TDWG Charters, Published TDWG Subgroup Charters

Joint GBIF-TDWG Task Group on Multimedia Resources Charter

Joint GBIF-TDWG Task Group on Multimedia Resources Charter

A Task Group of Image Interest Group

Convenor

Robert A. Morris
Department of Computer Science
UMASS-Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA 02125
USA

Core Members

Convenor

  • Robert A. Morris

Co-convenors

  • Annette Olson
  • Vishwas Chavan

Members

  • Vijay Barve
  • Gregor Hagedorn
  • Eamonn O’Tuama
  • Greg Riccardi
  • Greg Whitbread

Motivation

  • Both large and small providers of multimedia resources need a common core of metadata covering the rudiments of technical metadata, content description, attribution and licensing. Multimedia files, including images, audio, and video, represent an important source of documentation for species occurrence, descriptive data, taxonomic identification, illustration of species pages, and many other concerns of the producers and consumers of biodiversity data. A GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) working group has drafted a proposal for such a schema in a representation-free form (as a spreadsheet) and proposes work on this as a joint effort of TDWG and GBIF.
  • Presently, these resources are generally found either in community-based commercial repositories such as Flickr, Picassaweb, or YouTube, or in research repositories with their own, idiosyncratic metadata and poorly documented access methods. The commercial websites generally provide only folksonomies (i.e. tagging) for which few, if any attempts have been made at standardization. There are a number of standards for representation of metadata focused on image acquisition technical metadata, some of which provide coarse content metadata such as the well known DIG35 standard. Other standards are concerned principally with representation of metadata embedded in media resource files, which is not a primary interest of this group except in so far as it may impact particular implementations..A proposed metadata schema is the most immediate output of the group, but it lies in the context of a number of other issues identified by the orginators, whose efforts are documented at http://wiki.gbif.org/gbif/wikka.php?wakka=MultimediaResourcesTaskGroup. Of special interest is the report the group made to GBIF, which is at http://wiki.gbif.org/gbif/wikka.php?wakka=MultimediaResourcesTaskGroup/files.xml&action=download&file=MRTG-Recommendations-29-09-2008.pdf
  • Awaiting a more permanent home, a draft proposed metadata schema is available as a CSV file suitable for inspection at http://mantis.cs.umb.edu/wiki/index.php/Image:MmrMdSchema.csv. As illustrated in column B of that file, a prime goal was to use or derive from existing standards in part in order to make it particularly easy to map to such standards. Most multimedia standards on the web are either concerned with embedding metadata in media files, or with image acquisition technical data. The proposed metadata standard is not concerned very deeply with either of these. In the first case, the schema intends to be independent of its representation (although the implementations in the schedule will, ipso facto, choose some popular representation, e.g. JPEG2000, Adobe XMP, RDF, etc. ). Existing media content metadata are particularly vague (e.g. DIG35 has a recursive content element named "Thing"), and the draft focused on a minimal subset of content already know to be satisfactory to three major image-intensive systems in or near production: KeyToNature, Morphbank, and the US NBII biological image bank. Another important aim in the production of this draft was to treat, wherever reasonable, media collections and media with the same basic metadata, in part because many media formats, e.g. video and JPEG2000, are philosophically like collections in that their coverage can extend over multiple taxa or ecosystems.

Goals Outputs and Outcomes

The goal of this Task Group is to evaluate schemas and standards for collection, management and dissemination of multimedia resources relevant to biodiversity. Through propagation of such standards, the Task Group intends to bring about cultural change in ways multimedia resources are currently created, managed, and shared/disseminated.. Another aim of the Task Group is to develop schemas that could support the collection of primary biodiversity data associated with multimedia artefacts.

Schedule of Outcomes

November 2008 Establishment of Task Group by TDWG
Establishment of Task Group wiki and mailing list
Comments on Woods Hole draft as amended at Fremantle
Refinement of the Multimedia Metadata Schema
December 2008 Multimedia Metadata Schema is opened for comments; appeal made for early implementation
Establishment of Task Group wiki and mailing list
Establish Version Control for Schema
December 2008 Multimedia Metadata Schema is opened for comments; appeal made for early implementation
Establishment of Task Group wiki and mailing list
Establish Version Control for Schema
January 2009 First implementations of Multimedia Metadata Schema begin
June 2009 Products of early implementation are visible linked from the Task Group wiki
Multimedia Metadata Schema begins ratification process
September 2009 Task Group investigate needs for further standards, schemas, and tools
October 2009 Symposium on Multimedia standards, tools, and implementations at TDWG Annual Conference, showcasing Multimedia Metadata Schema

Strategy

  • The core group and several other participants to be named will lead discussions in a wiki that is dedicated to refinement of the Schema, using exemplar implementations with sample client code
  • A meeting in Copenhagen in February 2009 is planned with participation of the core drafters of the current Schema (Morris, Olsen, Hagedorn, Riccardi) as well as relevant members of GBIF staff, including O'Tuama and Chavan, as well as GBIF software staff, with the intent of vetting the most current version of the Schema for use with the GBIF Integrated Publishing Toolkit

Becoming Involved

Individuals are encouraged to
  • contribute metadata use cases to the wiki
  • critique the schema
  • define representations of the schema in various forms
  • build metadata repositories to late versions of the schema

History/Context

GBIF convened its Multimedia Resources Task Group (MRTG) in early 2008 with Prof. Robert Morris as its chair. This Task Group, in addition to providing recommendations to GBIF on mobilisation of multimedia resources through its Network, also developed the “Multimedia Metadata for Biodiversity” schema (hereafter called the Multimedia Metadata Schema) during its sub-group meeting at Woods Hole in September 2008. Further discussions at Fremantle, Australia during the TDWG Annual Conference concluded that the schema should be put forward for ratification by the Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG), to provide a foundation for community acceptance and use. Within the TDWG framework of operation, standards are usually put forward for ratification by the relevant Task Group. Therefore, this proposal calls for establishment of Joint GBIF-TDWG Task Group on Multimedia Resources as part of the TDWG Image Interest Group.

Summary

The goal of this Task Group is to evaluate schemas and standards for collation, management and dissemination of multimedia resources relevant to biodiversity. Through propagation of such standards, the Task Group intends to bring about cultural change in ways that multimedia resources are currently created and managed. Another aim of the Task Group is to develop schemas that could support the collection of primary biodiversity data associated with multimedia artefacts.

Resources

  • The current wiki is located at http://wiki.gbif.org/gbif/wikka.php?wakka=MultimediaResourcesTaskGroup. It is planned to move it to a Media wiki platform.
  • murtag (at-sign) lists.gbif.org is presently a limited distribution list for the core and other interested parties. A suitable open list is planned. The wiki will also support email notification and RSS feeds.

Licensing

The TDWG Executive Committee has stipulated that by default, products of TDWG will use the Creative Commons CC-BY license.

This outcome is also reflected in the standards specification. As Convener, it is your responsibility to ensure that group members are aware of this as the group is formed.