Project History

SAA's initiatives to promote metadata use and best practices by photographers and throughout the licensing industry began in 2006, and have expanded with the Library of Congress Partnership.


SAA published a Metadata Manifesto.
This was our call to action that the stock industry – and everyone who creates, distributes and uses digital imagery – urgently needs to commit to using embedded metadata to help protect and promote licensed use our images. Read the Manifesto.

Library of Congress awarded SAA a preservation partnership.

In acknowledgement of SAA's leadership in promoting photo metadata use, and in order to support and expand our efforts, SAA was awarded a $100,000 partnership through the Library's National Digital Information Infrastucture Preservation Program. SAA was tasked with investigating industry practices and then developing a program of metadata education for photographers. Read SAA's Press Release

Project Partners join in support.
Our Project Partners are Microsoft, Adobe Systems, PicScout, CameraBits, the IPTC, and Photoshelter.
Learn more about our Project Partners and why they support this Project.

SAA began a MetaSurvey.
Our investigations of current metadata practices began with a Metasurvey of Stock Distributors which looked at the current metadata practices of a group of major companies. Our findings confirmed our suspicions that too many images in the licensing market lack key identifying and content information. We have shared these findings at major industry conferences, with stock distributor management, and with fellow association leaders, and the dialog continues. Read Press Release.

Launch of and getMETAsmart tour.

Having gained a better understanding of the challenges that need to be met, and started an industry dialogue, we are now moving forward with an education initiative aimed at boosting awareness and commitment to metadata use and best practices across the licensing industry.  Attend an event or listen to a podcast [coming soon]

The MetaSurvey continues.
Phase two is a MetaSurvey for Photographers which is now live on this site. We urge all photographers to complete this brief questionnaire about your digital imaging workflow and use of metadata, to help us understand current practices. We will report on our findings, and use them to guide our development of the most useful tools and resources.  Take the MetaSurvey now!