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Metadata - an introduction
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Metadata is key to ensuring that resources will survive and continue to be accessible into the future.

 

The information at the bottom of this image is Metadata that can be embbeded

 
What Is Metadata?
Metadata (Greek meta "after" and Latin data "information") are data that describe other data. Generally, a set of metadata describes a single object or set of data, called a resource. Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource. Metadata is often called data about data or information about information.
 

What DoesMetadata Do?
An important reason for creating descriptive metadata is to facilitate discovery of relevant information. In addition to resource discovery, metadata can help organize electronic resources, facilitate interoperability and legacy resource integration, provide digital identification, and support archivingand preservation.

 

There are three main types of metadata
Descriptive metadata describes a resource for purposes such asdiscovery and identification. It can include elements such as title, abstract, author, and
keywords.
Structural metadata indicates how compound objects are put together, for example, how pages are ordered to form chapters.
Administrative metadata provides information to help manage a resource, such as when and how it was created, file type and other technical information, and who can access it. There are several subsets ofadministrative data; two that sometimes are listed as separate metadata types are:
- Rights management metadata,
which deals withintellectual property rights, and
- Preservation metadata, which contains information needed to archive and preserve a resource.

Metadata is text that can be embedded within a digital file, and can be descriptive or relevant to an automated workflow application. The International Press and Telecommunications Council (IPTC) was established in 1965 to promote technical methods for exchanging information, and over the last decade, the standard IPTC captioning fields have become the de facto way used to provide consistent descriptive information across the news industry.
The Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) has been developed by Adobe as an advanced way of embedding metadata in files. XMP builds upon the basic ITPC fields but also allows more complex descriptions to be recorded, taking advantage of other Metadata systems.
Many files have metadata already embedded: for example, a digital camera will attach EXIF information (such as height, width, camera model and the date and time taken to an image) which will be picked up automatically in XMP. This can be viewed by going to File>File info in Adobe Photoshop or other XMP-aware applications. From this dialog box, further information can be added, such as a description of the image, any keywords used to search for the file and the copyright notices.
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