A Metadata Exercise:
Created by Hugh Phillips
Wisconsin State Cartographer's Office and the University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System
for the Federal Geographic Data Committee
adapted by LAGIC, August, 1999

The original exercise is available On-Line @ http://badger.state.wi.us/agencies/wlib/sco/metex/psylabus.htm



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Objectives of this exercise:

Metadata Element or Element
One of the specific named parts of the Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata, e.g. Identification_Information or Abscissa_Resolution
What is entered into a Metadata Element that is not a Container element. For example: Wisconsin could be a Value for the Place_Keyword element.
The Metadata Element which is one hierarchical level above the currently considered element and which is a 'Container' for it. For example: Citation is the Parent of Citation_Information.
The Metadata Elements which are one or more hierarchical levels below the currently considered Parent element. For example: Series_Name and Issue_Identification are Children of Series_Information.
Compound or Container Element
A Metadata Element that does not itself explicitly contain metadata information, but that acts as a folder for Children elements below it hierarchically. Elements that are Parents are always Container elements. For example: Spatial Domain is a Container element for Bounding_Coordinates and Data_Set_G-Polygon, but does not itself take a Value.
Production Rules
The definition of the CSDGM which encodes which elements are mandatory, optional, parents, or children, what values certain elements may take, and how many times each particular element may repeat.

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Introducing the Metadata Format:

In addition to learning about the Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM) and common metadata tools in this exercise and workshop, we will also devote attention to formatting metadata so it can validated and converted to a form useable on a searchable clearinghouse.


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Installing your Metadata Tools

When the extraction is complete you will have a directory structure like so:

 Directory Tree

The tools\bin\dos directory contains the executable versions of cns and mp. The tools\doc directory contains documentation and help files.

You should now have a more complicated directory structure like so:

 Bigger Directory Tree

The tools\metadata directory contains metadata files for the exercise. The tools\cfg directory contains a configuration file for mp and an alias file for cns.

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Check & Configure Your Tools:


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How To: Using MP


You should be in the tools\metadata directory, at the DOS prompt to continue...

Type mp without parameters to see its command line options.

If you got a 'Command not found' error, then look back at the setup procedure for this tool.


mp -e maratax.err -h maratax.htm -s maratax.sgm maratax.asc

Error Report: Take a look at the error report, maratax.err with a text editor. The warnings are just that - in the identification of the Marathon County coordinate system under Other_Grid_System's_Definition, mp has detected some valid metadata element names that seem out of place (they follow a free text domain element). The errors for Abscissa_Resolution and Ordinate_Resolution are more serious - these are mandatory elements that expect a real number, not the text string 'unknown.'

HTML File: Take a look at the HTML output, maratax.htm in \tools\metadata with your Web browser.

SGML File: Take a look at the SGML (Standardized General Markup Language) output, maratax.sgm in \tools\metadata with a text editor. It looks pretty ugly, no? It wasn't meant for people to read or work with directly, but it makes it much easier to index the metadata. To those familiar with HTML tags from Web pages, SGML markup will look similar, with start and end tags around elements. This is the last we will look at SGML.


Did your repair work actually cause the reported number of errors to increase? If so, you are a natural for this stuff! It means you actually tried to do something, instead of saying "Yeah, yeah this is easy," and just skipping on ahead. Probably what happened was that you messed up the hierarchical indentation. cns, which we will look at next, can deal with that kind of problem. Don't spend a lot of time slaving on trying to get this data to pass mp perfectly, we are just sort of fooling around with these tools here, not too serious, and there is a bunch of other stuff to do!


mp -c ..\cfg\ws.cfg apgood
Get a directory:
dir apgood.*
Take a look at the HTML output file, tools\metadata\apgood.htm with your Web Browser


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How To: Using CNS


You should still be in the tools\metadata directory, at the DOS prompt, to continue...

Type cns without parameters to see its command line options.

If you got a 'Command not found' error, then look back at the setup procedure for this tool.


mp -e apbad2.err apbad2
That error report should look familiar.

Now, let's pre-clean apbad2 with cns, produce a leftovers file, and an output file. Type:

cns -e apbad2.lo -o apbad2.out apbad2
Now run the output from cns through mp:
mp -e apbad2.err apbad2.out
Look at apbad2.err. Not bad, huh?
As we showed above, cns can clean up minor 'glitches' in metadata. However, it really shines when the formatting of the source metadata has no hope of getting through mp without hundreds of errors. We are talking about metadata files that would take hours of editing with a word processor to make acceptable to mp. The output from Metamaker  is a prime example.

        First, let's try to jam some CorpsMet95 output, gmgb93, directly through mp. Type:

mp -e gmgb93.err gmgb93
Look at the error report, tools\metadata\gmgb93.err.

315 errors!

Okay, now let's try again after passing gmgb93 through cns.

cns -e gmgb93.lo -o gmgb93.out gmgb93
Take a look at the formatting of the output (\tools\metadata\gmgb93.out) from cns. It's quite a bit different from the source gmgb93, no?

Pass the output from cns through mp.

mp -e gmgb93.err gmgb93.out
Now look at the error report from mp for the output from cns. It looks much better now, only 37 errors, most of them due to a characteristic of Metamaker 2.0 to pass through some empty container elements to the output report. Metamaker 2.x, which you may use in the next part of this exercise, has improved in that respect.

Note: Corpsmet95 does a pretty good job keeping the errors to a minimum.  However, there are some instances when a <tab> or a misplaced <space> in text-box will cause syntax errors.  These errors are often corrected by re-typing the values or <copy><paste> the values into the text box from a word processing editor.


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How To:  Using Metamaker
Click here for Corpsmet95


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How To:  Using CorpsMet95

If you wish to follow this exercise using Metamaker, download and configure Metamaker from the Exercise Configuration.


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Format and Validate (parse) Your Record

Congratulations on producing your first complete metadata document and validating it!


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What Now?



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