METApic is mid level Digital Asset Management (DAM) application currently in development at the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at RIT.

METApic was really born out of the need for an easy file system based system to manage digital assets that may or may not be tagged or other wise processed by other tools.


Linux + Apache2 + PHP + MySQL (LAMP stack) – Used to develop and run the application

ExifTool – Rips metadata out of almost any sort of file type!

dcraw – for converting raw file types to images we can see over the web.

ImageMagick – for all things image manipulation

phpThumb – a great library for creating thumbnails of our assets.

Samba ( AFP, NFS, WebDav ) – Used to manage the filesystem of our assets.

Basic Concept:

The basic idea of the system is that a user uploads their files over SMB. ( or any other network file services ) After the files are on the server a script on the server continually spiders through the files and processes the files. The processing includes ripping out exif data, updating the database tables for the image, and generally getting the asset into the database. At this point the asset can be viewed on the web, where all its metadata is instantly indexed and able to be searched and filtered.

As files are updated, replaced, deleted, or otherwise modified the script on the server will pick up on those changes and reindex the file.


So there it is, the basics of the system. The main princable behind everything is to be K.I.S.S ( keep it simple stupid )


As the application becomes a bit more mature, i plan on releasing it under the GPL and making the source available.