[GRASS-dev] [SoC] <gsoc2014> <grass metadata> <week 6>

Blumentrath, Stefan Stefan.Blumentrath at nina.no
Thu Jul 3 00:46:30 PDT 2014

Hi Matej,

Thanks for your reply.
Metadata is a current topic I my organization at the moment, so your work comes exactly at the right time for me. Here in NINA people are using many different kinds of GIS software and we are considering introducing GeoNetwork as a central metadata storage solution, which makes metadata management to some extend independent from the GIS software used. Among public and environmental organisations, GeoNetwork is quite popular for metadata management (amongst others Mapping authorities from Netherlands, Switzerland, and the Nordic countries are using it, see also: http://geonetwork-opensource.org/gallery/gallery.html).

I have no real personal experience with GeoNetwor (yet), but from what I read in the documentation I could imagine two ways how GRASS metadata could make their way into such a central metadata catalogue:

1)      XML import (+ this option is in place when GRASS metadata is written to XML, - import requires manual labor)

2)      Metadata harvesting (GeoNetwork can “harvest” metadata from other CSWs, so maybe pycsw already provides automatic an interface in that direction(?). That would be great!)

When it comes to consistent metadata, I guess e.g. lists with values for metadata fields will in practice have to be more or less dynamic (as new staff member are being employed, new topics for spatial analysis arise (requiring new keywords), new types of data being developed and so on). Not sure if manipulating the templates is convenient enough for average users (seems to be mainly suitable for users with some degree of programming experience). However, good to know that providing a custom set of values is already possible through the templates.
If you start working on a DB for metadata related content, feel free to let me know if I can support you by any means (yet I will be on leave for almost the rest of the year, which means I can spend only a limited amount of time).
However, I had a second look on GeoNetwork in this regard, and GeoNetwork is (naturally) using a database for metadata management (one option here is PostgreSQL). If it would be possible to just connect to that same DB (e.g. for fetching and storing key words, data on contact persons…), that would be really, really great, as this ensures that metadata produced in GRASS are 100% compliant to metadata standards used in GeoNetwork (if GRASS users also use GeoNetwork).

Anyway, Rome was not built in a day and I am 100% sure that your work will be very, very useful already from what you planned for GSoC.

All the best,
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