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Created: March 28, 2001.
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TIFF Helper Creates XML-enhanced TIFF Images.

Eric Lease Morgan has created a collection of XML-enhanced TIFF images based on his water collection, 'automagically' creating a set of browsable HTML files allowing you to view the images and their descriptions in your Web browser. He says: "XML data was extracted from the description tags of TIFF files and converted into HTML through XSLT, the TIFF files were converted into thumbnail images, and the whole thing was brought together by creating a simple browsable list. The process begins with TIFF Helper, a rudimentary web-based application allowing people to write XML data to the description tag of TIFF files. The primary goal of TIFF Helper is to provide a means for 'marrying' the description of an image file with the image itself and not having to rely on an second application (say a database) to save and manage this information. Embedding descriptive information about images in the image files themselves provides a means for image archiving and distribution that is standards-based as well as operating system- and application-independent. If TIFF files were enhanced with XML data, then the descriptions of those files could be directly associated with their images. demonstrates one way of extracting that XML data and making sets of TIFF images available on the Web." The production code and XSLT stylesheets are available for download. Emerging graphics standards do use XML in similar ways, of course (e.g., MPEG-7 XML-based Description Definition Language, SVG, DIG35).

TIFF Helper: "a Web-based application used to read and write XML templates to the description tags of TIFF files. In order to maintain an archival collection of images (TIFF or otherwise), I wondered if it were possible to create XML data (of any XML schema) describing an image and insert it into a text field of a TIFF file. If this were done, then I could have a TIFF reader extract the XML and create all sorts of things: SQL for my database, HTML for my Web server, a stream intended for my indexer, etc. Thus, my images would "know about themselves", and I could repurpose my content as technology changed... TIFF Helper requires PHP). The index.php defines a number of constants. In order for you to get TIFF Helper to run on your site you will first need to make sure index.php files are executed by default (just like index.html files), and you will need to define the constants. The most important contants are TIFFINFO, TIFFSET, and DATA. TIFFINFO and TIFFSET point to the location of your tiffinfo and tiffset binaries. DATA points to the directory where all uploaded data will be saved. The user name associated with your HTTP deamon will have to have read/write access to the DATA directory... The process begins by creating new XML templates. Once this function is selected a form with two fields will appear. One field is designated for the name of the template. The other field is for the XML template itself. The idea is to type into the tempate field the sorts of XML elements that will be used to describe an image. After submitting the form a new file will be created on the host and the template will be saved... Functions for creating and editing XML descriptions represent the heart of the application. By choosing to create a new XML description you are first prompted for an XML template, a template that has been previously created. Next you are prompted for a TIFF file from you local file system. This TIFF file is then uploaded to the remote host and the XML template is displayed. It is now up to you to fill in the template accordingly. After submitting the template the underlying application will call tiffset to put the XML data into the description field of your uploaded file..."

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