The Digital Imaging Group (DIG), the digital imaging industry consortium, disclosed its plans to enable a variety of image workflows through its metadata initiative, DIG35. The goal of the Initiative is to simplify the process of collecting and managing information about an image and in the process enable a broad range of applications from image management to digital photo finishing. Such a standard will benefit the many different users of digital imaging, from personal imaging at the consumer level; commercial imaging for e-commerce of image-based content; and professional imaging for such industries as real estate, insurance, and scientific imaging. The DIG35 Initiative is supported by a broad cross-section of DIG members: Agfa, Canon Inc., Digital Intelligence Inc., Digitella Technology Inc., Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Hewlett-Packard Co., Eastman Kodak Co., Microsoft Corp., NETIMAGE, PhotoChannel Networks Inc., Polaroid and Seattle FilmWorks Inc.. XML will be a key technology in the implementation of the standard. XML’s powerful data representation capabilities and its wide spread adoption in the Internet will allow flexibility. For example, take the problem of describing the location a picture was taken. Depending on the application domain, location in a consumer photograph could be a place name or a GPS coordinate. For medical images, location would represent a part of the body; for astronomical images, location would carry yet a different meaning. The DIG chose XML not only for its widely adopted use, but also for the opportunity to unify its work with a concurrent effort happening in the ISO MPEG Committee (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11), the MPEG-7 Group. The DIG35 Initiative recently formalized an official liaison with the MPEG Committee to collaborate with MPEG-7’s effort in the area of still image metadata standardization. Through this partnership, the DIG will help define the metadata for still images within multimedia contents in order to help multimedia producers, owners and users manage their contents. www.digitalimaging.org

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