What is a good EXIF/IPTC metadata field to store a general URL about the topic or content of a photo. For example a photo showing the Eiffel tower might have the URL http://www.toureiffel.paris/.

So what is a good metadata field to store fthis? The "standard" description fields like Headline or Caption-Abstract/Description I do not want to use, because they might contain other detailing text to the photo (see this question); I rather thought of using a tag like SpecialInstructions or maybe DocumentNotes.

Is there a field which is typically used this kind of URLs?

2 Answers 2


xmpDM:location URI Optional. The URL of the location to jump to, for a WebLink-type marker. For example, http://www.mysite.com.

see page 19 of http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/devnet/xmp/pdfs/XMPSpecificationPart2.pdf

  • Not sure if that's a good field for url details of a photo: The field is part of xmpDM:Markers which according to Adobe's spec is reserved for an "important location in an audio or video sequence"
    – halloleo
    Apr 16, 2015 at 4:27

You can see all the fields of the EXIF standard here:

There is a ImageDescription field which holds a string, and that would be a reasonable location for any links to descriptions.

There is also the ExifTool (http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/) software that can be used to programmatically interact with, and parse, your images' EXIF data. If you don't have a specific purpose in mind for the URL, except your own use, then as long as you are consistent, you can store and retrieve the information as needed.

If you want a specific application or tool to be able to parse, display, or use the URL, then you will have to first make sure of what (and how) data are rendered and used by the software. Most software probably won't expect a link, so it won't be clickable, but it should be selectable text that you could then navigate to.

If you use something like the EXIFTool, you could create your own software interface that would allow clickable links and do whatever you'd like.

  • Is ImageDescription in the IPTC data? As outlined in the question I'd like to use a IPTC filed. I hope to achieve greater compatibility with different photo editing and cataloging applications.
    – halloleo
    Jul 17, 2014 at 17:45
  • Update: When looking at exiftool's IPTC tags list, it looks like ImageDescription is not part of the IPTC tags. :-(
    – halloleo
    Jul 17, 2014 at 17:47
  • @halloleo The ExifTool seems to read and write both EXIF and IPTC data, so while you may not be able to use the same tag name for both formats, you could use the EXIF ImageDescription field and the IPTC DocumentNotes field (as you initially mentioned), but having them both managed by the ExifTool software, you won't have to do everything twice -- just one script that writes both tag formats with the same string (data).
    – user31132
    Jul 21, 2014 at 0:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.