Penny Ann Dolin
Professor, Graphic Information Technology , Director Technical Imaging

Metadata and content creation

I feel metadata is a powerful and underused analytical tool . And what I feel we need is a way for fixed metadata to be automatically attached to every file, similiar to EXIF data, data that can't be changed ( who is using it - connected to Cloud login,what changes are made on what date,logging the last function used) . I feel this data would be so valuable to track usage, understand the progress of the user, identify issues and of course ensure the person handing in the file is who created it. etc.

Thoughts on auto-metadata fileds?

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Mark `Adamowski

Posted on 8/29/13 2:57:32 AM Permalink

It sounds Orwellian. I don't want people to know the changes I've made. I often write things that never get published. Sometimes I have no control of what my fingers are doing. They just write. Much of that disapears before a final draft. I may be writing about a totally different issue or student and just making a note to my self. If I'm being artistic I don't mind telling people my instruments or my muse but I don't want it recorded on a file. There could be a misunderstanding and manipulation. I don't want to let people know where I use a computer as I might start getting ads from the places I visit. I'll have to cross the street before I walk past one of those "naughty shops" to make sure I don't get a cookie. As a teacher I do not want to go through first drafts of older students. First drafts are private creative thoughts.

Unfortunately TJ Fletcher is right. The tools already exist and marketing firms are taking advantage of them. George Orwell just got the date wrong. Not 1984 but 2014.

Teresa Bliss

Posted on 2/28/13 7:29:30 PM Permalink

As the other poster mentioned, any content can ultimately be modified using programs available on the internet. I believe what you are looking for is an application (or standard) which enforces the capture of specific metadata. I do not believe that you are going to be able to obtain a universal agreement on what, if any , data elements should always be captured. More directly approaching your point would be to develop a standard script which captures the data. You did not indicate which Adobe tool you are using, but each has varying degrees of scripting capabilities which would allow someone to develop a script to capture and save certain data elements. I would propose a script that runs on the creation/import of a file which validates and automatically populates specific metadata elements initially. This would avoid the user caring about what was being captured and saved as well as avoiding the user from looking at ways to circumvent any mandatory data input screens (users are ingenious in this regard). The issue I see you having is getting this script installed properly for each user. This can be difficult if your students are using their personal equipment and performing the installation themselves. If the students are using standard computers with pre-installed software this is less of an issue. Hope this helps a little.

TJ Fletcher

Posted on 7/24/12 6:35:49 PM Permalink

I could be wrong, but don't tools exist for altering EXIF the date created and other fields? I think I understand why you would like this information (in order to authenticate the work), but I'm pretty sure that as soon as something like this would be circumvented...unfortunately. What motivates someone to turn in someone else's work? Not all problems can be solved with technology...some need a bit of psychology. ;)

Penny Dolin

Posted on 7/24/12 6:45:25 PM Permalink

Yes, you can alter almost anything digitally if you work at it long enough, but if there was a way to automate more specific data collection, it could be quite valuable. I would venture that not every student would take the time to alter data on all their files.

I just would like to see more automation of more fields happening behind the scenes of file creation : D