Metadata are structured assertions that describe some form of communication. Metadata are usually used to assist in the organization, discovery, use, and management of these communications.

Metadata generated according to EXIF standards, describing a digital photograph

Metadata can be machine-generated, human-generated, or generated by a combination of these approaches. Some examples of metadata:

  • A library catalog card, which is a structured expression of information that describes a book and its content.
  • EXIF data as recorded by a digital camera or smartphone, which describe a digital photograph (see thumbnail on the right)
  • ID3 metadata, which allows a song's title, artist, album, and track number to be stored within an MP3 file.
  • CDWA records for works of art in museums.
  • This page's history log, which documents all changes to the page you are viewing right now.

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