Data: what matters? Part 1
There were several pieces of information I wanted to track beyond what was on the items themselves. I added data elements for an “item type”, an outer packaging description, and a list of characters depicted. Item type will be refined over time as more exhibits get posted. With outer packaging, I was originally going to get very detailed, using industry terminology where known, but I decided to keep it simple.
I also needed some way of identifying the exhibits, and decided on an exhibit number. I came up with a simple variation of an accession number. I used the two-digit year the exhibit was posted (rather than acquired), followed by a period, followed by a sequential number for exhibits posted that year.
Once I decided to use WordPress, I learned about “categories” and “tags”, and tried to figure out how to store my data elements in them. This was not doable, but then I discovered the WordPress custom field and taxonomy functionality. (My understanding is that taxonomies allow posts to be filtered, but fields do not. If someone more familiar with WordPress would like to provide a better definition, please do so in the comments!) So my next task was to go back through my list of data elements and decide whether each should be a field or a taxonomy. I made manufacturer, copyright date, item type and characters depicted into taxonomies, because I felt visitors might want to browse the exhibits in those ways. I debated making country of origin and outer packaging into taxonomies, but decided against it. Taxonomies are used to create the “Browse Collection By” trees in the left navigation bar.
After I made all these decisions, I discovered the online collections of The Strong National Museum of Play. The only Richie Rich item that comes up on their search is the Big Spender set by JA-RU Inc., which I will be posting in the future. I was pleased to note that my layout was very similar to theirs, with only minor differences in naming the data elements. They refer to the group of data elements as the “interpretive information” for the exhibit, and I think that name works very well. I may use it in future posts.
The last post in this series will discuss the post/page structure used and data elements set up for navigation.Conclusion…