shrug-l: Metadata literature question

Jordan,Jonathan D jjordan at ufl.edu
Wed Apr 11 11:20:44 EDT 2007


For examples (variously "good, bad, and ugly") a good place to start
would be the metadata files that come with published datasets, either
integrated to some degree with the data file, or as a
standardized-format ancillary file, or minimalist Readme_First file.
The GIS-ready datasets on the DEP and Water Management District websites
have nice metadata that addresses spatial description,
processing-history information, and intended usage among other things.
Other examples can be found for federal agencies-particularly USGS,
NASA, USDA, etc.  Sometimes the metadata portion that fits all the
datasets of a given type is also posted for convenient user-preview on a
sort of "boilerplate" section of the download page.  I occasionally come
across examples of incomplete, or worst-of-all botched metadata (the
most amusing sort reads like a snack label-"may contain coordinates from
one or more of the following systems..."), but this sort of thing
appears most often in third-hand gift-horses, in which case there is no
standing for complaint (just file the stuff under T for toxic), or in
subcontracted stuff from providers that at least fix it afterwards and
learn from their mistakes.  

 

Some of the recent-years NASA image data types provide good examples of
elaborate metadata, even multiple layers of it-corresponding to separate
stages of processing (Level 0, Level 1R, Level 1G, etc.) and
distribution ("the coordinates as you ordered for this dataset's
subsetting and resampling", "the spectral calibration details for the
calibration set that you selected for this run", etc.).  There is a
menagerie of terminology for the various kinds of such metadata, some of
which is used only by people working behind-the-curtain (software
hooks-structural metadata, identifiers, etc.), some of which is parsed
back-n-forth (suitable for ingest/SQL operations), and some of which is
intended for the end-user to read (such as cloud-cover quality and
sensor gain settings).  For the case of Landsat-7 ETM+ image products,
if you order say a L1G dataset in HDF format, you will get a dataset
containing sections called MTA (metadata frozen at L0R processing stage)
and MTP (metadata frozen at L1G processing stage), in addition to the
structural-metadata (spatial/temporal) contained within the HDF data
sections (grid, vdata, etc.), and you can perform a separate search for
the optimal CPF (post-proc "kitchen sink" calibration info file which
bakes to readiness by installments over a period of a few weeks after
the L0R dataset was captured and archived).  The MTA, MTP, and CPF are
machine/human readable (you can use officeware to view them, which gets
easier on the eyes as you get used to the ODL style); to view the
structural types requires HDF tools (either full-blown HDF toolkits out
of NCSA or NASA, or simpler utilities like NASA's EOSView, unless your
image-proc software *fully* supports HDF with viewing functionality for
such details, which is rare).  Of course, one also needs to download the
accompanying technical documents (L1G DFCB, L0R DFCB, CPF Definition,
etc.) in order to get a full understanding of the definition, field
type, notation, units, and valids for each attribute.  All this may
sound like a lot of fuss (addressing FGDC content and then some) for
those accustomed to using images as raster-backdrops only, but for
science-side imagery-users it represents a huge improvement over the
"pre-launch coefficients typed on a 3x5 card" era.  

 

Good hunting,

 

Jack Jordan

Asst. Scientist

UF-IFAS-CRS

(352) 392-1864 x 279

jjordan at ufl.edu

 

 

"Mostly harmless" - D. Adams.

 

 

________________________________

From: shrug-l-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us
[mailto:shrug-l-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Wolfe,
Heather
Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2007 9:47 AM
To: shrug-l at lists.dep.state.fl.us
Subject: shrug-l: Metadata literature question

 

 

I am creating a metadata class for Seminole County users and have had
LOTS of fun wading through the legalese of the FDGC standards. :) I
finally got the standards and keyword thesaurus done and am creating the
class. However, I am having trouble finding ANY literature on metadata
to use as source material other than the aforesaid legalese, the
excellent example of the SJRWMD metadata, and a PowerPoint from someone
within our county. I did not see anything on the ESRI site (maybe I
missed something?) Can anyone refer me to any published metadata
instruction other than the FDGC standards, especially more examples of
practical application of FDGC standards?

Thanks, 
Heather Wolfe
Sr. GIS Analyst, Planning & Development
Seminole County Government
1101 E. First St.
Sanford, FL 32771

Office 407-665-7378
Fax 407-665-7412
HWolfe at seminolecountyfl.gov
www.seminolecountyfl.gov <file:///\\www.seminolecountyfl.gov> 

 

 

-****Florida has a very broad Public Records Law. Virtually all written
communications to or from State and Local Officials and employees are
public records available to the public and media upon request. Seminole
County policy does not differentiate between personal and business
emails. E-mail sent on the County system will be considered public and
will only be withheld from disclosure if deemed confidential pursuant to
State Law.****-

 

-****Florida has a very broad Public Records Law. Virtually all written
communications to or from State and Local Officials and employees are
public records available to the public and media upon request. Seminole
County policy does not differentiate between personal and business
emails. E-mail sent on the County system will be considered public and
will only be withheld from disclosure if deemed confidential pursuant to
State Law.****-

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