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Quo Vadis Geospatial Metadata?

Martin Seiler

(Submission #389)


Meta information – the information describing datasets and services - play a crucial role in the concept of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) and provide a backbone for interoperability.

In the INSPIRE-context this is acknowledged in chapter II of directive 2007/2/EC and detailed in Implementation Regulation EC 1205/2008. While this legal basis provides rather abstract requirements for provision of metadata elements, further agreements on encodings are required for actual interoperability on a technical level. As metadata of identified INSPIRE-datasets and -services were the first INSPIRE-deliverable, (2010 onwards), a first version of a technical encoding guideline (“Technical Guideline (TG) Metadata”) was published in 2008. The document was revised and restructured by MIWP-8 during 2015. A version 2.0 shall be published during 2016. The INSPIRE Metadata TGs are based on several international standards, most notably: ISO 19115:2003, ISO 19119:2005, ISO 19139:2007. The exchange of geospatial metadata in INSPIRE, as defined by the document “Technical Guidance for the implementation of INSPIRE Discovery Services”, is realized through the OGC Catalogue Services Specification, version 2.0.2 and an accompanying “INSPIRE-Profile” of CSW ISO AP 1.0. These standards, specifications and related XML-schemas have several shortcomings and ambiguities that hamper implementation of Technical Guidance documents and hence efficient, interoperable SDIs. Furthermore standardization bodies are working on new specifications regarding metadata models, encoding and exchange that are not necessarily backwards compatible to existing implementations (ISO 19115-1:2014, 19115-2:XXXX, 19115-3:XXXX, 19119:2016, 19139-1:XXXX, OGC CSW 3.0). The GeoDCAT-AP provides an RDF syntax binding for the union of metadata elements defined in the core profile of ISO 19115:2003 and those defined in INSPIRE and hence opens a path to the Linked Data universe.

This presentation states the point that INSPIRE metadata specification on basis of legacy standards has reached a deadlock, which makes it difficult - if not impossible - to fix current issues in INSPIRE metadata implementation. It also outlines the difficulties and implications of adopting new metadata standards in the context of INSPIRE and SDIs.

We are about to reach an important turning point in the way we describe our geospatial datasets and services through metadata. This presentation shall initialize a discussion on possible transition strategies in this matter.


Topic Area:  [2.9] Challenges and approaches to standardization of data and interoperability of systems.
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

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