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Metadata in the Real World Amy Robinson Look-Here! Project Meeting University for the Creative Arts 10 May 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Metadata in the Real World Amy Robinson Look-Here! Project Meeting University for the Creative Arts 10 May 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Metadata in the Real World Amy Robinson Look-Here! Project Meeting University for the Creative Arts 10 May 2010

2 Introduction to metadata Metadata standards in the creative arts A case study on the VADS Image Collection Overview

3 Data about data In the digital world, metadata is usually structured textual information about the creation, content, or context of an individual file or collection of digital files A lot of confusion around the terms meaning! What is metadata? Perusing the card catalogue, BinaryApe, Flickr.com

4 For different purposes e.g. administrative, resource discovery For different audiences e.g. academics, students, general public, collections staff What are you describing?

5 Different levels CollectionSub-collectionItem

6 Different layers Original imageSlide imageDigital image CreatorLeonardo da VinciJane Smith [Photographer] John Brown [Scanning technician] FormatPaintingPhotographic transparency JPEG image LocationLouvre MuseumUniversity slide collection A:\images\0023.jpg etc

7 Different layers Left: Imperial War Museum Right: Design Council Slide Collection, Manchester Metropolitan University vads.ac.uk

8 Categories (data structure standards) e.g. Subject or Title Cataloguing rules (data content standards) e.g. Take the title of the book from the title page and not the front cover Vocabularies (data value standards) e.g. Dog or Renaissance Typology of metadata standards

9 Design Council Archive, University of Brighton, vads.ac.uk

10 Categories (data structure standards) e.g. Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC), Dublin Core, VRA Core, Categories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA) Cataloguing rules (data content standards) e.g. Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR), Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO) Vocabularies (data value standards) e.g. Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM), the Getty Vocabularies (AAT, ULAN, TGN) Typology of metadata standards

11 A proposed minimum set of 15 categories for describing network-accessible materials Generic set of headings Used to achieve interoperability (e.g. OAIster database See: Title Creator Subject Description Publisher Contributor Date Type Format Identifier Source Language Relation Coverage Rights Title Creator Subject Description Publisher Contributor Date Type Format Identifier Source Language Relation Coverage Rights Structure standards: Dublin Core

12 Developed by the Visual Resources Association (VRA) Standard set of elements for describing cultural heritage works and their images See: Structure standards: VRA Core Cultural context Style/period Technique Inscription Earliest date/latest date

13 Vocabularies are used to fill metadata categories (the buckets) Glossaries, thesauri, dictionaries, word lists Controlled vocabularies are a tool for consistency in the language used in the recording and retrieval of information Vocabularies: controlling your language Dictionaries, jovike, Flickr.com

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16 Sculpture? Idol? Figurine? Carving? Statuette? Doll? Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, vads.ac.uk

17 Better retrieval Improved cataloguing efficiency and consistency Support interoperability Disambiguate the language National and regional differences (e.g. lifts or elevators) Historical and contemporary names (e.g. Iran or Persia or Islamic Republic of Iran) Linguistic differences (e.g. pottery or keramik or céramique) Homographs (e.g. sewer, a pipe to remove sewage, or sewer, one who sews) Why bother?

18 The Getty Vocabularies, compiled by the Getty Research Institute Focused on the visual arts, architecture, and material culture Includes: Union List of Artists Names (ULAN) Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) Forthcoming: The Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA) Examples of controlled vocabularies See:

19 Relationships between terms Equivalent terms/names Related concepts

20 Genus/species Relationships between terms Whole/part

21 Commercial solutions e.g. Luna Insight, Extensis Portfolio Open source solutions e.g. MDID, E-prints (Kultur) Simple solutions e.g. Filemaker Pro, Access, even Excel In the cloud solutions e.g. Flickr Where am I going to keep it? Depends on your purpose, requirements, resourcing, timescale Make sure data is easily exportable

22 Some alternatives... Get some of your users to do the cataloguing! Tagging and folksonomies E.g. Flickr Commons (http://www.flickr.com/ commons)

23 Some alternatives... Get some of your users to do the cataloguing! Tagging and folksonomies E.g. Flickr Commons (http://www.flickr.com/ commons)

24 Get the technology to do the cataloguing! Content based image retrieval Retrievr retrievr Hermitage Museum (QBIC) Some alternatives...

25 More Examples: Tin Eye - finds exact matches Idée Labs - Some alternatives...

26 More Examples: Tin Eye - finds exact matches Idée Labs - Some alternatives...

27 What am I actually describing? For whom? For what purpose? What categories and vocabularies might I need to assemble? Where am I going to get the metadata from? Where am I going to keep it? Questions to consider

28 JISC Digital Media Baca, M., ed. (2008). Introduction to Metadata Baca, M., ed. (2002). Introduction to Art Image Access Both online at: Metadata: some references

29 A case study on the VADS Image Collection

30 Contacted at bidding stage, start of a project, part way through, or at the end Existing depositors, recommendations, /phone enquiries Step 1: the initial contact

31 Recommend that images are provided as high resolution TIFF v.6 for archiving Metadata as CSV or plain text, or supply a copy of the database itself Signed copy of the VADS licence form Step 2: the deposit

32 Original images backed-up at VADS, and processed into small, medium, and large JPEGS for Web delivery Step 3: preparing the images

33 Export, flatten, deal with any anomalies Map the metadata See Getty Metadata standards crosswalk: earch/conducting_resea rch/standards/intrometa data/crosswalks.html Step 4: preparing the metadata

34 Collection info page created Collection uploaded to test site Step 5: upload and testing

35 Launched on the public website at Step 6: launch

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38 A picture says a thousand words (or rather none at all) Wide range of content in the visual arts Different communities with different standards Different database software and different underlying database structures Other challenges: Digitisation is often project based Rapid technological change Balancing needs of users and providers Metadata Challenges

39 Cross-searchable bank of over 100,000 high quality images free for use in education At a time when it is difficult to source copyright cleared images for UK education Most images backed-up in high resolution offline Critical mass, and well-known in the sector Also attracts usage outside art education Successes

40 Introduction to metadata Metadata standards in the creative arts A case study on the VADS Image Collection Recap

41 Perusing the card catalogue, BinaryApe, Flickr.com Mona Lisa image, from Wikipedia Commons Letter to Musgrave from Studio, Peter King Archive: London Metropolitan University Our Jungle Fighters Want Socks - Please Knit Now poster by Abram Games, Imperial War Museum, and Design Council Slide Collection, Manchester Metropolitan University Screenshot of vads.ac.uk showing image from Britain Can Make It Exhibition, 1946, from the Design Council Archive, University of Brighton Brown upside down by Alfred Concanen, Spellman Collection of Victorian Music Covers, Reading University Library Dictionaries, jovike, Flickr.com Screenshots from target.com Female figure, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia Screenshots from Screenshots from Image credits

42 Gillette poster by Tom Eckersley, Eckersley Archive, University of the Arts London A Summer Shower, by Charles Edward Perugini, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull Museums Image from Design Council Slide Collection, Design Council/Manchester Metropolitan University Idol with doll, Nadín Ospina, University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art Image from the London College of Fashion: Gala of London,Crystal Products and Henry C.Miner Publicity Collection Monument by Rachel Whiteread, located at Trafalgar Square until 2002, Rachel Whiteread Britons by Alfred Leete, Imperial War Museum Feeding the animals - change of diet! by HB (Doyle, John; ), Bodleian Library, University of Oxford: John Johnson Collection Coffee cup and saucer, Bernard Leach, David Leach/Crafts Study Centre Britains Pavilion - Expo 67 Canada, by F.H.K. Henrion, Design Archives, University of Brighton Image credits

43 Mr potato head character toy, from Museum of Design in Plastics, Arts University College at Bournemouth Les Pommiers à Damiette, by Armand Guillaumin, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Nicolas Gaze de Joursavaux, Knight of St Philip, Duke of Burgundy, with his patron, St Nicholas and Infant Son, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Lady in a Fur Wrap, Culture and Sport Glasgow (Museums): Pollok House Regata on the Grand Canal, Canaletto, Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle A Mediterranean Seaport with a Column, National Trust for Scotland (Hill of Tarvit) La Jeunesse, by Jean Aubert, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Adoration of the Shepherds, Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle Urgent please return that library book poster, Lovely day for a GUINNESS poster, Greetings 1983 poster, Keep Britain Tidy Campaign poster, and Tiger menu, by Tom Eckersley, Eckersley Archive, University of the Arts London Image credits

44 Contact


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