Code List (Flat Vocabulary)

Definition, description and example of a code list

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Definition of Code List

A code list is a type of flat controlled vocabulary consisting of a set of codes and meanings used in a specific project.

Discussion

Like the gazetteer, a code list is a very specific type of vocabulary that allows users to interpret metadata whose labels are abbreviated or represented as numerals or acronyms. The codes could be computer-readable, human-readable, or a hybrid of each.

Example - GCMD Sensors Vocabulary (Instrument Keywords)

  • AIRS > Atmospheric Infrared Sounder
  • AIS > Arizona Imager Spectrograph
  • AMI > Active Microwave Instrument
  • ATM > Airborne Topographic Mapper
  • BIONESS > Bedford Institute of Oceanography Net Environmental Sampling System
  • CAPS > Cloud, Aerosol, Precipitation Spectrometer
  • CERES > Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System
  • CPA > Charged Particle Analyzer
  • CPC > Cloud Particle Counter
  • CRS > Cloud Radar System
  • DIAL > Differential Absorption Lidar
  • EPIC > Energetic Particle and Ion Composition (Geotail)
  • ERB > Earth Radiation Budget
  • GLAS > Geoscience Laser Altimeter System
  • GOLF > Global Oscillations at Low Frequencies
  • GSD > Germanium Semiconductor Detector
  • KBR > K-Band Ranging system
  • LIP > Lightning Instrument Package
  • LIS > Lightning Imaging Sensor
  • MACAWS > Multicenter Airborne Coherent Atmospheric Profiling Wind Sensor
  • MBLA > Multi-Beam Laser Altimeter
  • MWA > Multiple Water Analyzer
  • NMLR > Nebraska Multiband Leaf Radiometer
  • OPC > Optical Plankton Counter
  • ORG > Optical Rain Gauge
  • PALS > Passive and Active L- and S-Band System
  • PARABOLA > Portable Apparatus Rapid Acquisition Bidirectional Observ Land and Atmos
  • ROWS > Radar Ocean Wave Spectrometer
  • SAR > Synthetic Aperture Radar
  • SLAR > Side-Looking Airborne Radar
  • SOPA > Synchronous Orbit Particle Analyzer
  • SOUP > Solar Optical Universal Polarimeter
  • TEAMS > Time of Flight Energy Angle Mass Spectrometer
  • USO > Ultra-Stable Oscillator
  • WFC > Wide Field Camera
  • WS > Wind Scatterometer

This list of codes represents human-readable codes and what they mean. This list is formatted in a very human-friendly way: code > definition.

Example - CDI Sea Search (SeaDataNet) Vocabularies (FTP Site - seasearch_category.csv)

  • "CODE","TITLE"
  • "B005","Bacteria and viruses"
  • "B007","Biota composition"
  • "B015","Birds, mammals and reptiles"
  • "B020","Fish"
  • "B025","Microzooplankton"
  • "B027","Other biological measurements"
  • "B030","Phytoplankton"
  • "B035","Pigments"
  • "B040","Zoobenthos"
  • "B045","Zooplankton"
  • "C003","Amino acids"
  • "C005","Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus"
  • "C010","Carbonate system"
  • "C015","Dissolved gases"
  • "C017","Fatty acids"
  • "C020","Halocarbons (including freons)"
  • "C025","Hydrocarbons"
  • "C030","Isotopes"
  • "C035","Metal concentrations"
  • "C040","Nutrients"
  • "C045","Other inorganic chemical measurements"
  • "C050","Other organic chemical measurements"
  • "C055","PCBs and organic micropollutants"
  • "D005","Acoustics"
  • "D015","Optical properties"
  • "D025","Water column temperature and salinity"
  • "D020","Other physical oceanographic measurements"
  • "D030","Currents"
  • "D032","Sea level"
  • "D034","Waves"
  • "G005","Gravity, magnetics and bathymetry"
  • "G010","Sediment properties"
  • "G012","Sonar and seismics"
  • "G015","Suspended particulate matter"
  • "G020","Sedimentary rock geochemistry and geochronology"
  • "G025","Igneous and metamorphic rock geochemistry and geochronology"
  • "M005","Atmospheric chemistry"
  • "M010","Meteorology"
  • "M015","Cryosphere"
  • "O005","Fluxes"
  • "O010","Rate measurements (including production, excretion and grazing)"
  • "T001","Terrestrial"
  • "Z005","Administration and dimensions"

In this example, the codes are largely computer-readable. Originally formatted as comma-separated values (seasearch_categories.csv) in a text file, this code list provides a human-understandable interpretation of computer-readable codes.

Suggested Citation

Neiswender, C. 2011. "Code List (Flat Vocabulary)." In The MMI Guides: Navigating the World of Marine Metadata. http://marinemetadata.org/guides/vocabs/voctypes/voccat/codelist. Accessed December 14, 2019.