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Documentation & User Guides | FotoWare

How FotoWare Helps Museums, Galleries and Public Institutions Get Their Message Out

Libraries, galleries, historical societies and other public institutions keep large collections of assets, physical as well as digital. While their collection management system typically affords curators a cornucopia of features to manage assets and enrich them with metadata, these systems are most often not geared toward interdepartmental collaboration: A museum will often have a communications department that needs access to the museum’s content through e.g. the content management system they use for promoting their organization on their website and in social channels. There may also be a desire to make certain collections available to external customers by letting them request access to a collection or a subset of a collection for a specific use.

Metadata and Process Automation in FotoWare

FotoWare has a history of successful implementation in public institutions, museums and libraries, where it serves as a central content hub and facilitator for collaboration between departments and with any external stakeholders.

Automatically enrich assets with metadata from collection database

Through workflow automation, visuals that are added to the FotoWare system can be enriched with metadata that is pulled automatically from the collection management system’s database. Assets can be further enriched in FotoWare with metadata such as usage restrictions and creative rights.

Manage image rights

By using metadata to assign rights to the assets published on your FotoWare, users will always know who to credit and which usage restrictions apply. FotoWare can automatically apply visual markers to assets that have special usage terms to help users immediately recognize that a certain asset has special restrictions or instructions for use. For example, a marker can be assigned to pictures that can be used freely on the condition that due credit is given. When a user finds such a picture an the collection, hovering over the marker displays the usage restrictions, and when the user clicks the marker, the credit line to be used is displayed and can be copied for use in the publication.

Organize content and guide users

By organizing assets in logical collections, all departments that are given access can search in and navigate collections. The asset metadata can be used to create navigational taxonomies, guiding users to relevant content without requiring knowledge of sometimes intricate search queries - this is especially useful for collections that are made public through the organization’s website, where visitors are given a visual representation of the content categories they can find in the public collections.

Streamline event photography workflows

Exhibit and event photography workflows can also be streamlined with FotoWare. When photographers upload pictures after an event, metadata can be automatically be applied back-end based on a preset template that contains the event information, so that the amount of metadata input by the photographer can be reduced to a minimum.

Access Control and Content Sharing

Standard technologies

Access to collections is centrally controlled by reusing the organization’s existing directory structure using standard technologies such as OAuth and Azure AD/ADFS integration. This way, there’s a single place to control users and groups that are imported and kept in sync in the FotoWare system.

Fine grained access control

Access to assets in FotoWare can be set on individual archives with a fine-grained access list that controls what each user/group may or may not do within that archive. Users outside the organization can be given limited access to public collections, or the system can be configured to allow users to register and be assigned to one or more user groups, either automatically based on information given during registration or manually, where an admin reviews user registrations and approves/rejects and assigns access groups.

A self-service portal with approval workflows to manage requests for asset use

The level of self-service in FotoWare can be customized in a number of ways to suit the ideal level in your organization. For example, authenticated users can be given access to archives based on their department. While they have full access to content that belongs to their department, they can be limited to only view content that is owned by another department and be required to go through an approval process to be able to use that content. This can for example be accomplished through an order workflow, where the requesting user needs to state the intended use of the requested assets. Upon granting access to a set of assets, an overseer can also set an expiry to time-limit the usage.

Workflows to handle requests by the public to use your assets

For public-facing FotoWare systems, copyright mechanisms such as watermarking of thumbnails and previews can be enabled to prevent unauthorized use. Site visitors can be allowed to place orders after a brief signup process, and additional information can be requested of the user in the ordering process. For instance, you may want to collect information about the intended use of the asset to evaluate whether the order should be approved or not. Upon approval of the order, the user is notified via email and is given a direct link to download the assets.

User-initiated sharing of content with internal and external stakeholders

To share a collection of assets with others, a user can create albums. Who the user is allowed to share content with can also be controlled centrally. Based on which sharing permissions a user has been granted, (s)he can share albums with other registered users and group in FotoWare or with external people by inviting them to the album and providing view and/or download rights. Power users can also be granted rights to showcase an album on the website homepage - for example to draw attention to an upcoming or ongoing event or exhibition.

CMS Integration for seamless publishing to your website and social media channels

By integrating FotoWare with your web CMS, your communications department will be able to find and publish assets that have been approved on your public website. FotoWare has ready-made web widgets that can be called up from your web publishing system and used to search, browse and pick visual assets than can be inserted right into your webpage layout. By leveraging the power of the FotoWare API, you can even have the assets processed on-demand, for example to resize and watermark all the pictures that are published on your website. FotoWare also keeps track of the assets' publishing records and allows the revocation of assets for which rights are time-limited.