formatLocation vs. formatIdentifier

Written by Mary on Thursday, December 11, 2008

The examples on PBCore website are confusing to me. I am sure you are all shocked by this.

"The descriptor formatIdentifier employs an unambiguous reference or identifier for a particular rendition/instantiation of a media item." source: Here's an example of formatIdentifier from that same page: Room 217: Section C: Shelf 5 How in the world is that a format identifier? Do they never put anything else on that shelf? That sounds like formatLocation to me, but I am hung up on formatLocation for reasons detailed below. So I am trying to figure out where to put two strings of data that both belong (as far as I am concerned) in formatLocation In the trial conservation database I made, I had formatLocation strings that looked like 0200-02-02419, Media Vault, Aisle 2, row 3, shelf 2 (where the number is the 2inch location code and the rest is the shelf info) or 1612-02-00784 1/2, Media Vault, Aisle 6, section 6 (where the number is the 16mm location code and the rest is the shelf info) So then I wanted to run a query to select everything in a given section and (I am a sql novice, I admit) I couldn't figure out how unless I separated the data into two fields. But you can't repeat formatLocation. What to do? (i.e, I wanted to run the query SELECT * FROM INSTANTIATION WHERE FORMATLOCATION = 'Media Vault, Aisle 6, section 6') Sorry, people, I am sure you have better things to do than do my cataloging for me...


  • Dave Rice said on 12/11 at 10:34 AM

    Hi Mary, I agree that “Room 217: Section C: Shelf 5” is confusing. Perhaps the record fully defines the shelf’s contents as one asset.
    In some systems (like the one at Democracy Now) formatLocation and formatIdentifer (where the formatIdentifierSource is a particular authority) are the same, one code uniquely idenifies the tape and its corresponding location, but these are two different concepts that don’t need to be managed by the same id.
    At WNET a particular tape may have lots of formatIdentifiers and formatIdentifierSources:
    13AR-000013/Digital Archive Barcode
    u182/Broadcast Tape Automation Label
    90210/WNET Digitization Lab
    7/Production Group
    but that tape (instantiation) only has one formatLocation which could be “Box 29”, “Car Glove Compartment”, Aisle 4/Shelf 2, etc.
    Ideally an instantiation could gain further formatIdentifiers if it interacts with other systems, for instance if you send it out to a digitization lab they may assign their own id under their own authority which you could then track as well. However the formatIdentifiers wouldn’t change. Over time the formatLocation would change. For instance if you move everything from ‘Aisle2/ShelfB’ to ‘Offsite Box 52’ then it’s a find and replace to formatLocation while formatIdentifiers don’t get touched.

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