Using Dublin Core – The Elements by Diane Hillman
“Label: Resource Identifier
Element Description: An unambiguous reference to the resource within a given context. Recommended best practice is to identify the resource by means of a string or number conforming to a formal identification system. Examples of formal identification systems include the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) (including the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).”
The identifier element may be one of the most essential when it comes to metadata. When thinking about identifiers, the first thing that popped in to my mind was searching for college textbooks. If you have the ISBN or ISSN, you can go to Google, Amazon, BestWebBuys, or any other bookselling resource you can think of and find the required text, and in the correct edition. Finding the correct edition can be very important when it comes to school texts with the same authors over different editions, and having a way to uniquely identify them is important.
In the context of our football images, because they all come from the same game there are going to be a number of similar metadata elements within the set. They are as of yet untitled, but it would be quite possible to have similar titles to the images, or similar titles between this game’s image set and other images from football games. The photographer and other contributors are also likely to be similar throughout the set. Taking all of this into consideration, it becomes very important for one specific photo to have a very unique way of identifying it out of all the rest. As these photos are also now digital objects, they might soon be collected into larger repositories. Having an identifier element to describe them will make finding and positively identifying a specific item easier.
It is difficult for me to think of an argument against the identifier element. A unique way of identifying an item is so essential to maintaining access to that item over time that I can’t see any reason not to include it.
Towards an Application Profile for Images” by Mick Eadie
The inherent challenge in describing images versus the contents of documents, is that machines can “read” through documents and process their contents automatically to make up for poor or non-existent human descriptions, whereas images can not be processed in this same way. Though some technical advances on a pixel level are being made in this area, human generated descriptions of images are going to be most used and the best method available for some time. Human descriptions of images are also difficult, because the lens with which a particular person views a picture affects their description, and this view is likely not universal across cultures and time. There are also abstract concepts that a picture can describe, which would be important to note, but which are extraordinarily difficult to standardize. Images also partake in complex relationships that would also need to be desribed in metadata, such as being located in a collection of photographs, a book, or being one image layered with multiple images to create a single image.
With all of these difficulties and challenges in mind, the IAP Model took on a simplified and modified FRBR specifically for images. Hopefully, this IAP Model can be integrated with other schema to provide better access points for images.
“Using Dublin Core” by Diane Hillman (issued 11/7/2005)
This usage guide is primarly aimed at non-specialists as a way to help them create simple descriptive records. As a resource for non-specialists, the introduction to metadata section was very clear and concise and would be mostly understandable to a lay person. The “What is Dublin Core” section was a great overview of why Dublin Core was created and what is most important about Dublin Core.
A main feature of this user guide is that it has great links to further information on the Dublin Core website. So, if you really need to learn about Dublin Core syntax in XML, you can easily find several links that will help you with this need.
Another feature that I was made aware of, thanks to the user guide, is a service that automatically generates the Dublin Core metadata of a web document in HTML or RDF/XML. All that you have to do is put the URL in. This automatically generated metadata can then be pasted back into the header of the original document. Voila!
DC-dot – Dublin Core Metadata generator
I attempted to use the service by running through the usage guide, and getting the instant results back and comparing them to the document itself was an interesting exercise.
Introduction to Metadata: Online Edition 3.0
“Practical Principles for Metadata Creation and Maintenance”
“1. Metadata creation is one of the core activities of collecting and
memory institutions. Quality metadata creation is just as important as
the care, preservation, display, and dissemination of collections; adequate
planning and resources must be devoted to this ongoing, mission-critical
activity.” (p. 1)
Maybe it is a little late in the class for this to be dawning on me, but this principle really struck a cord with me. Whenever I have thought about what the “core activities” of a library are, metadata creation has never popped into my head. As a person who has spent the vast majority of her life as a library user, the underpinning of library services has been less visible than the outward services. Of course I think about collecting materials, preserving special collections, offering storytimes and highlighting the works of local authors or award winners. But this library ship could not run without the navigation guide. If there were no metadata available, so many parts of the system come undone. Without metadata, there is no way for the library user to know where the book is, what subjects are covered in the book, find an author without a title or find a title without an author, or even know if the book is in the library at all. It doesn’t do much good to preserve and collect, if no one knows what is in the collection!
As we get deeper and deeper into some of the trickier aspects of metadata, and I start feeling like throwing my cat eyeglasses across the room and crying into my cardigan in frustration, it is helpful for me to take a breath and remember that metadata serves such a crucial role in librarianship.