Metadata for Architectural Contents in Europe

© Fraunhofer FIT

MACE connects the most prominent large digital architecture archives world-wide, thus bringing together resources about realized and planned architectural projects, and opens these archives to the interested public. In addition to finding, accessing and using respective contents, MACE also supports the inspiration of architects and improves their education.

The resources of the archives are related to each other using a unifying metadata schema to describe the contents. MACE makes use of latest standard technology for advanced automatic and manual metadata generation, using specific information retrieval technology as well as web 2.0-oriented approaches. The description of the learning resources includes domain metadata and classifications, but also incorporates learning process and design metadata and makes use of usage and social information. Based on the seamless integration of these various types of metadata, MACE enables easy access to and the relation of architectural learning resources across repository boundaries. For example, relations among resources are established using information about the type of building, the location or architect or its classification.

The MACE platform is based on the provision of unified descriptions (metadata) of architectural resources. The combination of the different types of metadata about the resources, e.g. the domain knowledge, the usage, the competences and the social net in communities, enables new ways of access to architectural resources that enable explorative learning scenarios, structure-based search and image-oriented browsing.

The MACE platform is realized entirely on common standards so that compatibility with existing and new repositories is ensured. Examples of standards used include IEEE LOM, OAI-PMH, SOAP, WSDL etc. where FIT provides a strong background within the project. Using a service-oriented architecture, the system is scalable and allows the distribution of services to different computer systems.

A tight integration of the partners with university and industry ensures the uptake and fostering of requirements of the users of MACE. For example, MACE takes into account multi-cultural aspects and offers multi-lingual access to learning resources.

MACE was an EC-funded project in the eContentplus program.