Metadata: What, How and Why? IMT595B April 6, 2007 Mike Crandall University of Washington Information School email@example.com
Web 2.0… The Machine is Us/ing Us http://youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE Metadata: What, How and Why?
Roadmap • What is metadata? • The basics • Metadata standards • How can you use metadata? • What is it for? • When do you use it? • How much does it cost? • What about maintenance? • Why would you use metadata? • What value does it add? • When are alternatives a better choice? • Social tagging vs. metadata • Things to think about Metadata: What, How and Why?
What is Metadata? • Data about data • Definitional data that provides information about or documentation of other data managed within an application or environment… metadata may include descriptive information about the context, quality and condition, or characteristics of the data (FOLDOC) • Levels of complexity • Simple (embedded in object; e.g., a hyperlink) • Structured (Dublin Core, content management) • Rich (library MARC records, Encoded Archival Description) Metadata: What, How and Why?
Origins • Library science • Focus is on entities as containers for information • Emphasis is on resource discovery • Tight focus resulted in widespread standards • Data management • Focus is on the information itself • Much more complex information spaces (e.g., NASA satellite data) • Much more varied types of information and use • Emphasis is on data use (authenticity, authority) • Standards tend to be associated with data types Metadata: What, How and Why?
Types of Metadata • Administrative • Object management • Rights and access management • Maintenance and preservation • Meta-metadata for managing metadata • Structural or technical • Describes relationships between parts • Enables recognition and use of objects by systems • Descriptive • Describes characteristics of object • Physical and aboutness (subject) Metadata: What, How and Why?
Metadata Schemas • Sets of metadata elements designed to meet the needs of a community • The elements are the fields that hold values authorized for use in the schema • Many different needs, so many different schemas are available • Three primary components • Structure: the model used to derive the schema (e.g., RDF) • Semantics: the meaning of the elements • Values are specified through rules or vocabularies (“encoding schemes” or authority control) • Syntax: the method for encoding the schema (e.g., XML, XHTML) Metadata: What, How and Why?
Information Systems Soergel, 1985 Metadata: What, How and Why?
Objectives of Metadata • Find • Through search engines, catalogs, etc. • Identify • Distinguishing between items for purposes of use • Select • By attributes such as language, format, genre, etc. • Obtain • Either directly or through location/ordering metadata • Navigate • For example, categories on web sites • Manage • Content management systems • Document repositories Metadata: What, How and Why?
Finding Metadata: What, How and Why?
MSWeb Search Metadata: What, How and Why?
News Publishing Tool Metadata: What, How and Why?
Navigating Metadata: What, How and Why?
Facets at wine.com Morante, Marcia. Creating Useful Taxonomies: Metadata, Taxonomies and Controlled Vocabularies. SLA – PER Division, June 8, 2004. http://www.kcurve.com/Metadata_Taxonomy%20Development_SLA_060804.ppt Metadata: What, How and Why?
Managing http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-dita1/ Metadata: What, How and Why?
Costs of Metadata • Basic question should really be what are you trying to accomplish, and does metadata add value to your project? • Startup costs can be high, but maintenance costs will be at least equal if not more • Good metadata systems require resources– people, machines, and time • Don’t start without an understanding of what those might be Metadata: What, How and Why?
Example Startup Costs Metadata: What, How and Why?
Example Maintenance Costs Metadata: What, How and Why?
It’s Not Just the Tools "Content" has been treated like a kind of soup that "content providers" scoop out of pots and dump wholesale into information systems. But it does not work that way. Good information retrieval design requires just as much expertise about information and systems of information organization as it does about the technical aspects of systems. Bates,Marcia J. “After the Dot-Bomb: Getting Web Information Retrieval Right This Time” First Monday 7(7), July 2002. http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_7/bates/index.html Metadata: What, How and Why?
The Big Picture We’re here But don’t forget the rest Selamat & Choudrie, 2004 Metadata: What, How and Why?
Alternative Approaches • What about folksonomies and social tagging? • What problems can they solve? • What issues do they raise? • How many people are likely to tag? • What about synonym control? • Does it matter? • Civilizations in decline are consistently characterised by a tendency towards standardization and uniformity.Arnold Toynbee, historian(1889-1975) Metadata: What, How and Why?
Alternative Approaches Metadata: What, How and Why?
Where Does Metadata Fit? We tend to think that the hard problems are the big ones. So we believe that searching the Web is hard because it's so huge. But I've been thinking lately that the really hard problems are actually the ones in the middle. In the middle, many algorithms don't work that well with moderate document sets, context becomes more important, interaction is critical, and you can't get the user "in the ballpark" anymore--you have to get them right to the thing they're looking for. Karl Fast- http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/private/aifia-members/2004-February/001129.html Metadata: What, How and Why?
A Continuum When to Use Formal Metadata Braly & Froh (2007) after Shirky (2005) Metadata: What, How and Why?
Things to Think About • Make sure you can measure results • Don’t assume one size fits all • Choose user access points wisely • Provide user tools and education for effective use of your metadata • Make sure you’re adding value • Balance theory with practical needs • Consider trust and provenance Metadata: What, How and Why?
Readings • Soergel, D. (1985). Organizing information. Principles of data base and retrieval systems. Orlando, Fl: Academic Press. 450 p. • Taylor, A. (2004). The Organization of Information. 2nd ed. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited. 417p. • Burnett, K. (1999) “A Comparison of the Two Traditions of Metadata Development”. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 50(13), 1209-1217. • Rosenfeld, L. & P. Morville. (2002). Chapter 9, “Thesauri, Controlled Vocabularies, and Metadata” in Information Architecture for the World Wide Web. 2nd ed. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly. (p. 176-208). • Zeng, M.L. (2005). Construction of controlled vocabularies: A primer. NISO. http://www.slis.kent.edu/~mzeng/Z3919/index.htm. • Bates,Marcia J. (2002) “After the Dot-Bomb: Getting Web Information Retrieval Right This Time” First Monday 7(7), July 2002. http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_7/bates/index.html • Bryar, J.V. (2001) “Taxonomies: The value of organized business knowledge”. A White Paper Prepared for NewsEdge. • Byrne, T. (2004) “Enterprise information architecture: Don’t do ECM without it”. Econtent 27.5 (May 2004): 22-29. • Earley, S. (2005). “Developing enterprise taxonomies”. Early & Associates. http://www.earley.com/Earley_Report/ER_Taxonomy.htm. • Montague Institute. (2001). “Managing taxonomies strategically”. http://www.montague.com/abstracts/taxonomy3.html. • Selamat, M.H. & J. Choudrie. (2004). “The diffusion of tacit knowledge and its implications on information systems: The role of meta-abilities”. Journal of Knowledge Management, 8(2), 128-139. • Bulterman, D.C.A. (2004) "Is It Time for a Moratorium on Metadata?," IEEE MultiMedia, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 10-17, 2004. http://homepages.cwi.nl/~dcab/PDF/ieeeMM2004.pdf • Fitzgerald, M. (2006) “The Name Game: Tagging tools let users describe the world in their own terms as taxonomies become "folksonomies."” CIO Magazine, April 1, 2006. http://www.cio.com/archive/040106/et_main.html?action=print • Braly, M. & G. Froh (2007). “Tagging”. Presentation for IMT530 Organization of Information Resources. (Feb 10.2007). EnterpriseTagging.org http://enterprisetagging.org/assets/pdf/IMT530_Tagging_Presentation.pdf. • Shirky, C. (2005). “Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags”. Clay Shirky’s Writings About the Internet. http://www.shirky.com/writings/ontology_overrated.html. Metadata: What, How and Why?
Questions??? Metadata: What, How and Why?