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CODE4LIB  February 2012

CODE4LIB February 2012

Subject:

Re: CODE4LIB Digest - 12 Feb 2012 to 13 Feb 2012 (#2012-42)

From:

David Talley <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 09:12:00 -0700

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text/plain

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text/plain (49 lines)

When I read Nate's response, I thought that the distinction is the endpoint 
of the process: The data is what the user goes looking for, the stuff that 
satisfies the desire that started their search. The metadata is the path to 
get there. Then I remembered the old example of a student consulting an 
author catalog to grab the person's birth & death dates for a school report 
rather than to find a work produced by that author. Then Joel added a whole 
new layer with that imagined hide & seek process built around the metadata 
(almost gamefication, really), and again the metadata becomes the 
destination not the path. 

Is it a useful distinction to say the data's the *reason* for collecting 
the metadata in the first place? Without the need to give access to that 
copy of _A Tale of Two Cities_, either in a physical library or Google 
Books, the descriptive metadata never would be created. I'd agree with Nate 
that it doesn't matter much to the computer's processing routines, but to 
make the computer serve its user, those goals are paramount.

Apologies if that's overly conceptual for a list with 'code' in the name. 

David

------------------------------

Date:    Mon, 13 Feb 2012 16:39:14 -0600
From:    Nate Vack <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Metadata

[. . . snip]I think it's kind of a circular issue: We know metadata and 
data are
separate because our software and workflow require it. Software and
workflows are designed to separate metadata and data because we know
they're separate.

------------------------------

Date:    Mon, 13 Feb 2012 21:09:30 -0500
From:    "Richard, Joel M" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Metadata

[. . . snip]The contents of _A Tale of Two Cities_ can now be seen in so 
many different ways: a histogram of word frequency, a chart of which 
characters have the most dialogue, locations in the novel can be mapped 
geographically over the course of the story. (I only wish I had an 
interactive map when reading A Game of Thrones to tell me who was where at 
which part of the novel!)

And you can then search for books that take place in certain cities, or in 
a time period, or have people who wear beige top hats in victorian England. 
The possibilities are endless! [snip . . . ]

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