University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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‘The metadata is the message’: communicate knowledge through metadata
Paola Ronzino, Valentina Vassallo, Sorin Hermon, Franco Niccolucci

Last modified: 2011-12-23


Revisiting the well known statement coined by Marshall McLuhan ‘the medium is the message’, this paper wants to stress the importance of the metadata as medium for the communication of knowledge and understanding.

Cultural heritage professionals deal with heterogeneous and numerous datasets that are different in format, description, shape, context and so forth. This implies an everyday choice regarding the methodologies to adopt in order to record, describe, document, interpret the available information.  In this perspective, communication  is intended to be not a final step or an outcome but it is a vital process that goes through the description of all the passages.

The ability to communicate information ensures the long term preservation, enabling the scientific community, third party data providers and users to reuse the data for different scopes, possible re-interpretations and  processing.

Based on these assumptions,  STARC developed a metadata schema that enables to communicate in a transparent way all the steps, decisions and methodologies involved in the chain of the documentation and creation of three-dimensional data of different case studies outcomes.

Moreover, the paper will address the experience gained from the STARC contribution to European digital libraries projects.


Metadata, Communication, Knowledge