Metadata is simply defined as data or information about the data. This is used on many kinds of media to describe a single datum or collection of data. Although metadata can be understood with just these simple sentences, others still have further description of the term.

In etymology, the “meta” in the metadata is a Greek word which may mean behind, along with, after, in the midst of, with, or by means of. However, in epistemology, the word “meta” has a literal meaning, “about,” thus the definition of the term “data about the data.” Using these few information about the origin of the term “metadata,” various definitions were made including the simple definition mentioned before this paragraph.

There are also more complicated or more sophisticated metadata descriptions available. Among these defined metadata as an encoded and structured data which explains the characteristic of an entity that bears the data or information in order to help in management, assessment, discovery, and identification of the said entity. Another definition of metadata is being a structured information that is publicly available in order to support in locating the defined object. This definition of metadata can be utilized, for example, in photographs. The date of capturing the image and the specifications of the camera while it was captured can be the metadata for the captured image.

In markup technologies, metadata also works specifically different from the general description. Here, metadata can be described as the characteristics about certain data. But it should go along with the markup which describes the specific kinds of data content and the structure of how that data will be presented.

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