This has seemingly been the theme for me in the last few weeks. From publishing to discovery, lack of metadata in OWS endpoints results in increased metadata management away from source, as well as crappy search results.
So here’s some friendly advice:
- fill out title, abstract (representative of the OWS as a whole) with descriptive metadata
- fill out keywords to categorize the service. If possible, use a known thesaurus, or one specific to your organization. Don’t use keywords like “OGC”; we already know it’s an OGC service from the get-go by interacting with it
- fill out contact information. OWS Common defines ServiceProvider metadata constructs, so if your organization has a service provider dishing out your OWS, they belong in this metadata. This is a contact person for the service itself, not the data
- fill out Fees and AccessConstraints. If there aren’t any, use the term “None”
- the OnlineResource for Service Metadata might be some website, not the URL of the service itself (we already get this from the OperationsMetadata)
- fill in title, abstract and keywords in the same manner as above, specific to the given Layer/FeatureType/Coverage/ObservationOffering. A title like “ROAD_1M” doesn’t cut it
- your data comes with an FGDC or ISO 19115 XML document already, right? Use MetadataURL to point to the XML document. Smart catalogues will harvest this too and associate it with the resource
- WMS DataURL: if the data can be downloaded online (tgz/zip/etc.), point to it here. Or, put a pointer to an access service like WFS/WCS/SOS
- WMS Layer Attribution: this provides reference to the content provider (URL, title and LogoURL). Filling in LogoURL is neat as catalogues can display this when users search for content. If possible, use an image of smaller dimensions so as to display as a thumbnail
- Last but not least, bounding boxes. Whether your OWS software automagically calculates these per layer on the fly, or you can override these and set before runtime, please set spatial extents accordingly. This improves searching spatially by leaps and bounds. Don’t settle for the often used default of -180, -90, 180, 90 unless it is really a global dataset
From here, OGC Catalogues will be able to harvest your metadata and provide useful search results. For wider spread discovery, throw an OpenSearch definition in front of your CSW. Wrap your OWS endpoints in KML/GeoRSS documents (Geo Sitemaps too), and you’ll power mainstream use of your stuff.
Bye bye useless searches!