Keywords as Finding Aids

What’s another word for Thesaurus?—Steven Wright, comedian

After using Keyword Catalog: Asia, India, Karnataka, people, human, human being, human beings, humans, person, male, masculine, boy, lad, young man, Indian, animals, animal, beast, beasts, creature, creatures, zoology, livestock, water buffalo, bovine, Bubalus bubalis, environment, ecology, ecosystem, environmentalism, scenery, nature, water, stream, lighting, light, sunshine, sunny, outdoors, outdoor, outside, agriculture, farmer, granger, field worker, farmhand, farm hand, field hand, Asia, India, Karnataka, Hampi. ©David Riecks

“Bullock Boy” Initial Keywords: boy, water buffalo, stream, farmhand, sunny, outdoors, Hampi (Karnataka) After using Keyword Catalog: Asia, India, Karnataka, people, human, human being, human beings, humans, person, male, masculine, boy, lad, young man, Indian, animals, animal, beast, beasts, creature, creatures, zoology, livestock, water buffalo, bovine, Bubalus bubalis, environment, ecology, ecosystem, environmentalism, scenery, nature, water, stream, lighting, light, sunshine, sunny, outdoors, outdoor, outside, agriculture, farmer, granger, field worker, farmhand, farm hand, field hand, Asia, India, Karnataka, Hampi. ©David Riecks

 

Story and photos by David Riecks

Who cares about keywords?  Well, unless you have a, pardon the expression, photographic memory, you should. If you or your agent or a client ever wants to find a particular image from the thousands in your library, good keywords make it easy.

Since document files are made up of words, a researcher can do a search using some of those words to find the files closest to what is needed.

With photos, there are no words unless ones have been assigned. It’s possible to deduce some aspects of images via automated means, like using the date and time or possibly the location in the digital-camera-captured GPS information. But that’s about it unless you are interested in subscribing to one of the new “machine learning” options—a discussion for another day.

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