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Can Structured Metadata Play
Nice with Tagging Systems?
  Parsing New Meanings From Classification-
    Based Descriptions...
Metadata In A New Context?
www.flickr.com/photos/luciusyg/3292841265/
Our Content
User Generated Content
Let’s Talk Ontology (Really?)




                   www.flickr.com/photos/the_widget/169644838/
Conforming Data to the Model




“... defining models and persuading
providers of information to understand
them, and to m...
Conforming Model to the Data




“The consideration of any piece of
information either as data or metadata is a
question o...
Which Makes More Sense?




... the idea is to take whatever information
is available, and, with or without the
provider’s...
© the rut. 2008 http://bigeyedeer.wordpress.com
Our Inherited Data Model




www.flickr.com/photos/www_317537_com/367506056
Our Inherited Data Model: Pre-RDMS
Card Catalog: Nested Subject Headings

 Archaeological sites -- Syria -- Damascus ...
Card-catalog (1-dimens) vs. RDMS data
                   Debates and debating, Intercollegiate
                  -or-

   ...
Laser Precision vs. Flexible Data

Americans -- Employment -- New York (State) -- New
 York -- 1900-1909
Facets As Data Delimiters

Americans -- Employment -- New York (State) -- New
 York -- 1900-1909

  Tag Data:

 1900s
 Ame...
CAN Subject Headings Be Tags ?


A Few Hurdles

• Integrate structured metadata with tagging
  systems
• Will meanings be ...
Looking For Term Patterns


•   Parse terms in subject by punctuation
     –   term 1 – term 2 (term 3) – term 4

•   Beco...
Looking For Commas


•   Commas can be tricky
     –   Zinzendorf, Nicolaus Ludwig, Graf von, 1700-1760
     –   Alexandra...
Looking For Phrases


•   Archaic and dated phrases may need an
    agreed upon conversion:

    – “Homes and haunts”
    ...
Subject Headings As Tags
Will Users Add Their Tags Too?


• Environment Needs to Encourage Tagging
• Flickr Commons Users Highly Motivated to
  Par...
Can Users Add Value?
Can Users Add Value?
Tags Only Used By NYPL
Tags From Users & NYPL
Tags Only From Users
Lesson 1. Web Is Not A Catalog (Yet)


•   Set your terms free
    (but if they’re still weird, that’s OK)

•   If terms d...
Lesson 2. Learn From Users


•   Flickr’s 200+ million users and 6+ billion
    photos: Use them!
People, Content & Context
Flickr User Model v0.3




 www.flickr.com/photos/bryce/58299511/
Thanks!

Questions, Feedback: jdalton@nypl.org

New York Public Library
Strategic Planning
188 Madison Ave., 4th Fl.
New Y...
MW2010: Joe Dalton, Can Structured Metadata Play Nice with Tagging Systems? Parsing New Meanings From Classification-Based...
MW2010: Joe Dalton, Can Structured Metadata Play Nice with Tagging Systems? Parsing New Meanings From Classification-Based...
MW2010: Joe Dalton, Can Structured Metadata Play Nice with Tagging Systems? Parsing New Meanings From Classification-Based...
MW2010: Joe Dalton, Can Structured Metadata Play Nice with Tagging Systems? Parsing New Meanings From Classification-Based...
MW2010: Joe Dalton, Can Structured Metadata Play Nice with Tagging Systems? Parsing New Meanings From Classification-Based...
MW2010: Joe Dalton, Can Structured Metadata Play Nice with Tagging Systems? Parsing New Meanings From Classification-Based...
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MW2010: Joe Dalton, Can Structured Metadata Play Nice with Tagging Systems? Parsing New Meanings From Classification-Based Descriptions on Flickr Commons

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A presentation from Museums and the Web 2010.

By the time The New York Public Library (NYPL) joined The Commons on Flickr, almost a year after The Library of Congress (LOC) had launched the initial pilot project, it was clear there is great potential for user-generated content to shed new light on archival imagery. in ways that are difficult to achieve with more traditional methods. Many of the earliest Commons images contained little or no prior description, and users were encouraged to tag these records with much-needed metadata. Images uploaded more recently by Commons partners often have included associated metadata, and this fact has been dealt with differently by various institutions. Some choose to not upload that data; others upload subject-headings, but only as descriptive text; still others add selected subject headings as single tags across a set of items.

When the library uploaded its first set of 1,300 images in late 2008, it was thus faced with a number of questions about what type of metadata should also be uploaded. Should we hide or cloak the structured metadata (subject headings, name authority files, etc.) associated with these images? Or could we try to contribute our pre-existing subjects as tags? Although Flickr machine-tags have emerged as one option for exposing controlled vocabularies on Flickr, what if our structured metadata could look – and behave – more like user-generated tags from the beginning?

This paper discusses the rationale behind NYPL's decision to combine existing metadata – in the form of subject headings – with user-generated tags, and demonstrates some of the challenges, benefits and drawbacks for institutions that may be interested in using similar approaches for their own collections.

Session: Collections: Tag / Search / Deploy - Part 1 [access]

see http://www.archimuse.com/mw2010/abstracts/prg_335002306.html

Published in: Technology
  • The full text of the paper accompanying this presentation is available on-line:

    Dalton, J., Can Structured Metadata Play Nice with Tagging Systems? Parsing New Meanings from Classification-Based Descriptions on Flickr Commons. In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2010: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics. Published March 31, 2010. Consulted May 3, 2010. http://www.archimuse.com/mw2010/papers/dalton/dalton.html
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MW2010: Joe Dalton, Can Structured Metadata Play Nice with Tagging Systems? Parsing New Meanings From Classification-Based Descriptions on Flickr Commons

  1. 1. Can Structured Metadata Play Nice with Tagging Systems? Parsing New Meanings From Classification- Based Descriptions on Flickr Commons Museums & the Web 2010 4.15.2010 Joseph B. Dalton
  2. 2. Metadata In A New Context?
  3. 3. www.flickr.com/photos/luciusyg/3292841265/
  4. 4. Our Content
  5. 5. User Generated Content
  6. 6. Let’s Talk Ontology (Really?) www.flickr.com/photos/the_widget/169644838/
  7. 7. Conforming Data to the Model “... defining models and persuading providers of information to understand them, and to make the information they provide conform to them.” - Michel Biezunski. Reflections from Advancing Topic Maps: Maintenance of Concept Integrity as Names Change, 2007
  8. 8. Conforming Model to the Data “The consideration of any piece of information either as data or metadata is a question of perspective ... and many data can be both ...
  9. 9. Which Makes More Sense? ... the idea is to take whatever information is available, and, with or without the provider’s cooperation, to try to make one or more kinds of sense out of it.” - Michel Biezunski
  10. 10. © the rut. 2008 http://bigeyedeer.wordpress.com
  11. 11. Our Inherited Data Model www.flickr.com/photos/www_317537_com/367506056
  12. 12. Our Inherited Data Model: Pre-RDMS
  13. 13. Card Catalog: Nested Subject Headings Archaeological sites -- Syria -- Damascus ...
  14. 14. Card-catalog (1-dimens) vs. RDMS data Debates and debating, Intercollegiate -or- Debates and Debating Intercollegiate -or- Debates Debating Intercollegiate
  15. 15. Laser Precision vs. Flexible Data Americans -- Employment -- New York (State) -- New York -- 1900-1909
  16. 16. Facets As Data Delimiters Americans -- Employment -- New York (State) -- New York -- 1900-1909 Tag Data: 1900s Americans Employment New York New York State
  17. 17. CAN Subject Headings Be Tags ? A Few Hurdles • Integrate structured metadata with tagging systems • Will meanings be lost in shifting models? • Will users contribute tags to pre-tagged items?
  18. 18. Looking For Term Patterns • Parse terms in subject by punctuation – term 1 – term 2 (term 3) – term 4 • Becomes: – term 1 – term 2 – term 3 – term 4
  19. 19. Looking For Commas • Commas can be tricky – Zinzendorf, Nicolaus Ludwig, Graf von, 1700-1760 – Alexandra, Queen, consort of Edward VII, King of Great Britain, 1844-1925 • Most names are more like: – Washington, George
  20. 20. Looking For Phrases • Archaic and dated phrases may need an agreed upon conversion: – “Homes and haunts” – “City and Town Life,” – etc.
  21. 21. Subject Headings As Tags
  22. 22. Will Users Add Their Tags Too? • Environment Needs to Encourage Tagging • Flickr Commons Users Highly Motivated to Participate
  23. 23. Can Users Add Value?
  24. 24. Can Users Add Value?
  25. 25. Tags Only Used By NYPL
  26. 26. Tags From Users & NYPL
  27. 27. Tags Only From Users
  28. 28. Lesson 1. Web Is Not A Catalog (Yet) • Set your terms free (but if they’re still weird, that’s OK) • If terms don’t fit, don’t upload them
  29. 29. Lesson 2. Learn From Users • Flickr’s 200+ million users and 6+ billion photos: Use them!
  30. 30. People, Content & Context Flickr User Model v0.3 www.flickr.com/photos/bryce/58299511/
  31. 31. Thanks! Questions, Feedback: jdalton@nypl.org New York Public Library Strategic Planning 188 Madison Ave., 4th Fl. New York, NY 10016

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