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1 Metadata for Asset Management Peter B. Hirtle Co-Director Cornell Institute for Digital Collections.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Metadata for Asset Management Peter B. Hirtle Co-Director Cornell Institute for Digital Collections."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Metadata for Asset Management Peter B. Hirtle Co-Director Cornell Institute for Digital Collections

2 2 Problem: Imaging projects produce many digital files


4 4 Problem redux… How to you locate, manage, and display scanned images?

5 5 One possible answer: Put identifying information into the file header Problems with this approach Hard to search and retrieve May change over time May not be able to migrate data

6 6 Second approach Use an image management system to manage images: A software application (often a database) used for organizing, managing, and providing access to digital media

7 7 Image management system Provides tools for searching (Descriptive metadata) Provides public and internal links to the images (Structural metadata) Provides the control elements needed for short and long-term access (administrative metadata)

8 8 Metadata for image management No single accepted standards for each type of metadata Descriptive metadata MARC, DC, MOA2, EAD, VRA, Open Archives Initiative Structural metadata LC RFP’s, MOA2, DOIs Administrative metadata DIG 35, NISO draft standard, MOA2, in process preservation standards such as CEDARS

9 9 Key concept: metadata is seldom fixed You will be massaging the metadata throughout the life of the project To conform to emerging standards To adjust to new technical environments To add functionality Once you start a digital project, you are committed to it for life

10 10 So where do you get an image management solution? No single off the shelf solution Solutions vary according to: complexity performance cost

11 11 What is the “ideal solution”…? Dependent upon your needs: size of database expected demand for images volatility of the data available technical resources

12 12 Other elements to consider.... Access to a controlled thesaurus Flexibility in database design The expected life-span of the data If permanent, the potential for migration Adherence to database standards Adherence to data content standards

13 13 Three classes of solutions Generic database applications Desktop Client/server Specialized image management programs SGML-based solutions

14 14 Generic database applications Most common desktop programs MS Access, Filemaker Pro Client/server applications Oracle, Informix (including Illustra), 4th Dimension, object-oriented applications

15 15 Demo Here

16 16 Advantages to desktop programs Low initial cost for desktop programs Desktop programs are relatively easy to program and use Simple data import and export Growing 3rd-party market of add-ons (especially web tools)

17 17 Disadvantages Desktop solutions limited in size (< 10,000?) Few standardized data structures Web interfaces require customization High costs of programming explicit with large applications hidden but real with desktop

18 18 Specialized image management programs “Desktop” examples: Canto’s Cumulus ImageAXS Portfolio (formerly Fetch) Content (shown here)

19 19 Advantages Pre-defined data structure Built-in links to images Some are cross-platform Some have built-in links to the web Overall, less programming expertise required

20 20 Disadvantages Fixed data structure Proprietary database structures Limited customization possible Web access is primarily via scripts

21 21 Larger client/server image management programs Library software Museum-oriented programs Document management programs Digital library solutions Other programs for newspaper photos, stock photos, multimedia asset management, etc.

22 22 Library systems Image-enabled library catalogs include VTLS CARL OCLC Sitesearch Endeavor’s Voyager and ENCOMPASS RLG has a system in development All library systems will head in this direction

23 23 Advantages Ready links between catalog and digital images Built on common data structures MARC or Dublin Core Increased likelihood they will exploit library-specific metadata Greater possibility for shared resources

24 24 Disadvantages Poor integration between images and text No common repository standard No shared standard for utilizing metadata Administrative hurdles Do digital imaging and Library Systems talk to each other?

25 25 SGML and XML-based systems A new approach: using metadata encoded with SGML or XML Based on document type definitions (DTD) Examples: Photographs using EAD: California Heritage project Text using Ebind (electronic binding DTD) Agora’s complete management system

26 26 Why consider SGML? Based on an international standard DTD’s may themselves become standard Example: MOA2 May be more appropriate for text- oriented description Links to other SGML or XML-encoded resources are possible

27 27 Disadvantages to SGML Little native client support for SGML SGML engines may not be as powerful as relational databases XML databases are just being developed Native SGML software tends to be expensive Often it is easier to store data in a database, and write it out with SGML XML tags for exchange or export

28 28 Summary No single imagebase package is likely to meet all your needs Plan on continuously modifying databases, interfaces, and metadata Monitor closely the work developing image database standards in the area of greatest interest to you Avoid if possible the hidden costs of internal development

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