Monday, May 14, 2012

Harvard's Big (meta) Data

Harvard University has 12 million books, recordings, maps, and other items in its 73 library collections.  Each of those items has an associated set of metadata such as title, publication, publishing date, description - up to 100 pieces of metadata per item.  The university is now making all of this metadata publicly available to researchers.  According to the article, this has led to the creation of visual timelines showing when intellectual ideas were developed and the hope is other innovations will follow.  The goal is to produce other similar insights.  Harvard is considering eventually releasing circulation data which should provide even more fascinating insights.  In fact, if other libraries follow suit it could bring all sorts of insight into the evolution of our collective knowledge.  Kudos to Harvard for taking this step and let's hope this effort continues.

Read the article.

(submitted by Judi)

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