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The production, validation, and management of metadata records can be challenging and time consuming. A number of content sources, formats, storage structures and standards exist and change over time. Metadata creation is often further impeded by complex of metadata standards and a variety of available tool-sets.
Metadata 'the documentation of data' can be represented in a number of standards and formats apart from the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM) and its profiles. Some standards predate the FGDC CSDGM, and others were created to meet the specific needs of particular communities. To support data management and data discovery systems, and to capture and convey information to users, many discipline-specific or community-specific metadata standards have been developed. Examples include Directory Interchange Format (DIF), Ecological Metadata Language (EML), Sensor Model Language (SensorML), Climate Science Modeling Language (CSML), and NetCDF Markup Language (NcML). Additionally, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed a series of standards to describe geographic information. This collection of standards has created interoperability and compatibility issues. Many existing conventional metadata creation and validation methods do not address these issues.
The ability to take the necessary information and render it in a form and standard that the client/user/consumer needs is critical for the data's discovery, access, use, and preservation. Extensible Markup Language (XML) techniques are being applied to automate metadata creation and translation and to provide a way to overcome numerous obstacles to producing and maintaining relevant metadata.
The process for using XML includes developing a representative document of what a source (e.g., a data model) contains, and mapping that source to a representative document of a desired output, or target. These representative documents are called schemas (e.g. xsd file extension). This mapping between the source schema and the target schema defines a transform (xslt file extension). The transform is then applied to the source XML to create the desired output. Programmatic metadata generation provides many other benefits, such as reduced effort, consistency, enhanced accuracy, and improved efficiency.
NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information Initiatives
The development and implementation of XML technologies to support metadata creation, management, translation, and publication directly supports and improves data discovery and access.
The fine-tuning of these XML technologies (i.e. transforms and style sheets) takes collaborative input to ensure the accuracy and success of the transform products. The NCEI's Metadata Team has worked closely with the FGDC Metadata Working Group , NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS), Geophysical Data Center (NCEI at Boulder), Oceanographic Data Center (NCEI at Silver Spring), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and various other organizations to establish a collaborative Metadata Transform Working Group. The focus of this group, for the time being, is to work collaboratively to build transforms using XSLT 2.0 based techniques that can be shared and exploited in transitioning existing metadata to other standards, such as FGDC, North American Profile and ISO. Due to the high volume of requests for XPath 1.0, a few products are being made available.
For more information, please contact the POC listed above, along the right column of the page.
The goal of this collaborative effort is to build standards-compliant metadata transforms and libraries that support various conversions efforts, and best practices for their applications. The collaboration will benefit not only NOAA but also the greater metadata community, resulting in a coherent and complete package of products to transition the 'documentation of data' among many metadata standards.
To date, the following products have been checked by the Metadata Transform Working Group and are considered 'close to finalized'. Revised versions will be posted here as they are available. To support this collaborative effort, any questions or comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org to be passed along to the working group.
- FGDC CSDGM to ISO Transform (567 KB) - This product transforms FGDC-STD-001-1998 XML into ISO 19115-2:2009(E) XML
- FGDC CSDGM to ISO Crosswalk (92 KB) - This is a crosswalk from FGDC CSDGM to ISO 19115 which provides comments for suggested best practices and incorporates feature catalogs (ISO 19110) and coordinate reference systems (ISO 19111).
- ISO XML to HTML View (6 KB) - This product takes ISO 19115 and 19115-2 XML and produces HTML similar to FGDC HTML view with the title and links to the main sections in a header.
- FGDC BIO to ISO Transform (920 KB) - This product transforms FGDC-STD-001.1-1999 XML into ISO 19115-2:2009(E) XML.
- FGDC BIO to ISO Crosswalk (106 KB) - This is a crosswalk from FGDC Biological Profile to ISO 19115 which incorporates feature catalogs (ISO 19110) and coordinate reference systems (ISO 19111). The goal of this crosswalk is to document the transform developed by the working group between FGDC-STD-001.1-1999 and ISO 19115:2003. Please pay special attention to italicized comments.
- FGDC RSE to ISO Transform (790 KB) - This product transforms FGDC-STD-12-2002 XML into ISO 19115-2:2009(E) XML.
- FGDC Section 5 to ISO Feature Catalogue Transform (25 KB) - This product transforms FGDC Section 5 metadata, Entity and Attributes, into the ISO 19110 Feature Catalogue.
- FGDC-STD-001-1998 Schema (32 KB) - This compressed archive file contains an updated FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM) FGDC-STD-001-1998 schema. Updates are documented within the schema. This schema consists of 11 .xsd files once unzipped. FGDC-STD-001-1998.xsd is the master, which includes the .xsd file associated with each section of the standard. The FGDC-STD-001-1998 .xsd files have been edited. The edits include corrected errors, edited domains, and extended annotation.
- FGDC-STD-001.1 1999 Schema (37 KB) - This compressed archive file contains an updated FGDC Biological Profile FGDC-STD-001.1-1999 schema. Updates are documented within the schema, which consists of 11 .xsd files once unzipped. FGDC-STD-001.1-1999.xsd, the master file, includes the .xsd file associated with each section of the standard. The edits include corrected errors, edited domains, and extended annotation.
- FGDC-STD-001.2 2001 Schema (34 KB) - This compressed archive file contains an updated FGDC Shoreline Profile FGDC-STD-001.2-2001 schema. Updates are documented within the schema. This schema consists of 11 .xsd files once unzipped. FGDC-STD-001.2-2001.xsd is the master file that includes the .xsd file associated with each section of the standard.
- FGDC-STD-012-2002 Schema (43 KB) - This compressed archive file contains an updated FGDC Remote Sensing Extensions FGDC-STD-012-2002 schema. Updates are documented within the schema. This schema consists of 14 .xsd files once unzipped. FGDC-STD-012-2002.xsd is the master file that includes the .xsd file associated with each section of the standard. The edits include corrected errors, edited domains, and extended annotation.
- NOAA Technical Memorandum (52 KB) - Draft NOAA Technical Memorandum (NODC-NCDDC-1) "Automated Metadata Generation Using Extensible Markup Language (XML) Techniques".
NCEI and Partner Activities that Employ XML Technologies
- West Coast Observing System - WCOS is an end-to-end data management system created in partnership with NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries . Ecological Metadata Language (EML) metadata records are transformed (XSLT) to FGDC CSDGM metadata records.
- Florida Geospatial Assessment of Marine Ecosystems - GAME records were converted to FGDC CSDGM metadata, transformed (XSLT) and ingested into MERMAid. This effort involved mapping a database schema to FGDC metadata elements, developing the XSLTs to support the mapping, and applying the XSLTs to an XML representation of the database, creating the final FGDC CSDGM metadata records.
- Louisiana Department of Natural Resources - LDNR's Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, Applied Coastal Engineering and Science (LACES) Division partnered with NCEI-MS to map databases of coastal data and build transformations (XSLT's) to support the generation of FGDC CSGDM metadata for all LNDR Strategic Online Natural Resources Information System (SONRIS) coastal data.