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Last modified by Matt Paget on 2015/09/18 15:01

This page has been superseded by documentation at This page will be removed once the userdocs site is complete.

Sept 2015: Even the userdocs site is rather out of date these days. The userdocs content will be refreshed for the new website. In the meantime, the Product Page templates are good place to start.


The AusCover metadata and data system is based on a set of data management principles.  One of these principles is metadata.  Data never stands alone. Metadata describing how it was obtained, stored, processed and organised are essential to enable its interpretation without ambiguity.

In AusCover, we distinguish between collection and granule metadata.

A collection of data is a group of observations with similar characteristics; for example, the group of 5-minute MODIS scenes in the Australasian region acquired during the day time. The collection metadata describes all elements of the collection accurately, without making statements that are specific or unique to any single element. In contrast, granule metadata contains descriptive attributes that are specific to individual data elements, and that may vary from element to element. For example, for the above mentioned MODIS scenes, “the Australasian Region” is collection metadata, while the bounding polygon of each individual scene is granule metadata. A complete description of a data element is comprised of both collection and granule metadata (e.g. a description of the MODIS sensor and the scene polygon).

AusCover collection metadata uses the ANZLIC profile which is ISO 19115 based.  The core metadata elements for AusCover include:

  1. Metadata file identifier (automatically created by MEST)
  2. Metadata language (automatically populated in template)
  3. Metadata character set (automatically populated in template)
  4. Metadata file parent identifier (if appropriate, can be automatically populated in template)
  5. Metadata point of contact (automatically populated in template with default contacts - most likely generic AusCover email)
  6. Metadata date stamp (automatically populated by MEST)
  7. Metadata standard name (automatically populated in template)
  8. Metadata standard version (automatically populated in template)
  9. Dataset title (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED - MODIS long name is a good example")
  10. Dataset reference date (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED best option to use is element (395) Reference Date Type "published" e.g. when data is made available)
  11. Abstract describing the data (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED - example abstract given in template but should be 1 to 2 paragraph description of dataset that could be understood by layperson)
  12. Dataset responsible party (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED - separated into 1) who is point of contact in case of questions regarding data? If possible it should be generic to ensure longevity and; 2) who are the actual authors of the dataset?)
  13. Credit (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED - this is the location to include recognition to organisations, funding bodies that contributed to dataset etc.)
  14. Spatial representation type (automatically created in template - this is "Grid" e.g. raster data)
  15. Dataset language (automatically created in template)
  16. Dataset character set (automatically created in template)
  17. Dataset topic category (automatically created in template - "imageryBaseMapsEarthCover" would be default - extras can be supplied by provider by drop-down menu)
  18. Geographic location of the dataset (by four coordinates or by description) (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED - Bounding box of lat/long decimal degrees e.g. North -22.00; West 113.00; East 114.00; South -23.00 bounding longitudes / latitudes)
  19. Temporal extent information for the dataset (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED - The start and end date of data collection)
  20. Lineage (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED - this is the methodology and would include for example - sensor and satellite description, instrumentation, brief description of processing and can include 21. URL links such as links to Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document - ATBD of each product and validation protocols)
  21. Distribution Format (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED - the default would be NetCDF but extra format can be manually added)
  22. On-line resource (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED link to i) Actual data such as OpENDAP / THREDDS server,  ii) Product Description Page  iii) Any other useful information
  24. Resource constraints (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED - This includes legal constraints - there should be a generic statement in template and then contributors can give specific information regarding licensing and any other use or access constraints - e.g. shouldn't be used for particular purposes)
  25. Reference system (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED - typically this would be EPSG:4326 (this is WGS84 / GDA94)
  26. Spatial resolution of the dataset (MANUAL INPUT REQUIRED) - nadir pixel size of remote sensing dataset

The majority of these elements can be automatically created by the AusCover GeoNetwork software however some manual input is required, as highlighted above. 

Attached is an appendix to the main data / metadata cookbook describing the workflow for potential AusCover contributors.

Created by Luke Edwards on 2011/11/17 13:46

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