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PBCore in Use
Applying PBCore: Case Examples
of the Elements in Use

List of Case Examples




Over several years, representatives from Public Broadcasting public media and related institutions joined as a Working Group to craft what has become Version 1.1 of the Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary of descriptors for radio and television programs, as well as related digital and non-digital text, images, and rich media files.

The Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary (PBCore) is:

  • a core set of terms and descriptors (elements)...
  • used to create information (metadata)...
  • that categorizes or describes...
  • media items (sometimes called assets, resources, or essence)

The PBMD Project compared and contrasted various metadata descriptors, dictionaries, and schemes, reconciling the crossovers in order to arrive at a small set of descriptors or elements. With these descriptors, the media items produced by Public Broadcasting radio and television stations could be described and cataloged to encourage and systemize sharing between stations, regional and national distributors, independent producers, and even vendors of Digital Asset Management systems.

The PBCore is a "core" because it can actually be considered a foundation of descriptors used to categorize media items adequately enough so other interested parties can successfully search for and review desired media items. The objective is to be able to share media items and give users complete, well-thought-out, descriptions. Good descriptions help end users know what to expect when they decide to review, play or download a media file after a search.

In the presentation of the PBCore elements in the PBCore User Guide, each metadata element is identified by properties, including Name, Definition, Refinements & Encoding Schemes, Guidelines for Usage, Obligation to Use, Repeatability, Type of Data, and Examples.

While the examples included with the element-by-element definitions are useful and offer "samples at a glance," what is missing are examples of how various stations and organizations have actually folded the PBCore elements into their own workflows, program descriptions, production activities, promotions, and sharing. Reviewing actual implementations of the PBCore is valuable because it shows how our building blocks of metadata have been used in actual applications with real world specifications.

Three fundamental concepts should be remembered when PBCore is implemented...

    1. PBCore is an "enabler" metadata dictionary, and thus can foster cataloging and data sharing capabilities across a variety of information systems
    2. Metadata is an integral part of day-to-day workflows, and should not be treated as an after-thought or add-on feature to established and emerging work cultures within an organization
    3. Metadata is always applied within some sort of context, and often requires reshaping to function within a unique specification or implementation

With these concepts in mind, and as more groups embrace PBCore, we will encourage them to share through the PBCore Users Group (sign-up on PBCore.org) their experiences, successes, and tribulations in the form of informal "Case Examples of the PBCore in Use." From simple to complex implementations, much will be learned. PBCore will benefit by improvements over time, including better tools with which to exploit the Core. From our Case Examples, you may find compatriot organizations with similar needs and data management missions; if so we include contact information. With the indulgence and cooperation of numerous PBCore users and groups, below are listed a sampling of the Case Examples we have accumulated.




Please note that many of our Case Examples refer to specific software/hardware products and vendor solutions. For your convenience, we include web hyperlinks to some of these companies and their services. No endorsements or recommendations are implied or stated by either the PBCore Project or CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting) by mentioning these products and services in the Case Examples.


PBS and PBCore
PBS (Public Broadcasting Service)
& Metadata Supply Chains

Hypothetical Scenarios regarding PBCore in the metadata supply chains across PBS, TV stations, producers, and program distributors.

PBCore In Use
NPR (National Public Radio)
& PRSS ContentDepot (Public Radio Satellite Service)
Integration of PBCore with the Public Radio program and metadata distribution service, the ContentDepot.

PBCore In Use
PSD Consortium (HD Public Radio)
& PSD--Program Service Data
Integration of PBCore with Program Descriptions carried by HD Public Radio PSD signals.

PBCore In Use
NDIIPP (National Digital information Infrastructure and Preservation Program)
& PDPTV (Preserving Digital Public Television Project)
Power of PBCore as a broad standard applied across the public television community. Mapping of PBCore to other metadata dictionaries and the WGBH DAM system.

PBCore In Use
MIC (Moving Image Collections)
& the Mapping Utility
The role of MIC's Mapping Utility for the exchange of metadata between schemas, including PBCore.

PBCore In Use
Wisconsin Public Television Media Library Online
& CWIS (Collection Workflow Integration System)
Metadata management tool of local media assets, cognizant of PBCore metadata element semantics and vocabulary picklists of terms.

PBCore In Use
Democracy Now!
& its Enterprise-wide Internal Asset Management System
A custom, enterprise-wide, internal asset system – used as a DAM system - not just for describing tapes. PBCore acts as base metadata schema and assists in XML data transformations and imports.

PBCore In Use
IPTV (Iowa Public Television)
& Media Asset Archiving Project
Integration of the PBCore dictionary into cataloging systems for station archiving project, as well as data convergence amongst various departmental information systems.

PBCore In Use
Myers Information Systems, Inc.
& ProTrack Traffic and Program Scheduling Solutions
Respecting the flexibility of the PBCore dictionary while meeting the Application Specification Profiles required by vendor-specific solutions for the broadcast industry.

PBCore In Use
KQED Public Radio
& the Consolidated Metadata Workflow Project
Overview of KQED Public Radio's fully integrated data storage and workflow integrations for production and program distribution.

PBCore In Use
Stanford University News Service
& the Need to Unify Metadata for Multiple Media Formats in Data Silos
Managing multiple media assets and integrating data silos using disparate metadata descriptors.

PBCore In Use
WGCU Public Media
& Coordinated Metadata Exchanges within TV Production and Distribution Activities
PBCore is activated at the very beginning of the video production and archive process through Imagine Products logging utilities.

PBCore In Use
WILL AM-FM-TV/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
& Aggregating Metadata without Massive Transformations
In embarking on systemic metadata integration and interoperability, WILL created a proof-of-concept using content management to generate and publish metadata to the web, including PBCore XML records.

PBCore In Use
NET Nebraska Learning Services
& Metadata Across the Enterprise

Building an asset management system that houses a variety of media types and mime types. Includes PBCore compliancy. Using extensions to expand their cataloging system to meet their full metadata needs.

PBCore In Use OMN (Open Media Network)
& Uniform Metadata Descriptions for Program Submissions
The role PBCore can play in facilitating uniform metadata descriptions submitted from disparate program producers, organizations, and their information systems.

PBCore In Use
MediaExchange (Public TV & Higher Ed)
& NETA with the Utah Education Network
PBCore used as the underlying metadata dictionary (with extensions) for a marketplace to exchange media between PTV stations for higher education use

PBCore In Use
UEN DMS (Utah Education Network Digital Media Service)
& UMAP (Utah Metadata Application Profile)
Comprehensive metadata dictionary developed for DAM services to Utah, based on 20 different metadata schemas, including PBCore




PBCore in Use


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