A Case for Relation?

In class on Wednesday we began discussion of the Image Indexing Project and met with our groups. Next week we will each make a case for our assigned metadata elements and vote to decide which will stay and what will go. After doing a little more reading, thinking, and conferring with my group, I am still entirely on the fence about the fate of the Relation element for this project.

Simply stated, the Dublin Core Usage Guide defines Relation as “a reference to a related resource.” Because this is pretty vague, they’ve created a series of qualified DC refined terms to help categorize potential relationships: IsPartOf, IsVersionOf, IsFormatOf, IsReferencedBy among others. The concrete examples in the above mentioned guide made it easier for me to visualize how this element is used, but I am also afraid that they’ve added to my confusion (read more to see why).

My initial thought is that one way we could employ Relation in our football image indexing project would be to link images that focus on the same player, come from the same game/season, or that are similarly bonded in some other way. However after looking at these examples I am not 100% sure that this is how Relation is used and/or if there are other elements that can fulfill this role. From my admittedly pretty minimal experience so far, it seems like Relation is more often used to link to other kinds of resources. Like if there were a documentary film about a specific game or season that our image came from, that’s what we would use Relation to describe. If for example, all of the images we are working with come from the same Bryant Museum Collection, wouldn’t it be redundant then for every record to have a Relation element that said “IsPartOf Bryant Musem”?

Maybe I am over thinking this here. What do all the other metadata minions in our class think?

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2 thoughts on “A Case for Relation?

  1. Here’s a good example where some of what you want “Relation” to do is accomplished by other elements (this is something to come to learn about DC and other schemas, so it’s something to learn!). For example, we record it as part of a Bryant Museum collection by way of, perhaps, the Publisher element. Likewise, your element could be customized to meet our specific needs. In this context, can you think of a way that images on this page http://ls566-spring-2014-project-workspace.wikispaces.com/2009+Football+Game (#3 and #4) might be related?

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  2. Maybe IsPartOf would be useful for a collection by coach or season, assuming those elements aren’t covered by customizing some other element? As far as generic usefulness goes, I suppose you could help make the case by pointing out that it could allow for a simple, unambiguous way to create collections that can crosswalk to other systems without losing too much.

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