About ImageSnippets

ImageSnippets is a new kind of software tool that lets you compose and attach machine-readable descriptions to images, using cutting-edge Semantic Web and LInked Data technology and standards.

Once created, these descriptions have many uses: apps can do more meaningful searching for images in an image corpus; your described images can be found on the Web in powerful new ways, and seamlessly incorporated into other linked data tools; and your image and copyright information can be held secure on protected servers, safe from metadata stripping in social media. But first you have to create it, which has been a problem. ImageSnippets makes this easy.

ImageSnippets(tm) is a new kind of digital asset management system built on principles from the semantic web. We are a group of designers, cognitive scientists, programmers, and image makers interested in taking image management to a whole new level.

The lightweight image ontology (LIO) used by Imagenippets was designed by Patrick Hayes and Margaret Warren and is open and freely usable and can be found at: http://lov.okfn.org/dataset/lov/vocabs/lio

The ImageSnippets triple-store of image data can be accessed at datahub.io

How does ImageSnippets work?

 Semantic technology links data using RDF :

  • A subject, a property, and an object

  • The subject of the image can either be the image or a region in the image.

  • The property describes how the keyword relates to the image, such as: “depicts” or “looks like”.

  • The object is like a normal keyword phrase or tag, such as: “Windows”, “Silhouette”, “New Orleans”, etc.

  • You can add as much or as little metadata as you want to an image.

How does ImageSnippets improve image sharing on the web?

 ImageSnippets is a tool for better image management, sharing and publishing.

  • Mis-attribution on the web

  • Complications with rights

  • Metadata stripping

  • Difficulty finding more complicated images in search engines – improving discover-ability for large image collections.

Image Galleries

We are currently working on image galleries based on metadata added through ImageSnippets using our newly developed Word Press plug-in. Example galleries coming soon! Stay tuned!

A Visual Guide to the Lightweight Image Ontology (LIO)

What is LIO? LIO stands for Lightweight Image Ontology (LIO) – LIO is a set of properties designed to link a keyword to the image with RDF. Here is a sample of 8 of our properties that illustrate the usefulness of organizing images based on how the keywords relate to the image. There are currently 11 terms that can be used in the ontology and you can see the full guide with more examples here: http://www.imagesnippets.com/ArtSpeak/help/properties.html

Are you a GLAM person (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums)?

Please Go Here!


  • ImageSnippets is in beta testing and is constantly improving.

  • We are not another database or image silo and we don’t want to own or profit from your images or your data.

  • ImageSnippets is currently free to use and experiment with for small volume projects. For larger and more complicated image collections and tagging assistance please contact us for pricing. info@metadata.rocks

Our Goals

ImageSnippets goal is to build a persistent resource that establishes provenance and preserves the historical content and context of images in a way that cannot be easily manipulated and also in a way (through the RDF syntax) that can be read many, many, many years into the future (assuming an internet/web continues to persist).RDF has become a standard – like HTML and will likely be read by semantically aware devices for years.

Image Snippets Philosophy

ImageSnippets is a product specifically for images that you want to have online, but just because they are online doesn’t meant that you must publish or share them,  it can be used simply for the kinds of images really care about finding later and/or saving and preserving. Because ImageSnippets is ‘online’ you have to assume that whatever you upload is ‘public’. We are working on a ‘privacy’ ability at some point; but we usually assume if we want an image to be private, we simply don’t upload it to any place online.

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