metadata

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metadata

[′med·ə‚dad·ə]
(computer science)
A description of the data in a source, distinct from the actual data; for example, the currency by which prices are measured in a data source for purchasing goods.

Metadata

(product)
(Note: One unhyphenated word with initial capital; contrast meta data) A word coined by Jack E. Myers to represent current and future lines of products implementing the concepts of his MetaModel, and also to designate his company The Metadata Company that would develop and market those products.

A data and publication search performed when Myers coined the term, early in the summer of 1969, did not discover any use either of the word "metadata" or "meta data". Myers used the term in a 1973 product brochure and it is an Incontestable registered U.S. Trademark.

metadata

(1) (The Metadata Company, LLC, Long Beach, CA, www.metadata.com). Formerly Metadata Information Partners, Metadata is a software firm offering a variety of data management products and services. In 1986, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the company incontestable status for the Metadata trademark. Whenever the term is used generically in this encyclopedia (definition #2 below), it is spelled with a dash (meta-data).

(2) (meta-data) Data that describes other data. For example, data dictionaries and repositories provide information about the data elements in a database (see data dictionary). Digital cameras store meta-data in the image files that include the date the photo was taken along with camera settings (see EXIF). Digital music files contain meta-data such as song title and artist name (see ID3 tag). Meta-data are stored in an HTML page (Web page) to help search engines define the page properly, and most especially, make it rank higher in the results list (see meta tag).

Meta-data has existed for centuries. Card catalogs and handwritten indexes are examples long before the electronic age. See Meta Data Coalition.

The Most Glaring Lack of Meta-Data
The music CD should have been designed with meta-data, such as album name, artist and song titles. With 650 million bytes of storage, a few thousand could have easily been reserved for future use. In the early 1980s, readouts to display this information were expensive, and the future was not considered. The result was a circuitous route of searching by track length for the missing data on the Internet when a CD was played on the computer (see CDDB), as well as conflicts in older stand-alone CD players when meta-data was finally added to the format.

Meta-Data in the Snowden Debacle
After former CIA employee Edward Snowden leaked top-secret American surveillance programs to the press in May 2013, meta-data came front and center. It was revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had undertaken massive phone surveillance, and the controversy was about what was recorded: the actual voice conversations or only the meta-data (times and telephone numbers of the calls). Even when voice content is not recorded, the meta-data can be analyzed to determine who might be in contact with suspected terrorists.


Meta-Data in an Image File
A huge amount of meta-data can be stored in an image file. The IPTC Core section (expanded below) is a meta-data standard from the International Press Telecommunications Council for adding creation data.







A Ton More
An image file can be edited to include a huge amount of meta-data to describe the file. DICOM stands for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine.
References in periodicals archive ?
com, the web's most popular online destination for coupons, today announced the release of MetaURI, a free service for developers that automatically extracts meta information about a URI.
Simultaneous full-rate Gigabit capture on both ports with precise timestamps and per-packet meta information.
Assessing the different possibilities of commercial use of the strategy, inclusion of (commercial) third party assistance in the establishment and maintenance of the decentralised meta information system.
The meta information functionality makes it possible to write an XML file that specifies information to be requested before a document is scanned.
By automating the retrieval of this content-rich media, and providing low-bandwidth previews and summary meta information, Magnifi allows users to quickly focus on the specific information they're looking for.
The product's ability to support simultaneous full-rate Gigabit capture on both ports with precise timestamps and per-packet meta information, to support full-rate aggregation of the traffic received on both ports of the same board, and to, in many instances, replace a hardware aggregating tap, makes it a very interesting and affordable alternative to many Gigabit capture and tap options on the market.
New graphing capabilities, including full gridfitting, an improved horizontal grid, a new graph interface providing additional meta information on the graph content, as well as support for Pango markup.
The latest version provides improved interoperability within the content repository through the addition of new standardized node types, such as meta information and internationalization.