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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a query about our images, community or awards section? Here is an overview of the most frequently asked questions.

1. Awards

What are the Emporis Awards?
The Emporis Awards are awarded every year to recognise the best architecture in the world. The criteria for the buildings entered into the award, are that they have to be at least 100 meters tall and completed within the award year. Recognition is also given to skyscrapers in 2nd and 3rd place, and the top 10 selections of the jury are published on our website and press releases.
Can I suggest buildings for inclusion in the nomination process?
There is no need, because Emporis already tracks construction of every eligible building around the world. The list of candidates is generated automatically from our database.
Can I attend the award ceremony?
This varies by year, and depends on the host of the ceremony. The award is presented at the winning building, and on some occasions the recipients open the ceremony to the public.
When do you select the winning buildings?
The selection begins in November of the award year, but is not finalized until the end of the year because construction on a particular building may or may not be complete in time for eligibility. The announcement is usually made public in January after the architects and developers of the winning buildings are contacted and a press release is prepared.
What are the architectural criteria for the award?
Besides the main eligibility criteria - 100 meters of architectural height and completion within the award year - the jury is free to select the year's best achievements in design and functionality. The jury is instructed to look for qualities in a building which enhance the life of people who use it and of people in the city around it. The award tends to favor buildings of advanced design with an eye toward the future, with innovations in areas such as structural engineering, environmental sustainability, and tenant accommodation. Aesthetics play a major role, but a lasting impression is more important than a strong initial impression.
Can our company participate in the award presentation as a sponsor?
Emporis is open to the possibility of an award sponsorship by a company in a building-related field. The sponsoring company could not be a direct competitor of the architect, developer, or construction company of the winning building. The sponsor would not be able to rename the award.
Can we provide press coverage of the award?
Yes, the award is open to the worldwide media, and the press is usually invited to the award ceremony. Please use the e-mail form in the navigation bar above to get in touch with Emporis about media coverage.
Who nominates and selects the award winners?
The award is chosen by contributing editors of the Emporis database. In most years, hundreds of buildings are completed which are technically eligible for the award. All contributing members, including registered photographers are eligible to nominate buildings for a shorter list, which is forwarded to the jury of senior editors for final selection and ranking. The senior editors of Emporis are experts in virtually all areas of building-related knowledge, each with years of experience in working with building information. The jury is given ample time to consider and compare the virtues of the contending nominees.

2. Community

Will my personal details be revealed to third parties?
No, your personal details including your e-mail address will not be revealed to any third parties.
How can I add a profile picture?
We use the profile pictures from Gravatar.com. Register on Gravatar.com with your Emporis e-mail address. The profile picture will be automatically linked. It might take a few minutes for your new profile picture to go live on Emporis. When selecting your profile picture on Gravatar, choose the option "rated G".
How can I add new buildings?
You can add buildings as soon as you have registered for the Emporis Community and have logged in.
What do I have to watch out for when adding new buidlings?
  • Before you add a new building, make sure that the building does not exist on Emporis already
  • If the building has no name, use the street address for the building name
  • Always set the pinpoint in the middle of a building
  • Technical fields require a source
I can't find a specific city. What can I do?
If you are not able to find a city on Emporis, please contact us at: data@emporis.com. We will add the city to our database as soon as possible.
The building I added was rejected. Why?
There are several reasons a building could be rejected. The most common reasons are:
  • The building already exists on Emporis
  • The entered data or the source is inaccurate
  • The building is too small and therefore irrelevant
How can I add images?
If you are registered on Emporis, you can upload architecture images. You can upload images directly from a building- or citypage, in that way you save having to allocate the respective object. After you uploaded and saved your images, they must be approved by Emporis before going live. This process may take 1-2 working days.
How can I add images to a building or a city?
Images must always be allocated to a city or a building. An image that prominently features a building must be allocated to a building page. Contrarily, if an image features more than one building, it must be allocated to a city page (e.g. skyline, street, place) unless one specific building stands out.
Which images will be accepted?
There are a number of terms an image must fulfill in order to get accepted:
  • The image must represent a building or the architecture of a city
  • The image must be attributed to the correct building or city
  • The correct category must be selected for the image
  • The image should not be blurry
  • Faces or license plates should not be visible on the image
How high is my commission for sold images?
For every image sold you receive 50% renumeration of the net sale price.
At which sum can I get my commission paid out?
When you have reached a minimum balance of 50 Euro on your Emporis account, it will be paid out to you.
How can I contact Emporis?
If you have feedback or questions regarding the Emporis community, write us an E-Mail to community@emporis.com.

3. Images

3.1. Customer

How can I purchase/download images from Emporis?
We use a simple shopping cart system. Place images in your shopping cart and go to the checkout when you are ready to pay. Images will be made available upon payment.
What am I purchasing?
When you buy an image on Emporis you are purchasing the usage rights for this image. Prices are based on size. Sizes available vary for every image: small, medium, large, extra large or maximum.
What payment types will be accepted?
The normal method of payment is by credit card. We accept all standard credit cards. If you wish to pay by invoice, please call or e-mail us.
How will I get my images after payment?
Once credit card payment has gone through you will receive an e-mail containing a link via which you can download your purchase.
What is the royalty structure? How can I use the purchased images?
We sell royalty-free images. There is no time limit on the use of purchased images. There is no restriction on how you may use the images.
What does royalty-free mean?
The royalty-free license allows you to use the image with unlimited use. You can use the image anywhere, as long as you like, in different mediums such as in print or online. The photographer remains the sole copyright owner.
What are the image sizes?
Licence MP Price DPI
Small 0,5 95€ / $130 72
Medium 2 145€ / $200 300
Large 4 195€ / $270 300
XL 8 295€ / $400 300
Maximum >15 395€ / $530 300
Some images are not for sale. Why?
Not all images on Emporis are for sale. Some images are provided by third party members who own the copyright. If you are not able to buy an image of a building, it is best to contact the architecture firm responsible for the building directly.

3.2. Photographer

How much does a photographer earn?
This varies depending on which size of image has been sold (small, medium, large, extra large, maximum). Emporis also reserves the right to run special offers on images, or provide discounts for large bulk purchases. Photographers receive 50% of the net sale price of an image.
How do I request a payout?
On the photographer's Image Page in Emporis' Community there is a button enabling you to generate an invoice for your image sales. Print out and sign the invoice, then send it to us by post or fax. Alternatively you can e-mail us a scan of the signed invoice.
What is the royalty structure?
We sell royalty-free images. There is no time limit on use of purchased images. There is no restriction for the customer on how to use the images.
What kind of images will be accepted?
The Emporis database puts buildings and the urban habitat in the foreground. Images should be well-presented and well-lit, with the image subject centred within the shot. The building or part of it (e.g. a facade detail) should form the focus of the image. We prefer blue skies (some cloud is acceptable); other backgrounds are acceptable if they add artistic value to the photograph. Construction images do not need to have blue skies, however. We accept only the JPEG format; the higher the resolution, the better.

4. Standards

How can I search for a topic?
You can find any topic using the search box on the Standards home page or on the page of any particular standard. Simply type the name of the topic, the ESN (Emporis Standards Number), or a keyword used in its abstract. You can also navigate from a general topic (e.g. Structures, Companies, Geography) down to a more specific topic using the terms in the navigation frame. (Any available subtopics are listed under the abstract of each Emporis Standard page.)
Who uses Emporis Standards?
Emporis has written its standards for four major audiences: (1) for the general public, as a source of interesting and useful information; (2) for its customers, to clarify what data they are looking at; (3) for its own editors, in order to keep data consistent; and (4) for professionals in building-related industries, so they can see how we categorize and define various terms applicable to them.
What is the 'Abstract' on each Standards page?
Each standard includes a brief abstract - a text which summarizes the definition in about one line. This enables users to get a quick idea of the term's meaning without examining all of its nuances. The abstract can also be used in technological applications which use Emporis Standards, e.g. as an aid to persons reading a data export or collecting data in each field.
Are the standards on Emporis consistent with other international standards?
Emporis has always made every effort to keep its standards consistent with existing and emerging international norms. It cooperates with recognized international organizations and various building-industry associations to ensure that its standards are interoperable with other data users. Many of the fields Emporis collects have never been standardized before, and in these areas Emporis leads the way in forging new standards that can be applied effectively across national boundaries. It is also important for us to set standards which can be applied well into the future, because once data collection begins it becomes very difficult to adjust existing data to revised standards.
How can I participate in the definition and standardization of building-related terms?
The input of experts and professionals in building related fields has been extremely valuable to Emporis in assembling its standards, and we still actively seek advice from experienced persons in all relevant fields. If you see an area where you could contribute your knowledge, either by refining the definition, adding new categories, or providing new examples, your contribution is more than welcome. Please submit your topic and contact information to the Emporis Data Team.
Can I copy all or part of Emporis standards for any use outside of Emporis?
Yes. The whole purpose of standards is to be adopted as widely as possible. All standards, categories, definitions, and terms used by Emporis are open for public use and may be reproduced without any restrictions. This is beneficial to all parties, because it makes various collections of data more compatible with each other in case of exchange. Emporis places no limit on the adoption of its standards by any other person, organization, or company.

5. Statistics

What is a skyscraper?
For most people, the word "skyscraper" is a relative term for a building which seems to reach the sky. In one city a 20-story building might be called a skyscraper, whereas the same building would get lost in the Shanghai or New York skylines. In order to provide consistent statistics, the editors of Emporis have agreed on a metric definition of a skyscraper: any regular multilevel building with an architectural height (ESN 19417) of at least 100 meters (328.08 feet). More details: skyscraper definition (ESN 24419)
How are skyscrapers measured?
The parameters for measuring skyscrapers are a great source of controversy, because different people are willing to accept different building features in the height. Ambiguities result from elements such as antennae, sculptures, spires, and pyramids at the tops of buildings, as well as sloping ground and elevated platforms at the base. Emporis solves this problem by collecting data in 8 different height types, each using different parameters. However, in accordance with tradition and with its reliance on architectural data, the primary statistics published on Emporis use the architectural height (ESN 19417), which counts everything belonging to the architectural design and which rises above the lowest adjoining sidewalk level. Antennae, satellite dishes, lightning rods, and other elements added on top of the architectural design are listed in the tip height (ESN 56239), but are not counted in primary statistics because (a) they can be viewed as temporary "furniture" resting on a building; and (b) data on them is rarely available except for the tallest buildings. On the other hand, while many people prefer height rankings which exclude spires and sculptural elements, there is no clean way to exclude these from buildings without losing the impact of skyline-defining elements like pyramids and screen walls. Emporis' standards differ from those of organizations like the CTBUH by including the whole man-made construction at the base, including platforms which rise above street level. More details: height types (ESN 15705)
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