Discipline-Specific Standards for the Marine Community

The following describes some standards that have been created for specific topics relevant to the marine community. We use the term standard here in its more general sense to include full standards, as well as extensions and profiles.

Marine Community Profile of ISO 19115

This profile was developed by the Joint Facility Australian Oceanographic Data Centre and covers the topic of oceanographic data sets related to sea-going collections. It was proposed (draft version 1.3 August 2007) as the basis for an International Oceanographic Data Exchange (IODE) Marine Community Profile. If accepted, this profile would become the metadata profile used by the international oceanographic community working under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations.

The profile defines several extensions to ISO 19115 that are divided into three categories:

  1. The addition of metadata elements that describe the temporal aspects of both the metadata and the data. This includes when the metadata record was last revised, how frequently a sample was taken, whether the data are aggregated over a specified time span such as weekly or monthly, and whether the dataset in question is the most up-to-date version.
  2. Changes in element conditions to allow the profile to specifically address traditional procedures for oceanographic data collection. This includes making an element that is optional in the core standard mandatory in the profile. For example, oceanographic data are often identified using some type of unique numbering system. The profile makes the fileIdentifier element mandatory rather than optional, thus uniquely identifying the metadata record. This is critical when large numbers of metadata descriptions are distributed among interested parties, as it allows the parties to identify unique or non-unique descriptions. The geographicElement and temporalElement have also been made mandatory if the resource being described is a data set. This change makes mandatory the description of the temporal and geographic extent of the data set, thus directly associating the data set with a traditional sea-going collection.
  3. Changes in code lists to help the metadata author describe the temporal currency of the data set. In ISO 19115 terminology, a code list is a controlled vocabulary for the content of a particular metadata element. In this profile, the currency code list defines "most recent," "historical," and "predicted" as types of temporal currency. A code list is also defined for the temporal aggregation of the data with values such as "day," "multi-day," "week," "month," etc.

FGDC CSDGM Profile for shoreline data

The FGDC CSDGM has been used by the coastal shoreline and biological communities in the US to define an application-specific profile that clarifies important aspects of shoreline data. These important specifics result in modifications to the CSDGM standard related to both occurrence and domain.

In many cases, the metadata elements related to time have been changed from "mandatory if applicable" or "optional" to "mandatory." This change highlights time as a critical component in the collection of shoreline data.

Other domain changes continue to emphasize the importance of time. The restriction of some metadata element content to be specific to local time is intended to increase consistency across metadata descriptions. Domain changes were also made in the area of horizontal and vertical positional accuracy reports and explanations. These changes specifically relate the explanatory text to the US National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy (NSSDA). This relationship is intended to encourage or enforce compliance with the positional accuracy steps outlined in the NSSDA.

Metadata elements were also added. Again, these specifics are directed at important aspects of the conditions that could impact the resulting data set. The added elements include information on tidal conditions, weather conditions, and environmental events. Tidal information data include type and time of the tide, while the weather condition elements include wind speed and direction, wave height, and barometric pressure.

The environmental event descriptor is used to document substantial events (for example, hurricanes) that have recently taken place in or near the data collection site. All of these factors are important metadata descriptors that help potential users assess the data set for their particular application.

Suggested Citation

Isenor, A. 2011. "Discipline-Specific Standards for the Marine Community." In The MMI Guides: Navigating the World of Marine Metadata. http://marinemetadata.org/guides/mdatastandards/comstds/disciplinespecificprofandext. Accessed December 12, 2019.