Alice MacGillivray

Supporting Leadership & Knowledge Work Across Boundaries

Metadata on Steroids

Recently, Lisa Petrides posted this tweet:
“listening 2 interesting talks on metadata (really!). we have 2 get away from narrow def of it, to include user-generated, annotations, etc.”

This reminded me of a work I had done with Andrew Faulkner in which we used data warehouse infrastructure (his specialization). I created views of data integrated from several sources so that front line managers could quickly access basic and customized reports related to particular tasks, challenges and opportunities. They had no interest in technical metadata, but did care about what the data meant, from where it was drawn, how recent it was, and why each report option could be helpful.

Although Andrew and I never wrote about what he calls metacontent in this context, he did write a paper with Henry Kucera titled “Managing Metacontent: Metadata + Meta-information in the BC MELP Data Warehouse,” which I am sharing here with his permission. kucera_oow98

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1 Comment»

  Henry Kucera wrote @

The paper you mention was built on work originally done for Statistic Canada by Swiftsure Systems. The original use of the term metacontent came from research of Dr. Bo Sundgren of the statistical office of Sweden. Bo Sundgren: Integration of Statistical Information Systems – Theory and Practice. SSDBM 1994: 80-89. I worked with Ron Graves at Stats Can to adapt it for geospatial information and then Andrew and I worked to apply it in BC. Andrew was very successful in applying the concepts and framework to operational data warehousing. If anyone did follow up on this there are several large reports written for the BC government and NGA on this topic.


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