OWS Metadata Matters

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:

Service Metadata

  • 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)

Content Metadata

  • 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.

Funeral news from newrestfunerals.co.uk said:
‘Mourners buried under a bridge for the lost’

A group of members of London’s funeral procession paid their respects to a man and his mother at the Royal Greenwich Cathedral where they lost a loved one to cancer

The two sisters and their daughter, who was buried the same night, were buried at the Royal Greenwich Cathedral, where he passed away last weekend.

Grieve: The two sisters and their daughter, who was buried the same night, were buried at the Royal Greenwich Cathedral, where he passed away last weekend

At the bottom of the stairs of the church, you can see a cemeterie. It looked like an Indian wedding feast to the first group and there were candles and flowers on the ceiling.

The funeral family were in their homes in London but only a brief family procession was in progress.

The group had gathered in a cemeterie outside the cathedral and the coffin was handed over to the funeral director.

The funeral director also handed in to the British Transport Police and they placed the coffin in a safe house at Queen’s Park, New York.

The couple went to the funeral home and their body was found on the day of the operation.

Casket search: ‘Mourners raised at arms pace’

No word on a cause of death or why they died but the couple’s family said in a statement.

Bye bye useless searches!

4 Comments so far »

  1. sophia said,

    Wrote on February 5, 2009 @ 19:33:04

    Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6 Mac OS X 10

    things never change: http://weblogs.java.net/blog/jive/archive/2005/10/making_up_for_1.html

    Posted from United States United States
    Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6 Mac OS X 10
  2. Jody Garnett said,

    Wrote on February 6, 2009 @ 00:28:44

    Google Chrome Windows Vista

    A very good point 🙂 If I can recommend writing up a “before” and “after” example to illustrate the difference your advice makes 🙂

    Now here is the trick question; a lot of the poorly titled “Road_1M” examples comes out of help applications like GeoServer that try and fill in a nice default value – so people can work with their data sooner. What kind of balance can we strike between ease of use and and asking users to be descriptive?

    Posted from Australia Australia
    Google Chrome Windows Vista
  3. tomkralidis said,

    Wrote on February 8, 2009 @ 19:22:26

    Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6 Mac OS X 10

    For example, check out the EMAN WMS. Copious metadata. In the sense of OGC Catalogues, searching for “frogs” or “toads” will return their FrogWatch layer given their metadata. If they had no title/abstract/keywords, and their layer was simply named “FrogWatch”, there would be no results (well, in a simple PropertyIsEqualTo kind of way).

    I realize, though, that the above example doesn’t make for a sexy story to make people jump at their metadata editors 🙂

    One thing that we can do is more front end tools for OWS software setup/config/admin (I like GeoServer’s admin panel for this) in the form of helpers. Have a status check for title/abstract/keywords (red X’s if they aren’t filled out, warnings if they are extremely short). Have links to existing thesauri for keyword population if the user has none. Preprocessing MBRs for layer extents. That sort of thing.

    Perhaps a GeoServer plugin for “OWS pedantic” mode 🙂

    Posted from Canada Canada
    Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6 Mac OS X 10
  4. tomkralidis said,

    Wrote on February 9, 2009 @ 19:34:14

    Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6 Mac OS X 10

    Another Layer Metadata suggestion: if your data is scale dependent, set MinScaleDenominator and MaxScaleDenominator accordingly. This enables searching by scale, as well as smart clients being able to call your scale-dependent layer only when they are in range.

    Posted from Canada Canada
    Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6 Mac OS X 10

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Modified: 7 November 2022 17:45:12 EST