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29 February 2008 / erikduval

Metadata 2.1

As I mentioned before, we’ve started a new cycle of research on “metadata2.0”.

Our workshop two weeks ago had some really good contributions from smart folks with a lot of expertise in the area: Wayne’s presentation made Herbert throw his prepared talk away and improvise on what is important and what he’s learned over the years on metadata. I really appreciated the way he focused on making a relevant contribution, rather than on staying in his comfort zone!

Stu reflected on the Dublin Core initiative and the lessons learned. Follow-up conversations, his blog post on metadata2.0 and the many comments that triggered, focused on the need for Common Ground to build on. Whether the DCMI abstract model or the Semantic Web or Something Else should be that Common Ground remains an open question for me. As Stu mentions:

In a further conversation with Erik, we discussed the general suitability of the DCAM. Erik observed that the number of people, even in technical groups, who have a strong grasp of its intricacies is small. Unhappily, he is right. Is the DCAM needlessly complex, or is the complexity matched to a proportionately difficult problem? And, …should there be one model that we all build on or should we build something that overarches all existing models…

Isn’t that then a common data model? If the DCAM is considered too complex, how will this help?

Tom focused more on the learning aspects and the need to deal in a more in-depth way with the aspects that influence educational use. Dan identified what he considers to be the main problems in metadata land – considerable overlapping with my list. Martin, Amine and Martin started from concrete projects and talked about what they identified as the main issues to be addressed.

There seems to be a clear consensus that some of the main issues include:

  • identity of metadata elements and values
  • modeling of metadata
  • automated generation of metadata
  • metadata services
  • dealing with newer kinds of metadata
  • privacy issues

These are very much the topics that we are re-focusing our research efforts on. Your pointers, references, comments, advice, help, … will be MUCH appreciated.

O, did I mention that all the presentation material used in the workshop, some additional pointers, and a recording of all the talks are available from the wiki? Enjoy!

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