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News and updates for administrators from the past month (December 2017).
- The 2017 Community Wishlist Survey results have been posted. The Community Tech team will investigate and address the top ten results.
- The Anti-Harassment Tools team is inviting comments on new blocking tools and improvements to existing blocking tools for development in early 2018. Feedback can be left on the discussion page or by email.
- Following the results of the 2017 election, the following editors have been (re)appointed to the Arbitration Committee: , , , , , , , .
Facto Post – Issue 8 – 15 January 2018
|Facto Post – Issue 8 – 15 January 2018
Metadata on the March
From the days of hard-copy liner notes on music albums, metadata have stood outside a piece or file, while adding to understanding of where it comes from, and some of what needs to be appreciated about its content. In the GLAM sector, the accumulation of accurate metadata for objects is key to the mission of an institution, and its presentation in cataloguing.
Today Wikipedia turns 17, with worlds still to conquer. Zooming out from the individual GLAM object to the ontology in which it is set, one such world becomes apparent: GLAMs use custom ontologies, and those introduce massive incompatibilities. From a recent article by , we quote the observation that "vocabularies needed for many collections, topics and intellectual spaces defy the expectations of the larger professional communities." A job for the encyclopedist, certainly. But the data-minded Wikimedian has the advantages of Wikidata, starting with its multilingual data, and facility with aliases. The controlled vocabulary — sometimes referred to as a "thesaurus" as term of art — simplifies search: if a "spade" must be called that, rather than "shovel", it is easier to find all spade references. That control comes at a cost.
Case studies in that article show what can lie ahead. The schema crosswalk, in jargon, is a potential answer to the GLAM Babel of proliferating and expanding vocabularies. Even if you have no interest in Wikidata as such, simply vocabularies V and W, if both V and W are matched to Wikidata, then a "crosswalk" arises from term v in V to w in W, whenever v and w both match to the same item d in Wikidata.
For metadata mobility, match to Wikidata. It's apparently that simple: infrastructure requirements have turned out, so far, to be challenges that can be met.
Editor , for ContentMine. Please leave feedback for him. Back numbers are here.
Reminder: WikiFactMine pages on Wikidata are at WD:WFM.
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