Here are the questions asked:
- How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
- Can you explain the difference between semantics, taxonomy, ontology and metadata?
- What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?
Henrik de Gyor: [0:00] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Sarah Berndt. Sarah,
how are you?
Sarah Berndt: [0:09] Hi. Good afternoon, Henrik. I’m great, thank you.
Henrik: [0:11] Sarah, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Sarah: [0:15] Well, I work on the ITAMS contract, specifically for an employer,
DB Consulting. My task is to provide a controlled vocabulary, or a taxonomy,
for the Johnson Space Center, accurately representing over 50 years in manned
Henrik: [0:31] Can you explain the difference between semantics, taxonomy,
ontology, and metadata?
Sarah: [0:39] All of these are relative definitions, but within the semantics system
that I use, and within my own environment, the taxonomy, of course, is a hierarchical
system, a controlled vocabulary with a treelike structure. It’s agreed upon
overarching definitions for classes and concepts. [0:57] Ontology, then, is really
referring to the relationships between those classes and concepts, so we can
see that STS135 is related to a particular vehicle, it’s related to Launch Pad 39A,
it was crewed by these folks, it carried this payload. That type of information is
[1:21] Metadata, the most overused term of the century, is definitely relative, but
in my environment, I use a term “metadata library,” and what these are, specific
fields that have been set up to convey to the end-user, through the interface,
things like a Best Bet URL, a decided upon definition, an official definition, an
official image that might be relative to a specific mission patch or expedition,
[1:53] These components of the semantic system can be taken on whole and
conveyed to the end-user, or divided apart and plugged into different applications,
so that we have multiple uses throughout the organization.
Henrik: [2:09] That makes sense, so you can have multiple metadata
Sarah: [2:12] I think that is absolutely essential to decide on what your definitions
are right from the get-go. You need to decide, is your ontology actually
metadata to your taxonomy, or is it the term “metadata” that’s going to be
making the big influence? All of these things definitely need to be defined,
and shouldn’t be assumed or taken for granted. [2:36] When you start from the
ground up, sometimes you wish you’d had known what to do first, but it’s definitely
better or more advisable to plan the structure from the beginning. The
taxonomy, the basic structure, to have that from the beginning and to build the
ontology from the point and the term metadata from that point.
[2:57] The structure then provides a foundation for all that unstructured content
and data that you’re actually, that’s your angle that you’re actually trying to
Henrik: [3:09] And hopefully find again.
Sarah: [3:11] Yes, again, the end goal. We want to find it. We want to reuse it.
We want to improve the end-user search experience.
Henrik: [3:19] That totally makes sense. What advice would you
like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM
Sarah: [3:24] It’s a good thing. [laughter]
Sarah: [3:28] No, seriously, I would say don’t pigeonhole yourself. My title is JSC
taxonomist. I’m a contractor. JSC taxonomist, it’s great to have a title, but if that
were all I had to do, that would be quite a pigeonhole. [3:45] To really reach out
and take a look at the interoperability between your systems, between your file
formats, between your duties, you can be one day searching for more subject
matter expert participation, and the next day reporting off to management
about the ROI, and the next day, trying to win funding for a cost benefit analysis
[4:08] There are an endless array of hats that can be worn. I would say definitely
be careful about how you pigeonhole yourself and take advantage of the multiple
definitions that can occur in the workplace.
Henrik: [4:24] Great point. Thank you so much, Sarah.
- Another DAM podcast interview with Jake Jaroch and Ryan Messier (anotherdampodcast.com)
- Another DAM podcast interview with Heather Hedden (anotherdampodcast.com)