What You Should Know About Metadata

Metadata, sometimes referred as metainformation is data about data. It is used to facilitate the understanding, use and management of data.  An item with metadata describes an individual datum, or content item, or a collection of data including multiple content items. It is used to provide documentation for data products.  It answers who, what, when, where, why, and how the data are being documented.

Metadata is used to help companies publicize and support the data that have been produced. To explain more about metadata is to provide the following metadata examples:

1. Camera.  As you take pictures on your camera, the photographic image itself is a data but other than that metadata would normally include the date the photograph was taken and details of the camera settings (lens, focal length, aperture, shutter timing, white balance, etc.).
2. Digital Music Player.  On the player will show the album names, song titles and album art embedded in the music files.  Metadata generates the artist and song listings.
3. Information system.  The content of the computer files is the data. The metadata of an individual data item will typically include the name of the field and its length.   It will include the name of the file, typoe of file and the name of the data administrator.

Data managers who are technically literate scientists or scientifically literate computer specialists create Metadata.  To create a correct metadata is similar to library cataloging, except the creator needs to know more of the scientific information behind the data in order to document them properly.

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