The issues regarding metadata highlighted in Guptil’s article seem overwhelming to me.  With the rate at which new data is being created I find it hard to imagine there will be sufficient resources allocated to ensuring existing data is properly cited and categorized.  Furthermore, with so many different types of datasets it is hard to see how standards will be adopted by all data creators.  I found the idea of the “crosswalks” to be the most compelling possible solution to the growing number of metadata types.

This issue brings to mind the need for ontologies.  The author identifies better semantic interoperability as a possible path to aid in the solution of this problem.  I suppose one of the issues associated with the ontological approach is that it would create the need for data collectors to have common definitions or at least common views of the world around them.  As we have discussed in class, this would have serious ramifications for those who do not view the world with a “Western” lens.


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