Why is metadata important


What is metadata? Definition and example

As Metadata or. Meta information is structured data that contains information about other information resources. So metadata describes the actual data in a way. Meta information is required when there is a large amount of data to manage. A pronounced characteristic of metadata is therefore often that it can be machine-read and evaluated.

Metadata formats

There are several standards for assigning metadata. They depend primarily on the nature of the data and how it is used. In the scientific-library area, the metadata are based on the rules RAK-WB (rules for alphabetical cataloging in academic libraries). For websites there are the rules of Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. In addition, there are technical regulations, such as Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata for the geosciences or technical regulations for metadata of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers). Companies that use a document management system often use self-defined metadata that result from the type of documents and the processes. For a mechanical engineering company, for example, part numbers, serial numbers, drawing numbers or system numbers are often important.

Example of metadata

Metadata for a book would be, for example:

  • Author,
  • Title,
  • Publishing company,
  • Publishing year,
  • Number of pages,
  • ISB number.

For a technical drawing:

  • Name of the designer,
  • Component number,
  • Drawing number,
  • Version number,
  • Date.