This article demonstrates the utility of metadata and the seriousness of government use of metadata in investigations. It also gives a particular insight into the cities featured. Plus, it’s pretty cool. All of these maps were generated by using public metadata from Flickr, an image sharing site, and then overlaying the paths between photos onto the city maps. It was achieved using open platforms as well.

Seeing just how keenly metadata can show, and further predict, behavior is startling when realized in applications such as this that merely hint at the capabilities. Proper awareness, management, and oversight of metadata is crucial both personally and professionally. Metadata tells a story most probably don’t realize is being told.


Do We Need Libraries?

I have written about a few Forbes articles this semester and this one caught my eye most recently. It is a very intriguing read, aimed at evaluating the readiness of libraries to move into the future amid a torrent of technological change increasingly undermine the seeming foundations of the library as a needed service.

The approach the author takes is sound. He describes a needed shift in the management mindset from one that mimics the traditional vertical approach and takes a more user oriented horizontal approach toward engagement. While he doesn’t purport to have any definitive answer on how libraries should proceed into the future he qualifies his recommendations by stating that they may not be the answer, but they are questions that could position libraries to embrace the community and economy of the future.

Orioles to Play to an Empty Stadium on Wednesday, But Libraries Stay Open

I saw articles this morning talking about libraries in Baltimore staying open through the protests that have been taking place. While not directly related to our course per say, I found them interesting for the manner in which they discuss the library. They have been de facto places of refuge from the description the article gives, something which struck me as being a rare characteristic. In my perception such distinction was reserved for churches or similar religious buildings, but here we have libraries being held up as the same type of saving institution.

I would like to see these librarians acknowledged for their dedication to their institution and their community. The phrase above and beyond gets tossed around quite a bit, but truly it applies here to these folks.

Will Australia’s metadata retention scheme track your digital browser fingerprints?

This article caught my attention as I have been following this issue all semester. It also drew my curiosity as a business owner with a vested interest in technology. Essentially what the article presents is the possibility that specific browser configurations coupled with IP address information would allow precision in identifying visitors to monitored webspaces.

This seemed significant to me, because, as the article points out, there are methods for faking or “spoofing” IP addresses and even the more specific MAC address. Faking a browser/system configuration would be quite tedious, though the tenable nature of such configurations may well render this tactic futile. The unique MAC address of devices, which can also be determined via IP address, is a more permanent manner of system identification. Coupled together these identifying pieces of information can create a profile of activity and in some cases pin down physical location.

As I concluded in an earlier blog post it is imperative that third party scrutiny by trained information professionals be a part of any process that retains massive amounts of data for the express purpose of analysis. The ease of access makes this information particularly susceptible to unethical use and must be carefully maintained and supervised accordingly.

2500 metadata ‘cops’ to search phone and internet records

If you have read some of my previous blog posts about this story from Australia you know that I have consistently asked why there was not more information about who would be manipulating this information and how it would be manipulated. This picture has started to become clear as details were revealed about the authorities who will be able to access the retained data the government has now mandated all companies to retain.

2500 government officials have authority to access metadata records without a warrant. The New South Wales Police, responsible for policing Australia’s most populous state, has 900 officers with authority to grant junior officers requests. I have to agree with the observation in the article by the University of NSW professor that the number of officials able to access this data in this manner without external controls seems to fly in the face of convention. In a post Edward Snowden world it is baffling that more interest is not being paid to scenarios like this in Australia and domestically. Whatever good intentioned desgins programs may begin under, without some kind of integrity check the best that can be expected is ineptness, if not various degrees of corruption and misuse.

Why Metadata is King of Content

It has been intriguing this semester to keep a keen on metadata in the news. I did this in perhaps the most rudimentary way available – using a saved Google search for “metadata”. Even using this rudimentary means the results have been near refreshed daily with articles. While these articles are typically small news pieces, monitoring these pieces has been, if nothing else, enlightening to observe how the term metadata is used, at what lengths an explanation is attempted, and the context in which metadata is presented.

In this article from Forbes metadata is presented as the key to unlocking the treasure trove of entertainment material created before the digital age. The article notes that the lack of metadata for many items and the lack of an industry standard metadata standard present obstacles even after the problem of manpower for the conversion of analog materials to digital formats is solved.

As a hopeful soon-to-be graduate this caught my attention as an area where our skills in information management may be employed in an industry outside traditional libraries. Further, an enterprising information professional may well devise, or at least make an attempt at devising, a system that would meet the needs of organizations which have a need to bring material into the digital realm with proper organization.

Handout & Screencast

Hello everyone! Here are my handout and screencast that coincide with my presentation last week.

I have uploaded the handout and the screencast to Google Drive and uploaded the screencast to YouTube.

Google Drive link:

YouTube link:

Please read, watch, and then share your thoughts here or tweet me @joontfish!

Type Guidelines: Further thoughts & refinement

As I have been considering my DC element further I have come upon some final considerations I will share here.

Initially I considered the use of Type to be rather elementary. After all, I reckoned, we are indexing images so quite obviously they would be classified as “Image” – no? While this is correct it is a shallow utilization of the DCMI vocabulary available for the Type element.

Even “Image” is able to be further specified into “StillImage” or “MovingImage”, but I have excluded either of these for our use. “StillImage” is defined as a static visual representation such as a drawing or map while “MovingImage” is an image that when shown in succession with other images to impart an impression of motion. Since our materials are images of football games they are limited to specification to the broad term “Image” which can be used for both physical and electronic representations (important since we are indexing electronic representations).

I also chose to suggest deployment of the term “Collection”. I feel this is an applicable and needed inclusion since our images are indeed part of a broader collection of photographs. If a user located a specific photograph they found useful and wanted to explore whether there were related photos including this term for the Type element would further ensure collocation of these items.

My other suggestion is for the inclusion of the term “Event”. I struggled to fully appreciate this term, but feel I have interpreted it correctly for our usage. Essentially this is a method to further increase usability by identifying these items based upon their being records of a time based event. This inclusion should enhance usability through increased recognition of these items as belonging to a particular event.

So on further review the Type element is quite a bit more robust than I considered it to be and I think what I have identified as useful for our application are justifiable uses. Comments and suggestions are welcomed as always!

HTML5 Microdata and

I find the efforts by big Web companies to “order the web” fascinating and the implementation of metadata into HTML5 advantageous for the future of utilizing web resources for sophisticated information needs. I found it very intuitive to include this information in html code, since it has been used somewhat similarly for search engine optimization for many years.

The key to the effectiveness of this implementation though lies in the controls placed on descriptive vocabulary. In the case of a traditional collection we typically think of one object type or at least a recognizable format for most, if not all objects. If we can imagine the variety of material presented across the internet though we can quickly see the importance of controlling descriptions through a controlled vocabulary.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Gives Congress Vision Of The Future

This article, why dated somewhat, resonates for several reasons. Most profoundly because this issue is still under scrutiny, though some measures have been enacted since the hearings described in the article. What drew me to this article particularly is the vision expressed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a man whom any computer nerd worth his salt reveres for his contributions to computer technology. The “scifi-esque” manner in which he envisions the future is not a far cry from the direction we see technology heading in 2015 with many ventures exploring virtual reality or augmented reality technology. What is striking to me though, through the lens of LIS, is the required sophistication of data management required to maintain accuracy in an always on world. Some of the scenarios in the article seem to be very desirable, but as we have already seen with “smart” appliances such as refrigerators and microwaves these devices are vulnerable to outside attacks. With a need for accurate information that is also stored securely it will be increasingly imperative for information professionals to have a guiding presence in development of storage and retrieval policies and practices.