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METS stands for Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standards. It is basically related to the encoding and transmission of data in XML formats. These XML formats provide the means to convey the metadata that is necessary for both management of the digital objects and the exchange of the objects among the repositories and their uses. This common format was specially designed to allow the sharing of the efforts to develop the management tools and to facilitate the exchange and use the information of digital materials among the institutions including merchants. This particular scheme was created in 2001 under the sponsorship of Digital Library Federation (DLF). This is governed by METS Editorial Board and is mainly supported by the Library of Congress.
The main purpose of METS
When a depository of digital objects tries to share metadata about any digital object with some other depository the use of common data transfer among the depositories and the tools improve the efficiency with which the transactions occur. METS was specially designed and created to provide comparatively easy format for these activities during the whole life cycle of the digital object.
Have an introduction with ALTO
ALTO stands for Analyzed Layout and Text Object is again an XML schema that defines the technical metadata for describing the information of the layout and then OCR will recognize the text of resources like the page of the book or the newspaper. ALTO is mainly used as the extension schema to METS where this METS will provide metadata and complete structural information while ALTO will deal with the content and the physical information.
Features supported by ALTO
The need of METS/ALTO Conversion
Businesses are using these METS and ALTO from many years now. Libraries, newspaper publishers, newspaper aggregators are very much familiar with these standards.
METS is a standard format for encoding administrative, descriptive, and structural metadata related to the objects within the digital library, with the use of XML. Though METS is an excellent platform for describing the basic structure of any digital object, it only misses the ability to define the layout and the content of each piece of the object.
This is the reason why ALTO which is the extension to METS is necessary for this purpose. This exceptional combination of ALTO and METS was originally created by the famous METAe project. It was later on accepted by the Library of Congress for their National Digital Newspaper Program (NDP). Since then, METS/ALTO is being used in many newspapers and the digitization projects.
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