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General FAQ

Please click on the question to read the answer.



+ What is Metadata?
+ How can I use the images I find in the archive?
+ I am unable to get any results when I search by date. Does this field not work?
+ What is the difference between photographer, producer, and collector?
+ Why does my result page look different from the rest of the pages of this site? Where am I?
+ Why are my search results not displaying?
+ Can I use the images from the archive?
+ I am using an image for a non-commercial purpose. What is the appropriate format to cite this resource?

Metadata descriptions: Understand how the metadata is used so that your can improve your search results.


It is possible to search for images using any of the fields listed on the left. Click on a field name for more information.


Title: This is the name of the photo. There are some images in the database that have the same title but are slightly different images.

Date: The date indicates the day the photograph was taken in the field. If the item is a found object that has been scanned in, the date refers to time of discover. To search by this field, you should input date information in the following format: [numeric day] Month [year]. (e.g. 16 January 2003 or June 2001)

Time: Time refers to the time at which the photograph of the object was taken. To search by time please use 24 hour time. (Like this: 14:51)

Description: This field describes the main focus of the image. This is also an area where notes are included by the contributor meant to provide additional context and any details of the situation missed by the camera.

Address: Is the street address nearest to where the image was taken. In some instances the exact address is not known, in these cases the cross streets are noted. (4211 University Way NE). Rural Roadways are indicated by mile marker and the direction of travel. (Milepost 251, Interstate 90, Eastbound). The address convention listing quadrants as a suffix for North-South streets and a prefix for East-West Streets. (Like this: Roosevelt Way NE and NE 50th Street)

View Orientation: This field indicates the direction of the camera's point of view. This field helps to indicate the direction in the camera if it is not clear from the context of the photo. You can search this field by using compass direction points. (Like this S, N)

Municipality: This field indicates a municipality if the image was taken within Washington State. To search this field use the following format (United States -- Washington (State) -- Seattle). To search a specific neighborhood within Seattle proper, append the above as the second term. To look up the neighborhood index in the collection, please visit Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas. This listing will also provide links to area maps. Your search would look like this Capitol Hill - Broadway.

Format: The format field describes the material used to create the artifact. Formats in the collection include; Paintings
Drawings
Etchings
Printed Materials (e.g. Banners, posters, flyers, stickers, letters)
Flags
Billboards
Awnings
Signs (Commercial signs, printed signs, electric signs, regulatory signs)
Three dimensional objects and Landscape elements
Sculpture
Mosaics
Trash
Memorials
Actions (Street performances, public events, demonstrations, speeches)


Materials: This field notes what material was used to create the central artifact in the image. (Examples of materials used within the collection include, paint, chalk, ink, markers, tiles, fabric, paper, stickers, multi-media, and audio).

Processes: Indicates the method used to create the artifact. (Example processes include; freehand, templates, mass print, engraving, cutouts, collages, actions.)

Surfaces: This field indicates the surface an artifact was created or found on. (Example surfaces include cars, buses, trains, curbs, bridges, sidewalks, structures, exterior objects and signs.)

Architectural Detail: This field is used for describing buildings and the direction of view.

The following three fields all map the Dublin Cores creator field. There are subtleties in the purpose of these three fields.


Photographer: The creator of the visual image. The creator's name is listed or either the corporate entity that owns the image.

Producer: Indicates the creator of a moving image or media.

Collector: Applies to scanned artifacts. This field represents the person who is depicted in the scanned item, not the person responsible for scanning the image.