John Graybeal

Metadata Extensions and Profiles

Customizing metadata standards with extensions and profiles

The Common Standards guide describes widely used standards for projects seeking a generic metadata approach. These standards were generally created for broad application, and thus usually represent the lowest common set of metadata that applies to many disciplines. These standards provide an organized way to represent many of the general characteristics of a dataset.

Semantic Mappings

The term semantic mapping as applied to metadata is a visual or tabular strategy for establishing the relationships of vocabulary terms between data sets.

Basic Relationships

When creating mappings among vocabulary terms, the mapping organization requires a good set of basic relationships. The most common relationship, “is the same as,” is usually too narrow to adequately map all terms.

Metadata Classifications

In developing data systems, a number of categories have been used for metadata. This guide explains a few of these and some of their strengths and weaknesses.

Definition of Metadata

Metadata are used to describe data or information. In environmental sciences like oceanography, metadata describe the information that scientists collect and informs users about the characteristics and history of a data set or data item—including methodological, temporal and spatial information.

The word metadata is sometimes used in a singular form (metadata is). We use the plural (metadata are). Both are in common usage, though in the sciences it’s typically used in the plural.


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