Meaning – The term metadata, refers to data that describes the characteristics of stored data; descriptive data. It has various purposes. It helps users find relevant information and discover resources. It also helps organize electronic resources, provide digital identification, and archive and preserve resources. Metadata allows users to access resources by allowing resources to be found by relevant criteria, identifying resources, bringing similar resources together, distinguishing dissimilar resources, and giving location information.
Technical metadata corresponds to internal metadata, and business metadata corresponds to external metadata. Kimball adds a third category, process metadata. On the other hand, NISO distinguishes among three types of metadata: descriptive, structural, and administrative.
Example of usage – “A digital image may include metadata that describes how large the picture is, the color depth, the image resolution, when the image was created, the shutter speed, and other data.”