Founded in 1945 after World War II, the United Nations is an intergovernmental organization tasked to promote international co-operation and to create and maintain international order. The Department of Public Information (UNDPI) promotes global awareness of the work of the United Nations. Its main news portal is the News Centre, which provides breaking news coverage of UN developments around the world.
UNDPI needed a better way for staff journalists to be able to access and reuse images, with associated information (metadata) to its multi-lingual Drupal websites. The goal was to manage all images, together with associated metadata in multiple languages, in a single repository. Then, editors working on any language website should be able to search for images with respective metadata in the matching language for that website.
To meet these goals, the UNDPI retained DPCI to implement EnterMedia, an open-source digital asset management system, integrated with Drupal via the EMBridge module to provide enhanced digital asset upload, search and retrieval functionality within the Web content management environment.
DPCI, led by its Founder, Joe Bachana, worked together with UNDPI to document the requirements for EnterMedia, including multilingual metadata, image transformations, workflow, user roles, and permissions.
Once EnterMedia 9 was provisioned in the Cloud by the EnterMedia product team, DPCI configured EnterMedia to meet UNDPI's requirements, which included multilingual metadata fields as well as image transformation presets so that EnterMedia would generate the necessary asset renditions in specific dimensions on-the-fly.
DPCI then implemented EMBridge, a Drupal module maintained by DPCI that is used to connect EnterMedia with Drupal and allows users to search for and retrieve images from within the Drupal interface. DPCI developers further extended the functionality of EMBridge to give UNDPI journalists a way to translate image-specific metadata and post those translations back to EnterMedia for future search and retrieval.
With UN journalists working in so many different languages, every caption, credit, and description could contain dozens of translations. Within EnterMedia, any metadata field designated as multi-lingual has a default language (English) value and then the option to add additional language values to the field. With the multi-lingual enhancement, the EMBridge module now recognizes each Drupal website’s language and automatically selects the correct language from the available metadata values delivered with the asset from EnterMedia.
Part of UNDPI’s photo workflow is to include descriptive information such as headline, description, credit, location and usage rights embedded in the photograph itself. DPCI configured corresponding EnterMedia fields to read that metadata directly from the photo when the assets are uploaded into the DAM. When an asset is later exported from the DAM, EnterMedia writes the metadata back into the asset file, allowing UNDPI editors to deliver assets to other users and systems with embedded metadata preserved.
Finally, to help UNDPI staff transition to the new EnterMedia system, DPCI configured DropBox ‘hot’ folders where permissioned users dropped images for bulk upload. On the Drupal side, users are restricted to single image uploads. When a user uploads a new image through Drupal, the asset and its entered metadata are checked into EnterMedia via the EMBridge module.
UNDPI successfully launched the EnterMedia and EMBridge implementation with Drupal in Autumn 2017.
With the help of DPCI, UNDPI has now transitioned to an open-source digital asset management solution that saves them time and money while also providing a scalable platform to handle the growing volume of images managed by the U.N. across the Globe. The EMBridge module also helps to reduce work effort for the Web team by delivering images from EnterMedia to Drupal in the correct image specifications with the appropriate language metadata.