A colleague just pointed me in the direction of a new report out on Art History’s transition (or lack thereof) to digital, written by Diane M. Zorich, for the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Her report seeks to gain a deeper understanding of why art historians feel such “ambivalence” toward digital art history. Zorich covers the limiting infrastructure of these domains to the impacts that the “new” digital publishing model is having against the age old, “publish or perish” model. This change to digital is one that Art Historians have been very reluctant to embrace (in some cases even hostile). Digital is just a “trend” afterall, right?
With most things in life, context is key. We work with it so much we often forget how abstract a metadata schema trapped in a spreadsheet can be. All our hours of work, relegated to a boring set of rows and columns. It’s anti-climatic and no one except for a few right-brain folks, usually tech, even want to read it. In some cases its necessary to get your message across to other stakeholders outside the realm of IT. Therefore, its important to boil your work down to the most important aspects. I’ve found the thing that they are looking for most is context and simplicity. Whether you are creating a metadata schema, a content blueprint, a metadata matrix, or whatever you are calling it these days, relate it to your audience. Here’s some examples of how: Annotations: For the design of a website or application for example, do what you… Read More »
I’m often asked about my process in creating taxonomies where no taxonomy has gone before (or they have and no ones talking). All taxonomists have little tricks they use to make the magic happen and this is one of mine. Books. Years ago when I needed to develop a language to describe patterns for a design house, I used a well-known patterns textbook called, Smithsonian Handbook on Gemstones, published by Dorling Kindersley. This book is organized nicely and visually appealing, thus doing the double duty of helping you create a taxonomy and providing a good resource for content creators to reference when they need to start tagging content. 4. Authoritative source: In general I look for books that are published by thought leaders in that particular subject area or resources that are heavily referenced in that field of expertise. The Amazon “customers who bought this also bought” is also extremely… Read More »
——————————————————————————————— There are four types of Controlled Vocabularies: ——————————————————————————————— >Value list: Lists of terms with no semantic relationships. For example a list of values for a drop-down menu. >Synonym ring: Terms linked together with equivalent synonyms (our kitty cat image below). >Taxonomy: Hierarchal lists (with broader and narrower categories) or faceted lists which also might include synonyms. >Thesaurus: The most complex form which combines all three types of semantic relationships (synonyms, hierarchy and associations such as: used for, broader term/BT, narrower term/NT, related term/RT). As you move from left to right we see that the structural complexity increases in the types of semantic relationships present (equivalence, hierarchical and associative). Not everyone agrees on the order represented above: Morville and Rosenfeld (The Polar Book/Information Architecture for the World Wide Web pp. 194-201) put things in a slightly different order (synonym rings then value lists) which I’ve never really quite understood their… Read More »
Metadata and Taxonomies are my thing. I spend an awful lot of time drinking coffee and having existential dilemmas on how to categorize what the hell I do for a living.