Metadata quality, interoperability, standardised access – all these are buzzwords commonly used and agreed on as being vital for resource discovery in the digital heritage sector. But what do these words actually mean? More specifically, what do they mean to us in the context of the EUscreen project?
We all know that good metadata is a love letter to the future – but what makes it good?
At Europeana a Task Force has been set up to look into the tricky question of what defines metadata quality and how it can be improved to ensure maximum discoverability and future re-use. EUscreen, together with selected representatives from archives, memory institutions and other domain aggregators like Europeana Sound, met up with the friendly Europeana Aggregation team at Europeana Foundation in The Hague on the 9th of April to advise on the best course of action.
Topics covered included a definition of quality criteria, factors preventing institutions from providing optimum data, and recommendations on best practice guidelines, tools and training to help providers improve and standardise the quality of their submissions. In this way, Europeana aims to offer better search result to users, enrich the data that is already accessible and thus ultimately to increase research opportunities for the digital heritage domain.
If this isn’t a love letter to the future, I don’t know what is.
For more information on Europeana’s stance on metadata, see also http://pro.europeana.eu/pro-blog/-/blogs/1442749
For an example of what Europeana views as good metadata (Provider: RTÉ Archives/EUscreen) see http://pro.europeana.eu/pro-blog/-/blogs/new-metadata-quality-task-force;jsessionid=850E6BB189DCC5527A8F1DF04DAB898F
Blog written by Eve-Marie Oesterlen, EUscreen WP2 lead, British Universities Film and Video Council
The International Federation of Television Archives (FIAT/IFTA)’s Media Management Commission organises an international seminar on metadata and it’s significance for digital AV-archiving on the 16th and 17th of May 2013 at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum.
Since 1997, the Media Management Commission of FIAT-IFTA has organised a series of seminars for AV-documentalists, archive policy-advisers, middle management and staff. The main theme of these seminars is always: the consequences of the technological developments for the work of moving image and sound archivists. This year, the MMC dedicates its 6th Seminar in the serial Changing Sceneries, Changing Roles entirely to the phenomenon of metadata and its increased significance to access, collection management and the preservation of AV-collections.
In digital archiving, the concept of metadata is crucial. Only with the help of metadata can archives make their treasures accessible to users: metadata is capable of linking the contents of many different collections, forming a huge worldwide (or, in the case of EUscreen: European-wide) network of online sound and images. Ingesting, managing and preserving the rapidly growing amount of digital files in each individual archive would be impossible without the controlling power of standardised metadata.
The two days of the seminar will be divided into four sessions that each consist of a keynote address, two to three case studies/concrete projects and panel discussions. The four types of metadata developments that will be addressed in the four sessions are:
- Automatically generated metadata (keynote: Cees Snoek , computer scientist at the University of Amsterdam who leads a research team working on the development of a smart search engine for digital video: the Media Mill Semantic Video Search Engine)
- Linked (meta)data (keynote: Seth van Hooland, who holds the chair at the Digital Information and Communication Science Department of the Université Libre de Bruxelles)
- Preservation metadata (keynote: Rebecca Guenther, who works at the Library of Congress and is currently the worlds leading authority on Preservation Metadata Implementation Strategies or PREMIS)
- User-generated metadata (keynote: Lora Aroyo, associate professor Intelligent Information Systems at the Web and Media Department of Computer Science at the VU University Amsterdam)
While the keynote speakers will explore these areas, archive-practitioners from prestigious broadcasters and institutions will present how they collect, create and employ metadata in new and/or digital ways. Every session is evaluated by way of discussions between a variety of AV-experts, focusing on the professional impact of the presented views and developments.
- Register for the FIAT/IFTA MMC Seminar on metadata at http://www.beeldengeluid.nl/MMCSeminar2013
- Download the conference programme as a PDF or as an application for your tablet or smartphone.
- For questions about the programme or logistics, get in touch with the commission at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- To read up on how the EUscreen project handles metadata interoperability between audiovisual archives in 19 countries, making use of the EBUcore metadata standard, you can consult the EUscreen Report on Semantic Interoperability with Europeana
We’re pleased to inform you that a new version of the EBUcore schema (v1.3) has been officially released by EBU this week. You can find the the link to the specification at: http://tech.ebu.ch/docs/tech/tech3293v1_3.pdf [PDF] The new version is available in two representations: XML and RDF.
The EBUcore RDF ontology has been finalised by EBU in collaboration with the EUscreen technical team led by NTUA, which worked on it together with Jean-Pierre Evain from EBU. This collaboration has led to the realisation of the EUscreen Linked Open Data pilot, which was announced last week and makes EUscreen the first project to exploit the EBU ontology and entering the Linked Open Data cloud.
Many thanks again to Jean-Pierre and to Vassilis and the NTUA crew for this achievement!
For a full overview and the history of EBU’s metadata undertakings, visit:
The EUscreen project has recently taken steps to expand the scope of its aim to provide unified access to large integrated digital collections related to European television history. By implementing the Linked Open Data principles and by signing the new Europeana Data Exchange Agreement, the materials that are made accessible through the platform have become more widely searchable, findable, linkable, and thus more connected to the world wide web, its users… and the machines that link them together. Information about EUscreen’s Linked Open Data Pilot can be found at http://lod.euscreen.eu
1. EUscreen opens up to Linked Open Data
On the EUscreen platform, 27 partners (broadcasters, archives and universities) select, curate and provide television materials from their rich vaults that together hold a great part of European audiovisual history. By mapping the schemata that underpin their content descriptions to the EUscreen metadata model, content providers ensure greater visibility and findability of their content in the public realm.
Much work has been done on uniformly processing the different metadata models to one central EBU Core-based model. This model ensures a level of uniformity that surpasses the scattered databases that the different institutions work with. The integrated collections are published on the EUscreen portal and from there on aggregated by Europeana.
With this centralised model in place, it was a relatively straightforward step to implement the Linked Open Data principles, which permit the interpretation and interlinking of the data to various sources outside of the EUscreen domain, and allow for a machine-readable level of access to the content. EBU Core provides mappings to all known audiovisual metadata standards, including the W3C’s Media Annotation ontology. The EBU Core ontology was used to formalise the metadata in the Resource Description Framework (RDF) format and publish them as Linked Open Data.
Johan Oomen, technical director of EUscreen, and Vassilis Tzouvaras, leader of the work package on portal architecture, wrote a paper on the installation of the Linked Open data model: Publishing Europe’s Television Heritage on the Web (PDF). In it, the authors describe how this fits in within the larger technical challenge of creating the different components that make up the EUscreen ingestion workflow. The paper describes the reasoning behind the workflow, the set-up and overview of the process and how these technical developments improve access to our shared television histories to students, teachers and the general audience. You can leave your comments at the end of this article contact us by e-mail for feedback. The authors would like to acknowledge EUscreen consortium partner EBU, specifically mr. Jean-Pierre Evain, for their work in the area of multimedia semantics and Linked Open Data, as their EBU Core Metadata Set has been used to ensure semantic interoperability within EUscreen and beyond.
The Linked Open Data implementation will be presented by Nikolaos Simou (Technical University of Athens, GR) on Thursday, September 29th at the International Workshop on Semantic Digital Archives, which is held in the framework of the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries in Berlin.
More information about EUscreen’s Linked Open Data Pilot can be found at: http://lod.euscreen.eu
2. EUscreen signs Europeana’s new Data Exchange Agreement
A second, and related, development is EUscreen’s recent signing of Europeana’s new Data Exchange Agreement, which ensures access and enlarged user involvement with the materials published on the platform. The agreement replaces the current Data Provider and Data Aggregator Agreements and governs what Europeana may or may not do with the data of the different aggregators through its web activities.
The Agreement will come into force on January 1, 2012, but EUscreen is proud to be at the forefront and one of the early adopters in this bold step forward for opening European cultural heritage to wide audiences.
From the Europeana office: The Europeana Data Exchange Agreement is the result of a year-long process of consultations with the whole network of content providers and aggregators contributing to Europeana. The results of these consultations and other documentation can be found on the Europeana Towards a New Agreement pages.
The major revision in this new agreement, is that the metadata provided by the Europeana aggregators will now be released under a Creative Commons Universal Public Domain Dedication. This is in line with the recommendations of the New Renaissance Report of the European Commission’s “Comité des Sages” and the promises of the Europeana Strategic Plan 2011-2015. It will revolutionize the sharing and linking of cultural information and place its producing institutions at the heart of discovery on the internet.
Report on the Prague workshop, May 25-27 2011 by Erwin Verbruggen
While Prague was hosting the annual ELAG conference, where librarians gather to talk about linking and upgrading existing data models (“MARC must die!” was among the most popular tweets during the event), the Bohemian city was host to a parallel metadata gathering of film archivists. In the cosy screening room Ponrepo of the Czech National Film Archive, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN)’s standard models for film EN 15907 and its sibling EN 15744 were presented to an international gathering.
The audience consisted of a mix of institutions that care for audio-visual heritage ranging from television, media art and video to film historical collections. Some of them had already been experimenting with the standard in their daily operations (such as EYE Film Institute Netherlands and the British Film Institute). Others were undecided yet as to what model to use or had previously made that decision for themselves.
The model itself can be seen as a variant on the FRBR model, though with a few important differences. It is built up by a top level (the Cinematographic Work), a Variant level for the different versions, a Manifestation level, which separates the different media types and an Item level to describe the particular technicalities. All these different levels have in their turn Agents who influence, instigate or collaborate on them and Events that make them happen.
The group dynamic of the workshop resulted in lively discussions which caused the model’s developer, Detlev Balzer, to invite each and all to point out their needs and clarifications by collaborating on the project’s film standards wiki. The content of the workshop and a great deal of background information can be found on this wiki space.
A separate topic for debate was brought in by Murnau Stiftung’s restorer Anke Wilkeninck’s talk about the film elements of Fritz Lang’s Spione. She rebutted the assumption that when talking about the variants of a film, we need to look for a single Original. As silent pictures could come out in different colour or local versions with drastic differences in both montage and narrative, restorers can find themselves looking at several equivalent versions of a film that has no singular origin. The EN 15907 model is interoperable and thus capable of clarifying the multiplicity of such versions and, linking the different nodes that add up a film production to information bases within or amongst institutions and on the web.
In order to obtain the full reach of this standard’s goals, it wi’ll be key for some pioneering institutions to share their interpretations of the model. One example of how it can be used in a real life database is to be found at the Flemish toolbox for cultural heritage institutions, CEST, which wrote a guideline for its implementation (in Dutch) in the AdLib software. A second example will be highlighted in Paris, during the fourth workshop in this series (June 22-24,) where the BFI will perform a special session about their vision on and upcoming implementation of the standard. The next step is now for standardization bodies (such as the FIAF Cataloguing and Documentation Commission) to define some ground rules for cataloguing and for all interested parties to further evaluate and collaborate on the model.
More information: www.filmstandards.org
By Wietske van den Heuvel
EUscreen’s annual report is now published online. The report describes the major developments during the first year of the project. With the first release of the EUscreen coming up soon, the report provides valuable insights in the choices that are made and the effort that is put into the creation of the first version of such a portal. Some highlights from the report:
- The milestones for the first year have been reached. These are milestone 1, project establishment and milestone 2, definition of the user requirements and the metadata schema.
- A detailed description of the user groups, their needs and user requirements.
- An overview of the architecture of the portal and a preview of the frontend and the backend.
- A definition of the content selection guidelines and the metadata schema.
- A summary of activities that have been undertaken.
The presentations of the EUscreen Open Workshop on Metadata Schemes and Content Selection Policies can be found online now
The media of the workshop can now be found online, including a report and the presentations. This first EUscreen Open Workshop took place in Mykonos City, Greece, on June 23 and 24. Over 60 participants travelled to Mykonos to attend the workshop. On the first day, the programme was made up of presentations about activities and developments within EUscreen whereas on the second day, the programme contained presentations about relevant developments within other European projects.
Visit the media page