Monday, June 21, 2010

Visualization of the Metadata Universe

I know, I know, this poor blog is basically abandoned. I really do want to find more time to spend on it. But in the meantime, I wanted to post here an announcement I just sent out to a bunch of places. I'm pretty excited about this!

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, , is intended to assist planners with the selection and implementation of metadata standards. Seeing Standards is in two parts: (1) a poster-sized visualization plotting standards based on their applicability in a variety of contexts, and (2) a glossary of metadata standards in either poster or pamphlet form.

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.


euanc said...

Hi Jenn,

Awesome diagram and the glossary is a great resource.
You might want to add the Data documentation Initiative (ddi)

And the SDMX
Standards to these diagrams.


Unknown said...

This is great!
I would be very interested to receive a printed 1:1 version of the poster. Can I order this somewhere?


Anonymous said...

Wow, this is really, really impressive. Good work! Well done!

Jenn Riley said...

Unfortunately I don’t have the facility to print large number of these, ship them, take money for orders, etc. On the site there’s the poster-sized PDF file that you could download and have printed locally. Copy shops can typically print this sort of thing, though I understand their rates are pretty high. At my University, we have a number of large plotter printers for this type of thing available for university affiliates to use at very reasonable prices. You might check to see if something like that is available in your area.

noella said...

AWESOME WORK! A metadata librarian's dream!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

John Robertson said...

Hi Jenn,

This looks great! I think the grouping by domain and function is a useful way to get an overview of possible useful interactions.

I note that you don't have a education domain (though include some standards such as the LOM) - is there a scope issue or other rationale for this that you've documented? and, if you're planning to extend/ update the resource, what's the best mechanism and timeframe for feedback?


Adelle Frank said...

This is INCREDIBLY useful, I've been trying to wrap my head around all the metadata-related stuff out there, and needed something just like this to give me the big picture. Kudos and thanks for sharing!

Jenn Riley said...

John: Good point about the education domain. The ones that are on here are there simply because these are the domains for which I most commonly see people looking for domain-specific solutions. But education could definitely go on there. If I ever get around to revising, I'll grab comments from all over, including here, so comment away!


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