Snowcapped mountains and streams running off
hawksbill sea turtle A juvenile hawksbill sea turtle swims through a shallow reef in The Bahamas. © Shane Gross

Aprimo DAM

Metadata Fields

Glossary of nearly all metadata fields, required and optional, in the Aprimo DAM

There are different required fields for each major content type. Take a look at the chart below to see which fields are required.

Field   Photo     Document     Video     Audio  
Content Type  X X X X
Description  X X X X
Status X X X X
Business Group  X X X X
Alt Text X X X X
Geographic Location  X   X X
Topic X X X X
Available To X X X X
License X X X X
Copyright X      


Aprimo DAM Metadata

Required Fields

  • The second metadata field you should see is Content Type. This is the first required field and should be the first field you complete (it’s fine to fill out the title first.) To select the content type, click on Edit in the field entry box. This opens up a new window where you can select from the following content types:

    • ·       Audio
    • ·       Documents/PDFs
    • ·       Infographic
    • ·       License Contracts
    • ·       Logo
    • ·       Model Releases
    • ·       Motion Graphic
    • ·       Photo
    • ·       Templates
    • ·       Video


    For an image file, you would select Photo. When you select a content type and click OK, you will notice that additional fields are added to the metadata. The fields available correspond to the content type, which is why it is critical to set the type before filling out other fields.


    Content type is also a way that assets are organized by Aprimo's internal system. This is particularly critical for asset types like license contracts and model releases. If you label a license contract as a “document” instead of a contract then you will not be able to add it in the license contract metadata field of the asset(s) to which it applies.

  • The description provides context for the asset, and for most asset types besides images, it should describe the content. For an image, the description is essentially the photo caption and should be written for an external audience. Assume the user viewing the asset has no context and needs to know the Who, What, Where, When, and Why of the asset, along with any other relevant information or important details that you may want highlighted. 


    For the image we have uploaded, we could include the description “A brook runs through the St. John River Forest in Maine’s North Woods. TNC has been protecting and managing large sections of this forest since 1998.”

  • The status of an asset determines if it can be viewed or used. Aprimo has five different status options:

    • Available
      • This asset can be viewed and downloaded by all Aprimo users. Assets should be made available by Contributors once the metadata is completed.
      • Note:  Consumers will only see the assets they are allowed to view based on their security group.
    • Pending
      • The default state for an asset upon upload. An asset cannot be made Available until all required metadata fields have been entered. Assets marked Pending will be visible to Contributors and will remain in this state until manually completed.
    • Expired
      • The rights or usage term for the item have expired. These items can still be viewed, however, they can no longer be used or downloaded. (Should we watermark these?)
      • For example:  a time sensitive video that is still up for reference 
    • Archived
      • Removes from view to all Consumers. Contributors can see archived assets for their BU. 
    • Request for Deletion
      • Selecting this option removes it from view to all but the system administrator. The images will be deleted from Aprimo on a bi-weekly basis.

    Assets must be marked Available for use and download by consumers, or anyone other than the contributor that uploaded the asset. Assets marked ”pending” typically need metadata added or need to be released due to license restrictions. An asset can only be made available after all required fields are completed. In this scenario, you would want to make the asset available, so you could set the field to available by clicking on Edit and selecting Available.

  • The field denotes who owns the asset and will help contributors to locate and track all the asset owned by their Business Unit (BU). For this asset, since it is coming from the Maine chapter, you would choose Maine as the business group by clicking Edit in the field and selecting Maine. When you open up the list of Business Group options, you will see a lot of options. You could click through the categories to locate and select your business group, but it will be a lot faster to search for your BU. To do this, click on the title Browse and then select Search. Now you will see a search bar where you can enter and select your BU.

  • Alt Text is what a visitor will see or hear if they cannot view the image. Accurate Alt Text is critical for accessibility and helpful to search engine ranking. The alt text should describe what is depicted in the asset (i.e. what is shown in a photo) or the message that the asset is conveying (i.e. the trends or key message of an infographic). For this image, reasonable alt text to enter could be “a small brook runs through a forest with sun filtering through the trees.”

  • The Geographic Location is chosen from set TNC taxonomy that covers TNC operations.  The chosen location should correspond to the geographic location that is the subject of the asset or, in the case of photo and video, where they were taken or where they depict. The Geographic Location helps users to locate assets, to accurately represent the assets, and track to which assets audiences respond using analytics. On rare occasions, you could select multiple locations, such as in the case of a document reporting on forests in both Maryland and Delaware. Typically, you will want to choose a single location that is the main focus of the asset. For this asset you would select Maine as the location. Additional location details, such as a city or county name, can be included in the location fields in the Embedded File Info section of the metadata.

  • Similar to geographic location, topic is useful for locating images, understanding their business significance, and for data analytics. Topic is selected from the set of TNC taxonomy terms relevant to our business operations. It allows us to track assets by themes and helps us to determine which assets people are responding positively towards. Topics are also useful for locating and grouping like assets, and evaluating whether an asset represents the type of work it is being used to represent. For this image, we could use the topics forest conservation and carbon sink, because this forest is a managed for conservation and has been designated as a carbon sink.

  • This field should contain the security group that can view the asset. Most accounts are linked to a security group and this field will auto-populate. For example, if you are a Maine contributor, the Available To field will auto-populate with the United States Field Group. If the field auto-populates you will not need to do anything and can move to the next field. Note: only admins can add assets to global asset collections visible to all contributors and consumers.

  • Select the correct license for your asset from the set of TNC license types. A photo can only be added to the Aprimo DAM if you are licensed to use it. The TNC license types are linked to use cases so assets can be filtered by use case. For example, if the license type selected is TNC License, the photo can be used for:

    • TNC Print - printed in TNC-produced publications
    • TNC Social - posted on TNC social accounts
    • TNC Website - used on TNC websites
    • Nonprofit/Media: Direct TNC Reference -  can be used by media and nonprofit partners in direct reference to TNC work.    


    A photo with the TNC License type cannot be used by other nonprofits or media without direct reference to TNC work, the photo cannot be used by corporate partners, the photo cannot be used for commercial purposes, and the user does not need to contact the owner before using for an approved purpose. Therefore, if a consumer is searching the Aprimo DAM for a photo to use on social and checks TNC Social use case filter, the image will display in the results. However, if the consumer selects the Commercial use filter, the photo will not display in results.  You can include additional notes in the open field “usage notes.”

  • The copyright will include the name in the byline, and the copyright symbol. It should be written as it should be shown beneath an image or printed in a document. The copyright also should be in correct TNC format. Photos taken by staff during work hours or during a work assignment are owned by The Nature Conservancy, meaning TNC owns the copyright. When crediting such images for digital and printed materials please do so as follows:

    • © Photographer’s Name if known/TNC Example: © Chris Helzer/TNC

    If the TNC staff photographer’s name is not known, simply credit:

    • © TNC

    All other images that were contracted and taken by a freelancer are owned by the freelancer, meaning they own the copyright. TNC owns only the usage rights. So we must credit as follows:

    • © Photographer’s Name
    • Example: © Nick Hall / © Ian Shive / © Ami Vitale

More Important Fields

  • Title is not a required field. Some photos are given titles by the photographer/artist/author and you can enter that in the Title field. You can also use this field to provide extra context or a short summary of the asset. There is no character limit on the field.

  • The next field, Language, is optional. Language can be a helpful way to sort and find certain types of assets, such as document, maps, infographics or videos that have a large amount of text. It is recommended that you select the language for text-heavy assets. For images, this is not a critical metadata field. For the Maine image, we are not going to set a language.

  • The places we protect field is not a required field because it will not be relevant for all assets. However, assets that are about protected places, such as a photo of a preserve, a map of a protected area, or a stewardship report of a preserve would need to be tagged with the correct Place We Protect term. 

  • The Vault ID field is available to aid contributors with tracking images. Many programs kept photos in Vault prior to the Aprimo DAM implementation, and referred to photos by the Vault ID. This field exists so that that information can be maintained for those who need it. The image in our scenario was not previously stored in Vault so we can leave this field blank.

  • Associated Assets is a field where you can link related assets. For example, if you are editing metadata for a headshot of an executive, you may want to link it to their other promotional photos in the system. Or, you may have before and after shots of a restoration project and you want to link the two so they can easily be found. To link an associated asset, you would click Manage links and then search for and select the asset. For this image, you do not need to include any associated assets so you can leave the field blank.

  • While not required, Keywords are a wonderful way to increase the visibility of your assets. Unlike topics, keywords are not part of our established taxonomy and any terms can be entered in the field. Using keywords, we can add or highlight attributes and qualities of photos and video that might not be immediately recognizable from the caption, but that someone might want to use or search. It may be helpful to take a look at the Smart Tags (if there are any) for inspiration.


    When adding keywords to an asset, look at it with a critical eye.  What elements of this image might be useful for someone who hopes to repurpose the image? And, in particular, what elements are not already captured in the metadata? For example, is the landscape sunny or rainy? Is it an aerial shot? A close-up? Does the image have people? How can you describe them? Are they children or hikers?


    Similarly, you might want to tag an image of tiger cubs as “baby animals” or add the species name as a keyword. Or you might tag an image of a female firefighter as “women” or “women in nature.” Any tag which describes a searchable property of the image is a useful tag. The keyword field is open entry, however as you type you may be prompted with keywords that are already in the system. Selecting an existing keyword helps add consistency in the system and limit the number of ways someone may need to search for an image. For this image, you might add the keywords “birch” for the types of trees shown and “brook” or “stream” for one of the main features.

  • Rating is a field with a dropdown menu with numbers from 0 to 10. Asset contributors can use this field to rank assets. Typically the rating is used for photos to indicate which photos are favorites or most valuable to the business unit which owns them.

  • The first field in the rights management section is the expiration date. An asset may need to have an expiration date due to license terms or because a marketing campaign may end and cause the assets to become outdated. If you set an expiration date on an image, when that date occurs the image will switch status from Available to Expired. In this scenario, Maine has rights to this image in perpetuity, so you would not include an expiration date.

  • Usage Notes are where an author can provide additional details about an asset license if necessary. In addition, any time a photo is licensed with Limited Internal Rights or Limited External Rights, information about those limits should be included in the usage notes field. For example, the context in which a photo is used may need to be approved by the owner, in this case the contact information for the photo should be entered in the usage notes field. Sometimes photos are only licensed for use by a specific TNC chapter or program. That information should be entered in the Usage Notes field.

  • The byline is where a contributor would enter the name of the author of the asset, such as the writer of a document, the photographer of an image, the designer of an infographic, or the producer of a video.

  • Credit is similar to byline, but may be used differently depending on the asset type. In most cases, the credit would be the name of the creator of the asset.

  • Source field can be used to enter where a photo was obtained from if applicable, such as the website where a stock photo came from or the website of the photographer.

  • Use Case is linked to license type. When you choose a license type, use cases will populate automatically. Use cases include:

    • TNC Print: can be printed in TNC-produced publications.
    • TNC Social: can be posted on TNC social accounts.
    • TNC Website: can be  used on TNC websites.
    • Nonprofit/Media - Direct TNC Reference: can be used by media and nonprofit partners in direct reference to TNC work.
    • Nonprofit/Media – No Direct TNC Reference: can be used by media and nonprofit partners without direct reference to TNC work.
    • Corporate Partner – Direct TNC Reference: can be used by corporate partners in direct reference to TNC work.
    • Commercial Use: can be used for commercial (money-generating) purposes.
    • Contact Owner to Use: the owner of the asset must be contacted before the asset can be used. If this use case is not noted, that doesn’t mean the owner does not need to be contacted. That information may be in the Usage Notes field instead.
  • If an asset contains images of people, you would complete the released field to indicate if the people in the image have authorized the usage of the image. If the image subject(s) has/have signed model release(s), you will select Yes and then you will want to include the model release in the Model Release/Assets field. If the asset does not contain images of people, you would select N/A to indicate that this field is not applicable to the image. This image does not contain people, so you would leave the default value of N/A for the Released field.

  • In the License Contracts/Assets field you will only want to edit the Children. This is where you would connect a License Contract for an asset. If you have a license for a photo, for example, you would first need to add that document to the Aprimo DAM and assign it the content type License Contract in the metadata, and set the contract status to available. Then, you will be able to attach the License Contract in the Children field of the assets to which it is connected. Clicking Edit children opens a pop-up window where you can search within available license contracts. Searching TNCPhoto brings up a sample photo contract. Select it and click OK. This will associate the license contract with the image.

  • If the asset contains images of people (such as a video or photo containing people as the subjects) you will legally need to have that person/people sign a model release to use that image. To add the model release to the asset, you will first need to upload the release to the Aprimo DAM and complete the metadata by setting the content type to Model Release and making the asset available for use. Once you have done this, you will be able to add the model release to the asset by clicking Edit children, then searching for and selecting the correct model release. If the asset does not contain images of people, you can leave these fields blank. The image we are using does not contain people, so we would not add a model release.

Additional Fields

  • The Smart Description field can contain a description of an image generated by the Aprimo Artificial Intelligence engine. The description is not currently used for any purpose because it is not always accurate. However, it can sometimes be helpful as Alt Text inspiration and it is a searchable field.

  • The Smart Tag field can contain terms descriptive of an image as detected by the Aprimo Artificial Intelligence engine.

  • If a province or state is embedded in the file information, it will populate the Province/State field. Otherwise, you can enter that into the field if additional location information is useful.

  • If a city is embedded in the file information, it will populate the City field. Otherwise, you can enter that into the field if additional location information is useful.

  • If a tract of land, a county, address, or geographic coordinates are embedded in the file information, they will populate the Location field. Otherwise, you can enter any additional location information in the location field.

  • Sublocation is an additional field that can be used for location information that doesn’t fit into other fields.

  • The width of a photo in pixels will be detected by the Aprimo DAM and displayed in the embedded file info section of the metadata.

  • The height of a photo in pixels will be detected by the Aprimo DAM and displayed in the embedded file info section of the metadata.

  • The resolution of a photo in pixels per inch (ppi) will be detected by the Aprimo DAM and displayed in the embedded file info section of the metadata.

  • The size of a file in MB will be detected by the Aprimo DAM and displayed in the embedded file info section of the metadata.

  • The orientation of a photo – either landscape or portrait - will be detected by the Aprimo DAM and displayed in the embedded file info section of the metadata.

  • The date and time that the original file was created will be extracted from the embedded file info and displayed in the embedded file info section of the metadata. It should be noted that this info will only be correct if the time was set correctly on the device (computer, camera, etc) that was used to create the asset.

  • Under System Information you will find the account username of person who first uploaded the asset as well as the date and time that the asset was uploaded. You will also find the date and time that the asset was last modified and the username of the user who last modified the asset. In addition, next to ID you will see a unique identifier – a string of letters and numbers connected with dashes – that will remain static even if the file name or other metadata fields are changed. This is a helpful way of cataloging assets.

Versions & Additional Files

  • Above the General version information section of the metadata you can add new versions of the file. You would add a file version when you want to keep all the metadata the same but replace the actual file. You might need a new file version if you make a minor correction to a document or an image, but the asset is essentially the same.

    You should see a version number followed by a date and time stamp. To add a version, you would click on the down arrow next to the time stamp, then select Add a version.

    After at least two versions for the asset exist, you will have a second option under the version dropdown – View version timeline – where you can see when different versions were uploaded and you can choose to revert to previous versions.

    Beneath the General version information heading, you will see a username and timestamp to again indicate the uploader and time of the most recent version.

  • In the File name field, you can edit the file name. File names can only contain letters, numbers, dashes, and underscores, and the file extension. If a file contains any other characters or spaces it will surface an error when you try and make the image public. If you have uploaded a file with an improper file name, you can change the name in the file name field. Simply edit what is shown and save the change.

  • In the Version label field, you can enter any helpful names that would help you or another user identify the version. For example, you may have updated a preserve map with a new land tract and choose to name the version “Harbin’s Tract Added, Updated May 2020.” In the comment field you can add any additional information about the file version.

  • In the download restrictions section, you may want to prohibit downloads of previous file variations. To do that, you would go into the file variation timeline, select to view a previous variation, then uncheck the box next to “Allow download of this version.” These will not be visible unless someone goes into the image and searches variations. However, if that is a risk, old variations can be restricted.

  • Some assets may require that you include additional files, outside of any license contracts or model releases which should be added in the appropriate fields. For example, if you are adding metadata for a video, you may want to add a closed captioning file under additional files, and/or an audio transcript. To add an additional file, you would click on “Choose file” and select the appropriate file from your computer to upload.