribute values to an img, object, video, audio tags, a post can indicate the authorship, subject, keywords, and additional information.

<img src=”dcs001.jpg” alt=”Fisherman showing his catch - a huge tuna” about=”scene:man with a fish;auhor:John Doe; keywords:man,fisherman,fish,tuna,recreation; type:photogrph; copyright:public domain” />

1.6 Scope

about microformat is specifically designed for providing better information about media such as music, videos, drawings, painting, and photographs. It should greatly enhance search engine results for such media.

1.7 Format

Syntax is represented by a sequence of expressions:

Element1:value; Element2:value; etc

Where element is one of the word from the following table terminated by colon.

Value is descriptive information relating to the element

Each element and value is terminated by semicolon.

Element Description Example
Subject: Description of what the media contains Photograph of a fisherman showing his catch – a huge tuna
Keywords: Coma separated list of keyword related to the media. Man, fisherman, fish, tuna, recreation, boat
Genre: Coma separated structure of the genre related to the media. People, candid
Author: Author of the image John Doe
Contact: Contact details for the author John.Doe@somedomain
Date: Date of media creation in reverse order notation [yyyy-mm-dd] 2009-06-18
Copyright: Copyright information related to the media Copyright ©2009 John Doe
Type Type of the content contained within the media. One of: photograph, drawing, painting, figure, song, film, animation, game Photograph
type.Location: Description of the location of the scene contained with the media Australia, NSW, Manly
typeLocation.GPS: GPS position of the scene within the image media 34:57:773S 138:28:822E

Please note type.location elements represent an extensible markup, which would allow to enter specific information about the media. This may be used to specify duration of a movie (movie.duration), type of a game (game.rpg) or any other specific element.

1.8 Examples

<img src=”xyz002.png” alt=”Portrait of Eve” about=”subject:Eve posing at XYZ studio; keywords:woman,portrait,face,red hair; genre:people,portraits; author:John Doe; contact:john.does@domain; date:2009-06-18; photo.location:Australia,NSW,Sydney; copyright:Copyright ©2009 John Doe; type:photograph”/>

1.8 Acknowledgements

Stephen Neal, Telstra BigPond – suggested change of “scene” to “subject” as more generic attribute. Stephen also suggested “location” is too specific to one media type and thus I have re-factored it to become an extensible markup for specific media formats.