The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Jul/13

10

What can you do with “just metadata”?

I have written on the six different types of metadata for post production, and by extension the area of pre-post. One of those types of metadata is Inferred: based on the metadata we have already obtained from the source, or what someone’s added, what can we infer. Well, apparently a whole lot more than you’d think. Two articles I’ve read recently show just how much can be inferred – pretty accurately – from a relatively small amount of metadata.

Last month, Keiran Healy wrote the very clever Using Metadata to Find Paul Revere and today  Mike Masnick has a look at contemporary thinking on how to parse an enormous amount out of even sparse metadata in  Anyone Brushing Off NSA Surveillance Because It’s ‘Just Metadata’ Doesn’t Know What Metadata Is. (How could I not love that title!)

Now both refer to using metadata about phone calls or email correspondence – just the who, when, where data, no actual content – to discover far more than you’d expect. That’s my take-away here: metadata is far more powerful and versatile than people in production realize.

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