Blog / Foundations, Metadata

Linked and Linkable Data

Peter Krogh
Wed Jul 29 2020

Computational tagging can also be done by means of linked or linkable data. Linked data means that there is some “key” that can connect one set of data to another. This key could be a file name, a GPS tag, the name of a person pictured or some other characteristic of a media file.

The value of linked data

Linked data is growing in importance for a few reasons.

  • APIs make data linking a much easier process than it used to be. And more services built on API linking are becoming available every day.
  • There is more information about a person, place or thing than will ever be possible to stuff into a file’s metadata, or even into a database record. A linked data approach gets around that limitation.
  • Sometimes, thedata is housed in a place where it can’t be fully extracted. The information contained in a social media feed like Instagram is not possible to fully extract.
  • Sometimes, the linked data is in a state of change (e.g., someone’s employment record, or the businesses located in a particular district). The only way for this to be accurate is through a live link.
  • Sometimes, there are needs for multiple databases, and one single database won’t suffice. You may have a system for archiving legal documents that is separate from your media archive. When you need to connect an image with the contract or model release, it may best be done through object linking.

Capturing linked data

Sometimes, it is possible and desirable to flow linked data back into your database. We saw earlier how GPS tags can be linked to databases to discover place names, and these can be added back to the image database as IPTC place names. Here are a couple of other possibilities.

  • Images published to social media may allow for comments and likes to flow back into the catalog. This provides important information and enrichment, even if it does not capture the full social graph of the object.
  • Image matching services can be used to mine the internet for valuable information. The initial applications of web-scraping technology have been used to find copyright violations, but the use cases can go far beyond that. There is a lot of information that can be gleaned from discovering everywhere an image appears, and capturing nearby text.

A fast-moving space

DAM applications are only beginning to scratch the surface of linked data capabilities. It’s a big shift in system architecture. More importantly, it’s a big shift in a vendor’s understanding of the value and purposes of a DAM.

It’s an approach we like. Stay tuned for more developments as we begin to roll out new capabilities.

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