During the first six weeks of Phase 2, the CREAM team have been making progress with understanding the diversity of the research in which metadata might be used actively. Remaining conscious that our primary goal is to produce guidance and exemplars that will enable research to become more effective, agile, and timely, we are mapping out the stages that will be involved in the process of compiling that guidance.
A key stage of the process is to develop a clear description of the concept of active use of metadata or, to use the shorter form, the concept of active metadata. We are also making fair progress with a “getting started” guide to enable researchers to recognise and characterise both actual and potential active use. Currently, we envisage this being a stand-alone guide as well as a component of the guidance. We are designing the guide around a generic tool for eliciting the nature of the metadata being generated and captured, but are increasingly confident that Annalist meets all the emergent requirements for such a tool. Graham Klyne has introduced updates to improve Annalist support for the kinds of modelling that seems to be required for CREAM. Enhancements over the past month or so include support for attached media (images and audio clips), extensive internal changes to support human-readable labels rather than internal identifiers in option selection lists, and limited support for subtypes to facilitate display adaptation to suit the kind of concept being presented.
CREAM aims to be as discipline-agnostic as possible, as evinced by the range of interests of its partners. Exchanges of views between the artists and scientists have proved valuable in opening up discussion about the nature of metadata and data. Iris Garrelfs observes that for her the main problem in looking at her metadata has been to find a demarcation line between where, within the artistic context, data ends and metadata starts. During our forthcoming team meeting on 21st September, the scientists and engineers in the team will be looking forward to learning more about Procedural Blending (PB) as a metadata model for artistic creation.