Currently, there's no sustainable way to communicate downstream how an image should be used. This is a huge problem for media, advertising, branding, and ecommerce.
If parts of an image have been cut off, they can't be recovered, so more and more of the image is lost every time the image is redistributed. This means you lose part of the story and diminish the scope of creating different vertical and horizontal versions. It also leads to pixelation when higher resolutions are required and the original full resolution image is not available.
The answer is Image Display Control, or IDC. It is a standard that chains together the various steps of the image lifecycle using image metadata. Image-specific display instructions spread across platforms behind the scenes in the embedded metadata of the image file.
Established with our friends at IPTC — the global standards body of the news media — IDC embeds all relevant display options into the metadata of an image.
It's like having a "wardrobe" of display options for every occasion. For example, a photographer can define display instructions that a publisher — or anyone else who needs to share the image — can rely on. Or when a website is undergoing a redesign, all old image material can be easily converted to fit the new look.
There are endless use cases and scenarios, and that's what makes IDC so powerful. Developers and vendors can easily contribute, tailoring IDC to their own users and extending the ecosystem.