Goal what? Let’s talk about metadata or metadata, “meta what?” you might think if you haven’t heard the term before. Let’s try to solve the enigma using our imagination, suppose we have a new product for us, and that it also has many labels and content on its packaging, content that is useful to us, or that it would be if we knew what the meaning of each one is. . Currently it is easy for us to see a package and understand most of the information that we find there, but assuming that for us it is something completely new, how could we understand what we have in our hands?
Faced with this need for information, we can always inquire about what each label or content on the package represents (for example, the weight in grams, the name of the product, its nutritional value table, product warnings, where it comes from), what it is called that data, what other data could appear in that label and what type of content it responds to, we can generate content that explains or gives us a scope of all the information we want and need to understand, that would be an applied example, physically, of how the metadata logic works.
So, metadata means…
Let’s delve a little deeper into the origin of the word to have a better understanding, etymologically speaking the word metadata comes from the Greek μετα (meta) which means “after” or “beyond” and from the Latin datum which means “what is da” or data, a literal interpretation would be “beyond the data”, however, for practical purposes the definition of metadata would be “data that speaks of other data”, data that gives us more information about other data.
These metadata allow more information to be obtained about what characterizes the data they describe, details more about the structure of its content, conditions, among others.
Role and function of metadata
According to Gayatri and Ramachandran (2007) and Kate Beard (1996), the function of metadata is:
· Facilitates the search and retrieval of data, since metadata are useful for searching, locating and retrieving data, since they provide information about the structure of what is being searched for, as well as describing the content before finding it.
· Speeds up the transfer of information, since once the data has been located and retrieved the description of that data, it allows the acquisition of information by the user to be easier.
· Evaluation of the data, because the metadata helps determine if the information obtained is useful to him or not.
· Filing and conservation of information, facilitate the generation of a standard that can persist over time, thus ensuring its correct storage and conservation.
· Allows interoperability, since the generation of a standard and protocols for metadata facilitates the exchange of information between different systems.
Metadata applied to practice
The concept of metadata is concise, as we have already seen, and its potential in practice is vast. At Evolbit we have worked on projects that implement and use it to follow information storage standards.
Let’s imagine a library, where each book has characteristics in common, and each characteristic represents something significant about that book, say: title, author, city of publication, year of publication, summary of the book, among others.
This type of classification is frequently used through standards, which are followed throughout the world to ensure that the information is standardized and will be easily accessible to others. A similar example is that of an art museum, in a project we implemented standards such as Dublin Core and ISAD(G) for the cataloging of works of art in computer systems.
Another project that is worth mentioning was that of an application where the cataloging and data recording of species of Peruvian fauna in the jungle was also applied, for which we implemented the Darwin Core standard, where species, subspecies, taxonomies are discussed. , locations, among other main data.
In conclusion, metadata provide us with an order and standard, both for registration, storage and organization as well as for subsequent search and recovery, which is why, despite not being a very touched topic, it has become a fundamental mechanism for a correct implementation of information systems based on standards.
Last modified: February 9, 2022