DAM Guide – DAM software: a way to sort your photos

Photos are imported into digital asset management software so that they can be used by other users of the system. In particular, they can be used to create new documents, such as advertisements. They can also simply be viewed to see what they contain. Whatever the case may be, to be able to make use of those photos, users have to be able to find them easily, which means the software must be able to sort the photos.

In the case of DAM software, we’re talking about sorting or organizing files in an established order based on various criteria. For example, the photo sorting software may organize files in chronological order. In some cases, sorting may not follow an order and is instead based on categorization. For example, you can have sorting that organizes photos according to format, like JPEG or PNG.

Thanks to photo sorting, your photo library solution will make it easier and faster to search for documents. To achieve these objectives, the sorting options offered must be simple, adaptable, and general. They must make sense; otherwise, they’re not useful. For example, sorting by color is not useful if the user really just wants to see all photos from the year 2010. As such, the idea of what “makes sense” for sorting is entirely relative. A certain sorting option may make sense in a particular situation or for a particular person, but not in other cases.

The goal of sorting is to still allow the user to access all photos while making it easy for them to search by grouping together items of interest to the user. With sorting by date, while you may be searching for the most recent photos, you can still see the oldest photos. This differs from a targeted search for a specific date or period. Indeed, in that case, the user will only see photos for that date or period.

Initially, a human is responsible for sorting photos entering the DAM system. The user sorts the photos into folders with different levels where they’ll be stored. The DAM software then sorts the photos itself, either according to standard criteria determined by the software or according to user requests.

DAM software allows you to sort photos in multiple ways: by format, size, theme, popularity, date, creator, location, dominant color, etc. Another possibility with DAM software is to sort photos by their geographic location or by the people appearing in them.

Sorting in digital asset management software like Ephoto Dam can be the result of an automated workflow.

Metadata provide essential information enabling digital asset management software to sort files. In most cases, sorting is based on these metadata attached to photos. Whether they be metadata generated by the device when the photo was taken or metadata entered by a human, they provide information that makes sorting possible.

Because of the crucial importance of metadata for sorting photos, standardizing metadata is essential. This is particularly a problem for metadata entered by human users. For example, if you enter the name of the photographer into the metadata, you have to establish a standard way for all users to write that same photographer’s name. So, if for one photo you only enter the photographer’s last name, then for another photo by the same photographer you enter their first and last names, the software will not consider them to be the same person. As such, when the photo library sorts the photos by their creators, it will not put these two photos into the same category. To avoid this problem, you can create a standard. For example, all users must enter the photographer’s first name then last name for each photo.

In addition to the standardization of information, there’s another common sorting problem related to metadata. The software cannot sort files based on a metadata category that’s not complete for all photos. For example, sorting by location will be incomplete, and thus useless, if only a few photos have their geographic location included in their metadata. You’ll find photos taken in the same place sorted together, but other images taken in that same place will not be included with the others because their location information is blank.

As such, you have to take these different factors related to metadata into account before using the photo sorting feature to do a search.