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Questions on Meta Data Provision

Do I have to set up a search service of my own or is there a central search service?

The GDI-DE's strategy pursued proposes a central interface through which the metadata are accessible to the European Commission, via the model project geodata catalog DE. As a data holder concerned by INSPIRE I should ensure that my metadata are searchable via the geodata catalog DE. As a rule, this should be feasible with reasonable technical effort given that the full INSPIRE conformity including good performance is ensured in the central interface.

Do I have to collect metadata by 03.12.2010 if I report geodata sets for the Monitoring by 15.05.2010?

Yes. The obligation to collect INSPIRE conformal metadata by 03.12.2010 results, however, solely from the INSPIRE directive and the direct concern of a dataset, and not from the subsequent entry into the Monitoring list.

As of when must the metadata be INSPIRE conformal?

For geadata sets and services subject to the themes of Annexes I and II of the INSPIRE directive conformal metadata referring to the Metadata Ordinance must by 03.12.2010 be compiled, whereby the metadata format itself is not compulsory, but the subject of a Technical Guideline. For geodata sets and services covered by the themes of Annex III of the INSPIRE directive, the relevant metadata are to be compiled conformally by 03.12.2013. As from 2011 the metadata are to be made available via INSPIRE conformal search services.

Are only structured metadata meant by the “Metadata“ which are maintained in a standardized metadata catalog, or are by this term also understood merely individually structured and unstructured metadata contained in text documents, online shops or in other web pages, respectively?

All kinds of metadata are meant (structured according to ISO, individually structured, long-written unstructured).

Are meant by “Conformal Metadata“ ISO conformal or INSPIRE conformal metadata?

INSPIRE conformal metadata are meant.

Does INSPIRE require a certain "Metadata Reference" for the INSPIRE themes? Shall the entire WMS (e.g. protection areas under nature conservation law), or the single layers (e.g. nature conservation areas, protected landscape areas, ...) be described each by one metadata set?

In general, the geodata sets or geodata services are to be described by an INSPIRE conformal metadata set, which are identified and reported under the Monitoring. This means that if the geodata set or service "protection areas under nature conservation law“ is reported, a metadata set for the geodata set or service “protection areas under conservation law“ is to be created. If several geodata sets or services (nature conservation areas, protected landscape areas, …) are reported, for each of the reported geodata sets or services a metadata set is to be acquired. Independently of this the geodata sets and services should be described by metadata “in a user-oriented manner“, which means preferably in a way that they can be found rapidly and easily by potential users.

How shall the metadata be acquired if the relevant geodata set falls under several Annex themes? How shall the additional metadata be acquired from the data specifications if the respective geodata set comes under several Annex themes?

Both in the metadata element (“Topic category“) and in the metadata element (“Keyword“) a certain value can be entered several times, so that it is possible to indicate all relevant topics in the metadata.

Likewise, a metadata set can express the conformity to more than one data specification.

Must for each geodata set of a geodata series in each case a metadata set be provided?

According to Art. 5 Par. 1 of the INSPIRE directive the member states have to ensure “that for the geodata sets and services metadata be generated on the topics of Annexes I, II and III, and subsequently updated on a regular basis“. Pursuant to Art. 11 “the [member states] create and maintain for geodata sets and services, for which […] metadata were generated“, network services, to which also belong “search services that enable, on the basis of the contents of appropriate metadata, searching for geodata sets and services and displaying the contents of the respective metadata”.

Basically, the directive does not restrict metadata acquisition for geodata set series. Therefore, from the European Commission’s point of view also for the geodata sets of a geodata set series metadata must be generated and made accessible via search services. In order to be able to provide the potentially high volume of metadata sets in a user-tailored manner, the Commission proposes the implementation of a hierarchical search, which means to return, in reply to a search query, in a first step only the metadata of the relevant geodata set series, and in a second step the metadata of one or several selected geodata sets belonging to this geodata set series.

How is an own CSW incorporated into the geodata catalog-DE?


  1. Provision of the catalog service (CSW AP ISO 1.0)
  2. Verification of the conformity of the service by means of the GDI-DE Testsuite
  3. Communication of the URL of the service to the Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie (Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy) (operator of the geodata catalog-DE) and coordination of the Crawling-Interval
  4. Technical integration of the service into the geodata catalog-DE including extensive quality assurance.

In what way must the measuring results be provided in the catalog service? Each single station as a time series or all stations each at the same time, or one entry for all data? How is then assignment from the metadata set to the view service/download service performed?

In a first step the data-holding agency should agree both internally and with other geodata-holding agencies of the respective domain on what is to be considered as a “geodataset“ (e.g. all data on a station). Subsequently, this agency shall collect a metadata set referring to each of these datasets. Then provision of each geodataset as a layer in a view service is done (with different styles and/or the support of the TIME parameters, where appropriate), as well as supply via a download service (if required, divided into appropriate subsets as a download service for predefined datasets).
It is basically recommended to describe a continuously updated geodataset by means of a metadata set (which is then also updated each time an update of the geodataset is performed).

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