Title: Metadata: Where We Are Now, and Where We Should Be Going
Citation: Proceedings of thr 10th AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science p. 1-7
Publisher: University of Aalborg
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC37012
URI: http://www.plan.aau.dk/~enc/AGILE2007/PDF/93_PDF.pdf
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to review the current state of the art in metadata developments, critically analyse both opportunities and limitations, and suggest new directions for future work in this field. The perspective is primarily European and particularly focused on the geographic domain, although wider issues are discussed where relevant. The main thrust of the paper is that aside from the opportunities provided by technological developments in the ICT field, there are major societal, economic, and legislative drivers pushing for greater transparency of, and access to, information particularly in the public sector. These drivers include legislation on Freedom of Information, Reuse of Public Sector Information (PSI), and more specifically to the environmental and geographic sector, legislation on access to environmental information, and the new directive setting up an infrastructure for spatial information in Europe (INSPIRE). It is the pressure to open up the stores of PSI, and environmental./geographic information for access and use to others than those who collected in the first place that is increasing the visibility of metadata, i.e. the information necessary to discover what information resources exist, who has them and what are the conditions to access and use them. Many international initiatives are therefore converging to provide standards, tools, and technologies to create and manage metadata. Despite this apparent progress however, a number of barriers remain which include the organizational and financial cost of creating and managing metadata, the immaturity of some of the standards, and specifications, and the uncertainty created by constant technological change that makes the case for metadata investment less clear cut. If these are some of the challenges in respect to metadata for data sets, even greater ones are currently being faced by metadata for web services which need to be overcome to allow for (semi) automatic search, retrieval, choosing, and chaining of services to process information resources necessary to respond to a problem.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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