Monterey Bay Aquarium

“For me it’s been wonderful, it’s so much easier to put images into the system”

Kris Ingram
Image Resource Manager
Monterey Bay Aquarium


The Monterey Bay Aquarium uses beautiful visual imagery online and offline to help communicate the aquarium’s mission of conserving the earth’s oceans. Since 1997, they have licensed photography from exhibits as well as digitized their own large collection of marine science images.

With 500 employees, the Monterey Bay Aquarium needed their designers and social media teams to use licensed images according to licensing agreements. External images had restrictions on when credits needed to be applied, when copyrights expired, or could only be used onetime for a magazine or exhibit.

Prior to selecting Cumulus, the Monterey Bay Aquarium used a Digital Asset Management (DAM) but it lacked the ability to manage customized digital rights that the aquarium wanted.


The Monterey Bay Aquarium team turned to Canto and Canto Professional services to help develop a DAM solution that provided digital rights and permissions – so that users could see what is allowed with specific images and rights managers could add watermark labels and restrict download options.

Here are some of the Cumulus features Canto Professional Services implemented for Monterey Bay Aquarium:

  • Built-in workflow tools such as task scheduler which informs the Image Resource Manager when a copyright is about to expire.
  • A push email notification gets sent to inform the Resource Manager to either extend the copyright or remove the image.
  • Metadata templates were also implemented. The metadata template has copyright instructions and adds credits and watermarks into the files.
  • Custom fields were added such as expiration dates, special instructions, ownerships, color labels and external license fields.

After the customization and development of Cumulus was complete the Monterey Bay Aquarium branded and launched Cumulus to their team calling it, “Fish Eye”. I did a big presentation to the entire organization about the new system. And honestly, I think it’s been a great success,” stated Kris Ingram, Image Resource Manager at Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Results and Benefits

Now with Cumulus, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has technology that empowers them to manage their licensed images without damaging their photo source relationships. The Monterey Bay Aquarium can now control access to their digital images while ensuring their designers and social media teams can get what they need, see what others are using and follow a unified look with their images. “For me it’s been wonderful, it’s so much easier to put images into the system, to catalog into the system, compared to our last system which had so many weird glitches that I’m much happier with Cumulus,said Ingram.