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NISO Z39.87 is currently undergoing revisions, and will be balloted on September 31st 2004. The standard currently proposes 111 data fields, of which 33 are mandatory or mandatory if applicable. Once all the theoretical work of determining the elements necessary for preservation has been done, the practical questions of how to capture these fields in an economic manner loom large.
Note that in increasing number of elements, the number of mandatory elements has increased as well.  But it is important to make the distinction that some of the new elements are related to existing ones and add to flexibility of metadata recording (for example, creating a home to embed a color profile) rather than simply increasing the burden of metadata collection.
The RLG initiative Automatic Exposure addresses the issue of implementing the NISO Z39.87 standard. What I’ll share with you today are some of the outcomes of the research that went into the whitepaper.
The specifications listed on this slide represent the current options a digital camera has of saving the technical metadata at the time of capture. The question for us is: can these specifications be leveraged to satisfy NISO Z39.87?
Overall, you can see that TIFF, DIG35 and EXIF cover about 40-45% of NISO Z39.87. In a more detailed analysis, it turns out that each of the specifications has an achiles heel – meaning a section in which it really underperforms.
TIFF – Image Creation and Change History
DIG35 – Basic Image Parameters and Imaging Performance Assessment
EXIF – Change History
45-60% Just looking at the elements currently Mandatory or Mandatory if Applicable in NISO Z39.87 presents us with the following picture:
TIFF nice spread of elements across the categories
DIG35 especially weak in Imaging Performance Assessment
EXIF nice spread, covers 50% or more
These tools are doing the hard work of examining files, determining where metadata is lurking, and dragging it out into the open. While some work across a number of file formats, all of them work on TIFF files. These tools give you access to metadata that’s already there, meaning they leverage existing specifications. All of them have expressed an interest in sharing their tool.
During our meeting in Las Vegas, representatives from the Cultural Heritage community encouraged us to push for the entire NISO Z39.87 element set.
IT10 has created a JPEG2000 profile which they declare to be JPEG2000 “suitable for Digital Still Camera use.” Encouraged us to consider working with JPEG2000 standardization to create profile we might want.