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Technical Metadata Elements for Images Workshop

Held:April 18 and 19, 1999
Venue:Washington, DC

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Executive Summary

NISO (The National Information Standards Organization), CLIR (The Council on Library and Information Resources) and RLG (The Research Libraries Group) sponsored an invitational workshop on April 18th and 19th in Washington DC to examine technical information needed to manage and use digital still images that reproduce a variety of pictures, documents and artifacts.

The meeting was attended by about 60 individuals with a wide range of diverse interests and perspectives on the problem of metadata information. Attendees represented libraries, universities, museums, archives, the digital library community, the government, and the digital imaging vendor community.

The meeting was facilitated by Jennifer Trant of the Art Museum Image Consortium. In its first session, the whole group heard introductory remarks from Howard Besser, a member of the organizing committee, and reports on metadata intiatives at the Library of Congress, the Research Libraries Group, the Art Museum Image Consortium and the Making of America II project. Three breakout groups then met to discuss:

  • Characteristics and Features of Images
  • Image Production and Reformatting Features
  • Image identification and integrity Issues

The group as a whole reconvened to hear reports from the three breakout groups and recommendations for further action. They reached agreement on:

  • a preliminary list of technical metadata elements
  • the need for a categorization of elements as mandatory or optional
  • the need for metadata to help evaluate the utility of an image for a particular application or use
  • using industry standard metrics for assessing images where they existed (tone, color, icc profiles,).v
  • the need for methods of pointing at external test charts
  • the importance of mechanisms for referring to external metadata file
  • the need for image specific metadata and methods for creating this metadata
  • there importance of persistence of metadata through transformations of an image
  • the fact that the metadata assigned an item depended on the metadata creators' definition of the work
  • the desirability of solutions devised to work in a broad array of contexts

Workshop participants identified and committed to the following next steps:

  1. Publishing an expanded/edited set of metadata elements with examples.
  2. Articulating what tools need to be developed to assess how well an image was made.
  3. Exploring the viability of creating an integrated test chart.
  4. Making an inventory of existing tools and metadata standards.
  5. Developing guidelines and a template for the kind of data that should go into a project description.
  6. Drafting a canonical image format that will express equivalence of data that may have been stored in multiple image formats.
  7. Scoping the effort involved in defining a vocabulary to express the relationships between images.

The organizing committee adopted a process for moving beyond the work of the two days. First, a meeting report would be drafted for comment, discussion, and review by the organizing committee and participants. Then the committee will explore how to include other stakeholders in the consensus.

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David Austin - Univ. of Illinois-Chicago
David Bearman - AMICO
Howard Besser - UC-Los Angeles
Daniel Brickley - TASI
Kevin Burns - Society for Technical Communication
Howard Bussey - Eastman Kodak
Stephen Chapman - Harvard (Session Leader)
Eric Childress - OCLC, Inc.
Robin Dale - RLG
Donald D'Amato - Mitretek Systems
Liping Di - NASA/RITSS
Nick Eiteljorg - Bryn Mawr
John Eyre - De Montfort University
(jle@dmu.ac.uk) (CIMI Z39.50/HELIX project)
Betsy Fanning - AIIM
Carl Fleischhauer Library of Congress
Ric Foster - National Gallery of Art
Marie Gallagher - NLM
David Green - NINCH
Catherine Grout - Visual Arts Data Service
Rebecca Guenther - Library of Congress
Pat Harris - NISO
Gail Hodge Information International Assoc.
Scott Houchin - Eastman Kodak
Bernie Hurley - UC Berkeley
Nancy Knight NISO
Erik Landsberg - MOMA
Clifford Lynch - CNI
Sue MacTavish - DOD, Lockheed Martin
(a href=mailto:sue.h.mactavish@imco.com>sue.h.mactavish@imco.com)
Sally McCallum-Library of Congress
(a href=mailto:smcc@loc.gov>smcc@loc.gov)
Eric Miller - OCLC (rep. Dublin Core)
Paul Miller - UKOLN
Mark Needleman Data Research Associates
Alan Newman - Art Institute of Chicago
Charley Pennell - NCSU
Merrilee Proffitt - UC Berkeley
Stephen Puglia - NARA (Session Leader)
(a href=mailto:steven.puglia@arch2.nara.gov>steven.puglia@arch2.nara.gov)
Doug Randall - Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
Joyce Ray - IMLS
Oya Rieger - Cornell
Barry Schlesinger NASA/RITSS
Lou Sharpe - Picture Elements
Thom Shepard - WGBH
Angela Spinazze ATSPIN consulting (rep CIMI)
Thornton Staples - Univ. of Virginia
Christie Stephenson - NYU
Betsy Sywetz - IMLS
Paul Theerman - NLM
Judith Thomas - UVA
Jennifer Trant AMICO
(a href=mailto:jtrant@amico.net>jtrant@amico.net)
Don Waters Digital Library Federation
John Weise - University of Michigan (Session Leader)
Robin Wendler - Harvard
Anne Womak - Vanderbuilt Univ. (rep ATLA)
Karla Youngs - TASI (Technical Advisory Service for Images)

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