IPTC metadata is the information embedded on digital media graphics.  Specifically, digital photos can be signed by its creator using IPTC compliant graphic tools and applications.  The embedded information therefore serves as the signature of the photo.  This signature, if used in conjunction with markup technologies, becomes the IPTC metadata. 

IPTC metadata is very useful in describing digital still media.  Its importance becomes more pronounced as the digital media technology becomes more advanced.  For example, a photographer can use a digital or SLR camera to take still pictures.  The photo can be edited, enhanced, or manipulated using different graphic tools.  Through such applications, the photographer can sign the photo using IPTC metadata schemas.  The name of the photographer, the description of the photo, its resolution, the hardware used, and the date of production can be embedded on the digital image.  The information will not appear on the photograph but on its metadata structure.  Different applications and web spiders or crawlers will be able to read the photo and recognize it as data.

Leading graphic developers implemented IPTC metadata capability for their applications.  The graphics platform can provide tools that can create metadata for the media.  Graphic artists therefore will not be compelled to learn markup programming just to embed an IPTC metadata.  They can simply create or recreate a photo, use the metadata tools available on their graphic software, and digitally sign their creation.  Digital media production and distribution therefore will be easier and simpler through the use of IPTC metadata.

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