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Metadata: Definition, Example, Function, and The Types

Last updated: Nov 17, 2022

What Is Metadata

Metadata is a collection of data that contains information from a data so that the data is easy to manage.

The form of the metadata of a file can be different from other files. For example, the information content of a text will be different from the information content of an image or photo.

The Importance of Metadata

The role of metadata in carrying out business activities is very important. Here, the function of metadata is to identify crucial information in data, especially in the fields of marketing and digital document management. Metadata plays an important role in maintaining security and determining rankings on search engines.

Example of Metadata

In everyday life, you often see the application of metadata. Five examples of metadata are:

HTML Metadata

Metadata in HTML files is usually not displayed on web pages but can be read by search engines. In HTML files, the metadata is written inside the <head> element.

Inside HTML files, the information stored in the metadata is the page title, charset, author name, keywords, meta description, publisher, and others.

Word Document Metadata

Metadata in word documents usually contain detailed information such as document title, subject, author name, tags, last saved time, and so on.

Music File Metadata

Music files also come with metadata such as artist name, song title, album name, genre, author name, year of release, and more.

Link Metadata

When creating links using HTML, there are some commonly used metadata such as href, type (describes), rel, media, and sizes (sets the size of the logo image or font).

Digital Book Metadata

Some of the digital book information contained in the metadata is the book title, year of publication, author's name, language, file size, and so on.


Some of the functions of metadata are as follow:

  • Easy to find the information you are looking for
  • identify resources
  • grouping the same information
  • sort out different information

Types of Metadata

Based on its intention, metadata is divided into three types. The explanation regarding the types of metadata is as follows:

  1. Descriptive metadata is metadata that is used to search and find the information you are looking for such as titles, articles, and others.
  2. Structural metadata is metadata that is used to show something that has been arranged to become a single unit. For example, as in digital books, metadata is used to determine the order of chapters and the relationship between pages.
  3. Administrative metadata is metadata used to manage data. The examples are metadata that contains information on when the content was created, file type, copyright, and others.
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