The sheer number of metadata standards in the cultural heritage sector is overwhelming, and their inter-relationships further complicate the situation. A new resource, Seeing Standards: A Visualization of the Metadata Universe,
Each of the 105 standards listed is evaluated on its strength of application to defined categories in each of four axes: community, domain, function, and purpose. Standards more strongly allied with a category are displayed towards the center of each hemisphere, and those still applicable but less strongly allied are displayed along the edges. The strength of a standard in a given category is determined by a mixture of its adoption in that category, its design intent, and its overall appropriateness for use in that category.
The standards represented are among those most heavily used or publicized in the cultural heritage community, though certainly not all standards that might be relevant are included. A small set of the metadata standards plotted on the main visualization also appear as highlights above the graphic. These represent the most commonly known or discussed standards for cultural heritage metadata.
Work preparing Seeing Standards was supported by a professional development grant from the Indiana University Libraries. Content was developed by Jenn Riley, Metadata Librarian in the Indiana University Digital Library Program. Design work was performed by Devin Becker of the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science, and soon to be Digital Initiatives & Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of Idaho.
I hope this resource proves to be helpful to those working with metadata standards in libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions.