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
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.
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
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.
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?
Where do we start, with the things (as libraries do) or the people (as the rights folks do)
And what of Events?