northumbria university geospatial metadata workshop 20110505

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Presented by Tony Mathys at Northumbria University on 5 May 2011


  • 1. Geospatial Metadata and Spatial Data WorkshopNorthumbria University School of the Built and Natural Environment

2. Workshop Programme

  • Background information
  • Metadata, standards and application profiles
  • UK Academic Geospatial Metadata Application Profile, Version 2.1 (UK AGMAP 2.1) and guidelines
  • Geodoc Metadata Editor tool, Go-Geo! portal and other resources
  • ShareGeo Open spatial data repository
  • Look at current and future activities
  • Geodoc Metadata Editor tool, Go-Geo! portal and ShareGeo Open spatial data repository

3. Background

  • three decades of GIS and spatial
  • data capture technology
  • an eclectic range of academic
  • disciplines using GIS as a
  • research and teaching tool
  • considerable cost and time
  • invested in spatial data creation
  • *2006 spatial data audit at
  • 4 universities: +500 dataset files,
  • 100s of orphan datasets
  • Requires a spatial data management,
  • discovery and sharing solution
  • delivered through portal technology
  • andmetadata .

4. So what isMETADATA ?

  • The word appears to be of Greek and Latin origin

butmetadatarepresents something completely different Photographic Images copyright: Jupiter Images 2006 5. Photographic Images copyright: Jupiter Images 2006 and its not sun and holiday 6. Represents a documented and ordered summary of information that describes something, in this case, spatial data. Provides theWhat, Where, Whenand Whyfor a spatial dataset. Includes itsOwnershipandContact (Who)details andAccessandUseconditions.Metadata (data describing data) 7. Whatare theingredients? Wherewere ingredients produced? Whosells the ingredients? Whatare the brewing steps? Whendoes thefermentationprocess end? Photographic Images copyright: Jupiter Images 2006Think of metadata as a recipe for making beer. 8. metadata 9. Think of metadata as food product labelling. Whatare theingredients? Whatis the nutritional value? Howmany calories andhowmuch fat? Whenis this products expiry date? Wherewas it produced? Whoproduced it? 10. metadata 11.

  • Whereis the datasets study area?
  • Whenwere the data collected?
  • Why was this dataset created?
  • type of application?
  • spatial reference system?
  • spatial accuracy?
  • processes or algorithms used?
  • Whocreated the dataset?

Can you tell me from any of these files.. Now think of metadata as spatial data labelling. 12. Whatdo these polygons represent?Whatattribute informationis associated with these polygons? 13. Whatdo theseSOILCLASSvalues mean? Whatdoes thisattribute mean? 14. metadata 15. The importance of geospatial metadata

  • Local Data Management

Metadata Record Spatial DatasetDirectory orRepository Spatial Datasets Metadata Directory 16.

  • Geoportal : an interface to run searches on the internet and local catalogues to locate geographical resources, and to discover metadata records representing spatial data and geo services.

Geoportal MetadataRecord Spatial Datasets and Geo-services Spatial Data Discovery via a Geoportal 17. Ageoportalenables users to search and discover spatial data via metadata usingfree text ,resource type ,geographic location (co-ordinate and placename) anddate . 18. Discovering spatial data through metadata offers theprospect of developing new applications 19. Contours Raster Map Draped 3D Model and creating new datasets Crown Copyright/database right 2008 Crown Copyright/database right 2008 Crown Copyright/database right 2008 20. Other benefits: data protection Photographic Images copyright: Jupiter Images 2006 21.

  • protects investments of time and cost dedicated to
  • dataset creation and development;
  • maintains an inventory of datasets to reduce time required to
  • re-assess existing datasets for new and future applications;
  • ensures integrity of existing and new datasets using metadataas a tracking mechanism to monitor changes and edits to datasets;
  • reduces and minimises the disruptive effects of staff
  • turnover;
  • eliminates or reduces the risk of redundancy in dataset collection;
  • saves against accidental deletion of dataset files.

Metadata creation 22.

  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
  • residual licensed data rights for derived data
  • concerns over data quality (data creator and user)
  • liability fears
  • privacy and security
  • time and cost for data delivery
  • data transformation and harmonisation (scale, positional accuracy projections, formats)
  • legacy data
  • time and cost to anonymise data for release
  • time and cost for metadata record (descriptive level) updates
  • portal and repository performance, maintenance and enhancementcosts
  • data archiving
  • data and software warehousing issues
  • long-term commitment and investment in the infrastructure
  • revisions to changes in standards
  • confusion about standards compliance and which standard to use

Many concerns remain (metadata and data) 23. Metadata standards

  • provide precise specifications;
  • enforce and ensure consistency and interoperability;
  • define and describe metadata entities and data elements;
  • classify and group relevant metadata elements with entities;
  • assign structure and conditions (obligations, data type, domain).

24. Dublin Core (ISO 15836)

  • Dublin Core: 15 elements to facilitate simple resource discovery in a networked environment (e.g. internet or library)

Photographic Images copyright: Jupiter Images 2006 25. Geospatial metadata standards

  • Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM)introduced in mid 1990s for documenting spatial datasets.
  • ISO 19115 Metadata Standard for Geographic Information was ratified in 2003 and supersedes FGDC.

Geospatial metadata standards are critical for supporting metadata creation and 26. Other ContentProviders UK Location Programme Network Geo-data Gateway Geoportal portal interoperability and search capabilities across the internet. User Local Go-Geo! database 27. Centre for Ecologyand Hydrology (CEH) National EnvironmentResearch Council (NERC) National Soil ResourcesInstitute (NSRI) 28. Geospatial Metadata Application Profiles

  • ISO 19115 standard has too many elements (300+)

29. * An application profile is derived from a standard and represents areduction of the number of entities and elements. * It should include the core element set of a standard to support interoperability across the wider geospatial community( Discoverylevelmetadata). * Perhaps include elements forDescriptivelevel metadata? * A profile can be extended to include elements which are best suited for a working groups specific applications. Example:The Biological Data Profile (BDP) An approved profile with additional elements to document biological information such astaxonomy ,methodologyandanalytical tools . 30. Creating application profiles from ISO 19115 ISO 19115 Metadata Standard ISO 19115 Core Element Set Application Profiles Academia( 43+ 47=90) Public Sector ( 43+ 62=105) Private Sector ( 43+ 12=55) 300+ elements 43elements Environmental Sciences Specialised APs * INSPIRE Directive Metadata Guidelines * UK GEMINI 2.1 , an INSPIRE compliantgeospatial metadata standard for the UK * ANZLIC Metadata Profile * North American Application Profile (NAP), Canada and the US Archaeology Biological Sciences Geo Sciences History Health Informatics 31. Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community(INSPIRE) *European Commission (EC) *European EnvironmentAgency (EEA) *Representatives fromMember States (Mapping/GIS) INSPIRE Directive Metadata Guidelines 32. INSPIRE Directive [2007 /2/ EC]

  • T argets electronic spatial data and services for environmental information.
  • Aims to create a European Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) based on Member States infrastructures, to improve interoperability of spatial information.
  • These data and services to be delivered through initiatives across Europe.
  • INSPIRE Regulations 2009 No 3157 came into force on 31 December 2009 and applies to England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
  • Scotlands Parliament enacted a complementary regulation which came into force on the same date.
  • Public authorities will be obliged to produce and keep up to date metadata for describing datasets, dataset series and geo services.
  • Includes UK academia as it must comply with the Freedom of Information Act, 2000.


  • Provide metadata catalogues to reveal what information is available.


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