What Does 'Metadata' Mean?

What is Metadata?
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The term “metadata” refers to any data that contains information about other types of data. It can be thought of as the “data about the data” and is often used to describe and organize information in a clear and concise way.

There are many different types of metadata, including descriptive metadata, structural metadata, administrative metadata, and technical metadata.

Descriptive metadata is used to describe the content and characteristics of a resource, such as a document or image. It includes information about the title, author, subject, and keywords associated with the resource.

Structural metadata is used to describe the organization and relationships of a resource, like the hierarchy of chapters in a book or the relationships between different parts of a website.

Administrative metadata is used to manage and track the resource, including the date it was created, the date it was last modified, and any copyright or licensing information.

Technical metadata is used to describe the technical characteristics of a resource, namely the file format, resolution, and size of an image or the codec and bitrate of a video file.

Metadata is often stored in a metadata file or embedded within the resource itself. It can be used for a variety of purposes, such as indexing and searching for information, organizing and categorizing resources, and managing access and rights to those resources.

Metadata is becoming increasingly important in the digital age, as it helps make information more easily accessible and searchable. It is used in a variety of contexts, including libraries, museums, and online platforms.

In short, metadata is data that provides information about other data. It is used to describe and organize resources in a clear and concise way and is important for indexing, searching, organizing, and managing access to information in the digital age.

More information

Some metadata is modifiable, while other metadata is automatically set and cannot be modified.

For example, when you create a document or image file, the software you are using may automatically set metadata such as the file creation date and the file format. Most of the time, this information is stored in a metadata file or is built into the resource itself, making it hard to change.

On the other hand, some metadata can be modified manually. For example, you may be able to edit the title, author, or subject of a document by using the software’s metadata editing tools. This type of metadata is often referred to as “descriptive metadata,” as it is used to describe the content and characteristics of the resource.

It’s important to note that not all software allows you to edit metadata, and the types of metadata that can be modified may vary depending on the software and the type of resource.