This is the second blog following on from an excellent talk about librarything by LibraryThing's Tim given the VUW in Wellington after his trip to LIANZA.
The NZETC publishes all of it's works as epubs (a file format primarily aimed at mobile devices), which are literally processed crawls of it's website bundled with some metadata. For some of the NZETC works (such as Erewhon and The Life of Captain James Cook), LibraryThing has a lot more metadata than the NZETC, becuase many LibraryThing users have the works and have entered metadata for them. Bundling as much metadata into the epubs makes sense, because these are commonly designed for offline use---call-back hooks are unlikely to be avaliable.
So what kinds of data am I interested in?
1) Traditional bibliographic metadata. Both LT and NZETC have this down really well.
2) Images. LT has many many cover images, NZETC has images of plates from inside many works too.
3) Unique identification (ISBNs, ISSNs, work ids, etc). LT does very well at this, NZETC very poorly
4) Genre and style information. LT has tags to do fancy statistical analysis on, and does. NZETC has full text to do fancy statistical analysis on, but doesn't.
5) Intra-document links. LT has work as the smallest unit. NZETC reproduces original document tables of contents and indexes, cross references and annotations.
6) Inter-document links. LT has none. NZETC captures both 'mentions' and 'cites' relationships between documents.
While most current-generation ebook readers, of course, can do nothing with most of this metadata, but I'm looking forward to the day when we have full-fledged OpenURL resolvers which can do interesting things, primarily picking the best copy (most local / highest quality / most appropiate format / cheapest) of a work to display to a user; and browsing works by genre (LibraryThing does genre very well, via tags).