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Canadian <Metadata> Forum

Presentation Abstracts

The Canadian <Metadata>Forum will take place in Ottawa on Friday, September 19, 2003 and Saturday, September 20, 2003 at Library and Archives Canada. Abstracts are listed in alphabetical order by day of presentation.

Simultaneous translation will be available.

Advisory: Certain presentations are available only in the language of preparation and are provided for reference purposes in the context of the Canadian Metadata Forum. Views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the those of Library and Archvies Canada.

Friday, September 19, 2003
Saturday, September 20, 2003


Opening Remarks
Ian Wilson
National Archivist

Full presentation: HTML

The Metamap
James Turner
School of Library and Information Science, University of Montréal

The presentation begins with a demonstration of the MetaMap (MétroMéta) for the benefit of those not already familiar with it. This is followed by a section on the history of the MetaMap, why it was created, early work on the project, and decisions that led to the present organisation of the map. Next is a section on Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), the World Wide Web Consortium recommendation which was chosen as the software for the construction of the map.

The content of the map forms the main part of the presentation and is the subject of the next section. This includes information on the various metadata standards, sets, and initiatives (MSSIs) chosen for inclusion, grouping of these by theme, arrangement of MSSIs within a theme, and relationships among the various themes. An attempt is also made to relate the content of the MetaMap to information that will be communicated by other presenters at the Forum. Finally, we discuss support for the MetaMap, plans for keeping it current, and plans for building versions in other languages.

Full presentation: HTML

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records
Chris Oliver
McGill University / Canadian Cataloguing Committee

The model described in the 1998 IFLA report, Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) (www.ifla.org/VII/s13/frbr/frbr.htm), is the topic of much discussion in the cataloguing community. What is FRBR and why is it important? The presentation will give a brief overview of the model, and will focus particularly on the group 1 entities: work, expression, manifestation and item. Use of the FRBR model will influence how bibliographic data is structured, retrieved and displayed. The model is already having an impact on the design of the next generation of online catalogues. The model is not tied to a single cataloguing code or communication format, and insights gained from applying the FRBR model may also benefit other metadata standards.

Full presentation:
HTML   [PDF 67 KB] (slides)  [PDF 138 KB] (with comments)

Public Library Applications
Walter Lewis
Halton Hills Public Library

Apart from the obvious metadata issues stemming from ordinary integrated library systems, many public libraries have significant collections of local historical materials consisting of resources in a broad range of collection types from printed texts (published and unpublished), serials (especially local newspapers), manuscripts, sound recordings (oral histories), and images. Providing access to these materials presents several challenges: 1) In a significant number of cases these special materials are held in conjunction with local historical and genealogical groups; 2) Varying amounts of this material may be held on microfilm, a format often not included in the national bibliographies and union lists; 3) A significantly larger number of public libraries provide valuable indexing services in instances where permission to digitize the original content is unlikely; and, 4) Public library users are less frequently sophisticated researchers. There is a pressing need to provide high quality, integrated search interfaces to a wide range of community content that is absolutely dependent on the consistent development of metadata.

Full presentation: HTML  [PDF 189 KB]

Rules for Archival Description (RAD) and Encoded Archival Description (EAD)
Wendy Duff
Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto

Archival material provides insights and evidences of past actions, events, thoughts and feelings. Records serve as instruments of corporate memory, evidence and accountability in so far as records maintain their context, authenticity, integrity and interrelatedness. Archival descriptive systems are grounded upon a belief that one must understand the context of records' creation, accumulation, and use if one is to interpret the evidence in the records. Documenting the context, intellectual form, multilevel nature and interrelationships of records is more important than describing a records physical attributes.

This paper discusses the nature of archival material and principles of archival description. It describes the development, content and structure of the Canadian Rules for Archival Description as well as Encoded Archival Description, and Encoded Archival Context. It outlines the difference among archives, records management, museum and library metadata standards for discovery and retrieval but also suggests area where convergence is needed.

Full presentation: HTML  [PDF 248 KB]

Metadata for Archival Collections
Lorraine Gadoury
Sarah Klotz
Library and Archives Canada

The descriptions of the documents of New France were created many years ago. To promote access to a greater number of researchers, Library and Archives Canada entered this information into an electronic database. Today, in the context of an international project where data will be shared with a variety of international institutions, the use of metadata is essential. The objective of this project is to create a portal where descriptions from various archival institutions are accessible around the world.

Full presentation (Part 1): HTML
Full presentation (Part 2): HTML
[PDF 25 KB] Full bilingual presentation  [PDF 2,434 KB] Image slides

Multimedia Metadata Panel Discussion

Diana Dale
Department of Canadian Heritage
Full presentation: HTML  [PDF 9 KB]

Alexander Eykelhof
The Bibliocentre, Centennial College
Full presentation: HTML  [PDF 44 KB]

David McKnight
McGill University
Full presentation: HTML  [PDF 20 KB]

René Paquet
Library and Archives Canada
Full presentation: HTML  [PDF 147 KB] (diagrams)   [PDF 25 KB] (text in French only)

Metadata and CHIN
Sheila Carey
Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)

The Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) is a Special Operating Agency within the Department of Canadian Heritage. As a disseminator of heritage information, CHIN promotes the use of standards, and has been dealing with the challenge of resource discovery in a distributed environment since 1995. During the 1990's CHIN began providing mapping to Dublin Core for all of its database heritage information products. In 1998, CHIN developed a cataloguing tool that museum staff can use to easily create a metadata element set that includes Dublin Core, administrative, and educational metatags. This talk will focus on the work that CHIN has done with metadata, and how it is now used on the Virtual Museum of Canada site.

Full presentation: HTML  [PDF 2,410 KB]

E-Learning Metadata
Norm Friesen
Athabasca University / Cancore

The Learning Object Metadata standard (the "LOM;" also known as "IMS Learning Resource Meta-data") is the clear leader when it comes to standards for describing digital, educational resources. Although widely adopted, the LOM is both complex and general in character, leaving open many possibilities for interpretation. CanCore seeks to simplify and interpret this standard in order to help implementers and record creators with design, development and indexing work. In this presentation, Dr. Norm Friesen, Director of the CanCore Initiative, will begin by describing the rationale for the development of Learning Objects and of the CanCore Initiative itself. He will discuss the contributions made by CanCore to implementers and educators, and to the e-learning standardization community generally. Norm will conclude by describing some recent and anticipated developments in e-learning metadata.

Full presentation: HTML  [PDF 532 KB]

Using the E-Learning standard - Explor@2
Gilbert Paquette
Téluq, Université de Québec

Learning objects or resource management is a multi-actor process into which some persons publish or track down interesting resources and describe them by metadata files grouped in a learning objects repository. Associated to web pages, metadata is a basic element of the Semantic Web. Using a set of computer tools, users look for resources, obtain them and integrate them into learning environments. These resources include different document types (or materials): texts, presentations, videos, courseware, multimedia, Web sites. Other resources allow processing this information in different manners. These are production tools, communication services, and support services offered by persons on the network. Finally the grouping of these types of resources in learning designs provides a larger grain category of resources: learning units, courses or complete training programs.

This presentation will provide a current synthesis of these questions, illustrated with applications from projects that the author has initiated or into which he has participated such as Explor@, SavoirNet, eduSource, LorNet. The presenter shall also provide a demonstration of an operational system allowing to build and to use metadata repositories and to integrate learning objects into educational environments. An architecture of a suite of tools that are being developed in the eduSource project will concretize the concept of a "Repository-in-the-box". Finally, we shall discuss necessary conditions so that these new developments can really enhance the quality of Web-based Distance Education.

Full presentation: HTML  [PDF 532 KB]

Top of Page


Content Delivery and Rights Management: Identifiers and Descriptive Metadata in a Multimedia Context
Tom Delsey
Consultant, Ottawa

Major players in the "content" industries have begun repositioning themselves in a new technological and competitive environment. Within this new environment, infrastructure has become a key factor for strategic positioning. It is no longer sufficient to have in place an infrastructure designed to support a specific industry; increasingly all industries within the information/communications sector rely on a technological infrastructure that is cross-sectoral and, in effect, global in design and scope. Digital item identification and description serve as key elements of that infrastructure, and form an integral part of the technology that supports efficient business transactions and protects commercial rights and interests in a networked environment.

This presentation is centred on an analysis of functional requirements that was undertaken for a group of international organizations representing various interests within the content industries. The objective was to provide industry players with a shared frame of reference for describing the business transactions that take place between and among them, and a structured statement of requirements that will serve as the basis for guiding further development of schema for the identification and description of digital items.

Full presentation:
HTML   [PDF 191 KB] (slides)   [PDF 187 KB] (with comments)

Government of Canada Metadata Framework
Nancy Brodie
Treasury of Canada

The Government of Canada (GoC) Metadata Framework establishes a strategy for the development of metadata within the GoC. The Framework shows the relationship between the generic international standard adopted by the GoC (the Dublin Core) and other extensions for specific subject domains or purposes. Broad, high level controlled vocabularies or schemes for specific elements provide standard values for the elements to be used in the GoC. The presentation will describe the evolution of the Framework and discuss current challenges to interoperability.

Full presentation: HTML   [PDF 482 KB]

Robert Oates
Communication Canada

The Government of Canada Newsroom (news.gc.ca) is a Web site where Canadians and the media can access up-to-the-minute news published by the Government of Canada. The Newsroom's primary focus is on a new content management, indexing, and retrieval strategy that leverages a combination of Dublin Core metadata, controlled vocabularies, and XML technologies for distribution. Clients will be able to use various access technologies and anonymously choose the information they wish to receive.

Full presentation:
HTML   [PDF 361 KB] (slides)   [PDF 585 KB] (with comments)

Record-Keeping Metadata
Catherine Zongora
Library and Archives Canada

In January, 2001, the IM Forum published on its Website the Record Keeping Metadata Requirements for the Government of Canada (www.imforumgi.gc.ca/products/meta/metadata31_e.html). These requirements were produced by the Records/Document/Information Management (RDIMS) Working Group on Work Processes and Practices (WPPWG), and reviewed and endorsed by the Information Management Forum sub-group on Metadata. In May 2003, the GOL Metadata Records Management Sub-Group was convened to review the Metadata requirements and ensure they are in line with current developments, both at a Government of Canada level and worldwide. This session will review the current Records Management Metadata requirements, show concordance with other GoC Metadata initiatives, and discuss upcoming plans and next steps.

Full presentation: HTML   [PDF 216 KB]

Book Trade Perspective
Doug Minett
The Bookshelf, Guelph / Canadian Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee (CBISAC)

Full presentation: HTML   [PDF 127 KB]

Geospatial Metadata
Andrea Buffam, Natural Resources Canada
Grace Welch, University of Ottawa

What is unique about geospatial metadata, data and web services? Catalogued data and web services are essential within the geographic community to ensure accurate and integrated resources using the Internet. Standard thesauri, metadata formats, and interoperability protocols provide access to data and portals and enable systems integration. Many applications include disaster management and national security issues.

This presentation will familiarize participants with the progress being made to meet these demands through development of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure. The GeoConnections Discovery Portal and Natural Resources Canada development team will be highlighted.

The presentation will also address geospatial metadata from the perspective of the librarian and GIS end-user and issues related to its availability, interpretation and application in GIS/Map libraries.

Full presentation (Andrea Buffam): HTML   [PDF 1,128 KB]

Full presentation (Grace Welch):
HTML   [PDF 54 KB] (slides)   [PDF 60 KB] (with comments)

Statistical Metadata
Paul Johanis
Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada (STC) strives to build quality into all its data products. One major dimension of data quality is interpretability, that is, the availability of the metadata or supplementary information necessary to interpret and utilize the data appropriately. This information normally covers the underlying concepts, variables and classifications used, the methodology of data collection and processing, and indications of the accuracy of the statistical information. To facilitate the interpretability through online dissemination of data, the STC website includes a metadata module which can be accessed from STC home page or through links from other parts of the site through which data are disseminated. The information used to populate this part of the website is drawn from the corporate metadata repository, the Integrated Metadatabase (IMDB) for which the development began four years ago. The IMDB stores information on over 700 STC surveys, of which nearly 400 are active. The database is kept up to date through an input system deployed over the departmental Intranet. Several times a day, an HTML generator reads the database and produces formatted HTML pages, which are made available on the STC website.

The key to avoiding problems in the update and the use of metadata is the design of a rigorous data model. The IMDB data model is an adaptation of the ISO 11179 and the Corporate Metadata Repository (CMR) models. ISO 11179 is an international standard for the specification, standardization and management of data elements through metadata registries, and the CMR is an extension of ISO 11179 developed by the US Bureau of the Census to contain many additional components specific to its needs as a large statistical organization.

This presentation describes the IMDB data model and reports on the current status of the multi-year project to implement the repository. The presentation will be concluded with a demonstration of the availability of survey metadata on Statistics Canada website.

Full presentation:
HTML   [PDF 202 KB] (slides)  [PDF 60 KB] (with comments)

Web Accessibility Issues
Jutta Treviranus
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre
University of Toronto

Individuals who need alternative access systems have additional and often more complex requirements when seeking resources. The range of choices is restricted and the tolerance for variation is reduced. The need for a standard method of accurately describing the nature of a resource as it relates to accessibility is critical. This presentation will describe the work of a group, initiated by the IMS Global Learning Consortium with the collaboration of Dublin Core, W3C, CENN and other organizations, to address the issue of accessibility Metadata.

Full presentation: HTML   [PDF 128 KB] (slides)


Metadata Policy in the Cultural Sector
Ron Wakkary
Chair, Standards, Research and Development Sub-committee of the National Advisory Board for Canadian Culture Online
Department of Canadian Heritage

Full presentation: HTML   [PDF 513 KB] (slides)

Forum Distillation
Stephen Downes
National Research Council

Full presentation: HTML   [PDF 207 KB]

Stephen Downes' full summary of the Canadian Metadata Forum is available on his personal website: www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/website/view.cgi?dbs=Article&key;=1064099860