Thesaurus: the key to successfully searching your media library
What is a thesaurus?
Considering that a DAM manages thousands of assets (photos, videos, logos, etc.), it’s easy to understand how important it is not just to organize them well, but also to name them well so that collaborators can easily find what they need. And this, thanks to a thesaurus.
A thesaurus is the linguistic tool that allows you to meet this dual challenge by establishing a pertinent link between collaborators’ questions and the results:
- On the one hand, its tree structure, comparable to an explorer’s classification system, makes it possible to organize everything from the most generic to the most specific terms hierarchically, allowing for more or less comprehensive searches. For example, when you type building into the search bar, it suggests all different building types (industrial, agricultural, public, etc.).
- On the other hand, the way it presents accepted terms for indexing and equivalents as standardized and structured lists makes it possible to manage synonymy, polysemy, homonymy, and abbreviations. Let’s take two concrete examples: pipe in the oil sector might be associated with the terms pipeline or line (and not with tobacco or cigarette). Or, if a user types B2C, the same data will come up as if he had entered Business-to-Consumer. Whatever term a user types into the search field will yield corresponding images.
It sometimes happens that a company has several thesauruses. It’s easy to imagine that this is the case for Legos. One for the colors of the pieces and another for their shape.
Share the same language
Basically, with a thesaurus, all of an organization’s collaborators share the same language. And, for international subsidiaries, the thesaurus simply has to be translated into all languages. For everyone to be able to use it.
Also keep in mind that, like all living languages, your business’s language is always evolving. Meaning that some terms in the thesaurus will “expire.” As a result, it needs to be updated continually.
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