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Data and Metadata

Data is a compilation of events taken from a fact, which can include numbers, letters, specific symbols, or combination of them. According to Bryan Bergeron in his book, Bioinformatics Computing, data is numbers or other identifiers derived from observation, experiment, or calculation.

Data also means collection of files or information of certain type, which include text, voice, image, or symbol. Every file has clues to identify its type, which is called data format. Data format, in conform to needs and compatibility, is often converted to other format; for example, .doc is converted to .odt format or text and image data are converted to portable data format (PDF), etc.

Within a file, information on the file can be inserted. The information may include when the file was created, copyright, license used, author or data creator, et cetera. Information inserted in a file is called Metadata. Some appliances or data collector devices can immediately input metadata, for example digital camera.

Example of metadata:
The following image is an image file in .jpg format with its metadata. It is taken from a blog:


The metadata shows that the image was taken on 29 August 2012 using camera Nikon D3005, and other information. File owner can also add with descriptions of location, license, edited with certain software, and other information.

img src: Ay Sagira

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