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The origin of ' metadata '

Question : What is metadata?

Answer : Metadata, a term created by the fusion of an ancient Greek prefix with a Latin word, has come to mean "information about information" when used in technology and database contexts. The Greek meta means behind, hidden or after, and refers to something in the background or not obviously visible, yet still present. Data, the Latin term, is factual information used for calculating, reasoning or measuring.

A vast amount of information (factual or otherwise) exists on the Internet, in databases, libraries and other repositories. Weeding through all of it to find what you're looking for can be maddening, but using metadata can help.

For example, many Web pages have "metatags" embedded in their underlying code that help Internet search engines home in on keywords taken from the page's content. For a Pennsylvania sports-themed site, a metatag could contain keywords like "football," "Pittsburgh Steelers" or "Terrible Towels." A search engine can scan the Web for these keywords in the page's metatag, and possibly find results more quickly and accurately from the-billions of pages available on-line.

You can also see metadata used in other everyday ways. Digital photos can contain exposure information tucked inside the file. Songs encoded as digital audio files with software like Windows Media Player or iTunes can embed text like the artist, album and song title alongside the music data, which lets you see what's playing when you look at the screen of your audio player.


The origin of 'metadata'

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