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Creating and using the urgent metadata catalogue and thesaurus

, : Creating and using the urgent metadata catalogue and thesaurus. Science of the Total Environment 360(1-3): 223-232

The Urban Regeneration and the Environment Research Programme (URGENT) required a system for cataloguing its datasets and enabling its scientific community to discover what data were available to it. This community was multidisciplinary in nature and therefore needed a range of facilities for searching. Of particular importance were facilities to help those unfamiliar with specialist terminology.To meet these needs, four applications were designed and developed: a Metadata Capture Tool for describing datasets in compliance with the National Geospatial Data Framework (NGDF) standard, a Term Entry Tool for creating an ISO compliant thesaurus, a Thesaurus Builder for merging thesauri and a Search Tool. To encourage users to help in cataloguing data, the capture tools were written as stand alone applications, which users could keep and use to build their own metadatabases. The tools contained export and import facilities that allowed the URGENT Data Centre to build a central database and publish it upon the web. During the development work, it was found necessary to extend the NGDF standard as it could not adequately describe time variant or 3-D atmospheric datasets.The four applications met their design objectives. However, a number of ergonomic issues will need to be addressed if the system is to meet the needs of the much larger up coming programmes. The main challenges will be moving from the NGDF standard to the ISO standard, hence bringing the work into line with the recommendations of the INSPIRE Project, and merging the metadatabase with the scientific database, which enable metadata maintenance to be semi-automated. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


PMID: 16316676

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.08.036

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