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Automating Geospatial Dataset Metadata

James K. Batcheller, Bruce M. Gittings and and Robert I. Dunfey of the
Institute of Geography, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh have just published 'A Method for Automating Geospatial Dataset Metadata' in Future Internet Journal of which we here at digital urban are Editor-in-Chief.


Metadata have long been recognised as crucial to geospatial asset management and discovery, and yet undertaking their creation remains an unenviable task often to be avoided. This paper proposes a practical approach designed to address such concerns, decomposing various data creation, management, update and documentation process steps that are subsequently leveraged to contribute towards metadata record completion. Using a customised utility embedded within a common GIS application, metadata elements are computationally derived from an imposed feature metadata standard, dataset geometry, an integrated storage protocol and pre-prepared content, and instantiated within a common geospatial discovery convention. Yielding 27 out of a 32 total metadata elements (or 15 out of 17 mandatory elements) the approach demonstrably lessens the burden of metadata authorship. It also encourages improved geospatial asset management whilst outlining core requisites for developing a more open metadata strategy not bound to any particular application domain.

Its an interesting paper tackling the laborious task of metadata creation, as ever with Future Internet you can read/download the paper for free via

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