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Related: semantic web - data


Metadata is data about data. A good example is a library catalog card, which contains data about the nature and location of a book: it is data about the data in the book referred to by the card.

The content combined with its metadata is often called a content package.

Metadata has become important on the World Wide Web because of the need to find useful information from the mass of information available. Manually-created metadata adds value because it ensures consistency. If one webpage about a topic contains a word or phrase, then all webpages about that topic should contain that same word. It also ensures variety, so that if one topic has two names, each of these names will be used. For example, an article about sports utility vehicles would also be given the metadata keywords '4 wheel drives', '4WDs' and 'four wheel drives', as this is what they are known as in Australia.

For an example of Metadata for an Audio CD look at the MusicBrainz project, or the Musicbrainz Metadata Initiative. Similarly, MP3 files have metadata tags in a format called ID3. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metadata [May 2004]


Metadata, which describes each file and the elements within it, holds the key to self-organization. XML is a good foundation -- but only a foundation, because it just offers a syntax. Building on the XML foundation, schemas hold some promise for structuring both content and users' reactions to the content. One slogan we considered was, "Publish my taste, not just my music files." --Andy Oram [...]

Metadata. The Greek (and Latin) root meta has many meanings, but in academic discussions, the primary use is to indicate a "more comprehensive, transcending" version of a subject. For example, metaphysics and metamathematics are disciplines designed "to deal critically with the original one." Within the IT industry, metadata is basically data about data, a related but slightly altered form of usage. Standard intra- and intercompany metadata has clearly become an increasingly important IT industry concern. --David Moschella

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