RDF: Framework to describe metadata within XML. Australian Government Locator Service (ALGS) Home page: http://www.naa.gov.au/govserv/agls AGLS was developed in late 1997 as the resource discovery metadata standard for Australian governments and was endorsed for use by all levels of government in Australia in November 1998. AGLS is a qualified metadata standard based on Dublin Core, and consists of 19 elements - the 15 DC elements plus an additional four that were considered necessary in the Australian government context. AGLS goes beyond DC in being aimed at resource discovery and retrieval and was developed from the outset with the intention that it would be used to describe both online and off-line government resources. Business Entry Point (BEP) Home page: http://www.business.gov.au/ The Australian Government's Business Entry Point (BEP) is an initiative to make it easier for Australian businesses to deal with government. It provides a gateway to regulations, services and resources from the Federal Government and all Australian States and Territories. The BEP's metadata is based on Dublin Core and the Australian Government Locator Service, and is detailed at http://about.business.gov.au/bep/agencies/provinfo/metadata/metadata.htm Currently, all metadata is collected in a central database where organisations register their content, but work is underway to access metadata held remotely. Substantial work has also been done to automate the creation of metadata. Australia also has projects using DC for information on the environment and for educational materials. Foundations Project Home page: http://bridges.state.mn.us/ The Foundations Project is a State of Minnesota multi-agency collaborative project aimed at improving public access to environmental and natural resources data and information. The focus of the Project is on developing intuitive and easy to use search tools and strategies. Staff and agency participants catalog many kinds of electronic information resources using qualified Dublin Core elements. These resources can be used to develop advanced search and retrieval techniques that integrate access to this information across agency Web sites. The search interface is called Bridges (http://bridges.state.mn.us/), signifying the metaphorical spanning of information across Minnesota state agencies. Based on project research findings and using principles of information architecture, a "blueprint" specifying best practices for Minnesota state environmental Web sites is being created. As the Foundations Project nears completion, efforts are in place to bring the successes and blueprint to the remaining state agencies. Gateway to Educational Materials Home page: http://gem.syr.edu GEM is an initiative of the US Department of Education and the National Library of Education. It's goal is to improve the organization and accessibility of the substantial, but uncataloged, collections of educational materials which are already available on various federal, state, university, non-profit and commercial Internet sites. The German Educational Resources Server [Deutscher Bildungs-Server] Home page: http://dbs.schule.de/indexe.html This site currently contains about 2,000 Web documents about teaching and learning materials from students, teachers, publishers and state educational authorities. Supported by the German society of Educational Scientists (DgfE) and other educational organizations, the German Educational Resources Server includesdirectories of educational researchers and institutions of higher education with teacher training programs. It serves as a hub of a larger national network of state and regional educational servers. MALVINE: Manuscripts and Letters via Integrated Networks in Europe Home page: http://www.malvine.org The MALVINE project opens new and enhanced access to disparate holdings of modern manuscripts and letters, kept and catalogued in European libraries, archives, documentation centers and museums. The idea of MALVINE is to build a network of these institutions in Europe; a network which is independent of heterogeneous technical solutions (Detailed technical information) and which is accessible from all over the world as if being a homogenous unified database. A multilingual user interface will be provided, using an agreed common terminology and will offer digitized surrogates of the precious original documents. The Nordic Metadata Project Home page: http://linnea.helsinki.fi/meta/ Among Nordic countries, there is a special need for shared metadata creation system, as it will facilitate further the already active use of ILL and document delivery services within Scandinavia. The Dublin Core is being used to provide and enhance end-user services by making a diversity of digital documents more easily searchable and deliverable over the Net. Many projects have developed specialized tools to create metadata automatically (more or less) and to use specialized thesauri (including classification) with metadata. Hot issues: Crosswalks and conversations— Crosswalking is one method for presenting information created in one “language” as if it were another. But like most translations, much can be lost in the trip. Round trips are even more problematic. Some concepts inherent in one “language” cannot be well expressed in another, nor can they be reliably translated yet again “Pidgin” speakers vs. “Native” speakers All along there has been a tension between those communities where there is already a rich metadata standard (such as libraries) and those where there is none. This manifests itself in various ways— the first group resists compexification, but wants whatever complexity to fit well with their already existing standards. The second wants to do more with less, but doesn’t necessarily understand the need for standardization of any kind, nor the difficulties of scaling up. Text strings, indentifiers and “dumbing down” Simple metadata uses text strings, but these have inherent limitations. Consider names: direct order or lastname,firstname—what’s the rule to use and how does that affect access. It might be more useful still to use, instead of a text string, and identifier—say a NAFL record number, a VCARD id, etc. But how does a simple browser (who doesn’t speak NAFL) interpret this? Commercial applications People—Agreements—Things Where do we start, with the things (as libraries do) or the people (as the rights folks do) And what of Events?
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