Formal metadata: information and software
Formal metadata information and software
A document type definition for formal metadata
metadata compiler I have developed can produce output in Standard
Generalized Markup Language (SGML), a structured system for making
complex textual documents interpretable by computer software. In order to
use the SGML output of the compiler, however, you need an SGML
parser or software that includes one and a document type
definition (DTD) that instructs the parser about the document at hand.
The DTD is essentially a reexpression in SGML of the syntactical rules
given in the FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata.
NOTE that the use of SGML as an exchange format for formal metadata is
a subject of current study, and some aspects of this work may change
as the National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse develops.
NOTE: this page describes the SGML DTD. If you're using XML, you need
a newer DTD written for XML.
The current version of the DTD has the
It uses the 8-character tags that are
produced by mp by default. Using tags that are no longer than 8
characters allows the SGML parser to use the Reference Concrete
Syntax, the default SGML declaration.
It includes entity references for extended characters in the ISO
8859-1 code set. This provides a formal mechanism for encoding
European letters and some symbols such as the degree symbol.
It has a single placeholder for extensions as a child of
Metadata. This is not particularly satisfactory, and (
with help from others) I am studying ways of adding flexibility to
the DTD to allow extensions to be put in more places.
PCDATA for scalar (plain-text) values. This
allows you to put symbols and European letters into the text (coded
as per ISO 8859-1), representing them in your SGML as the entities
referenced by the DTD.
The DTD is a work in progress. Further progress awaits more widespread
use of SGML to carry metadata, and better tools for handling such SGML
documents. Please contact Doug Nebert
or Peter Schweitzer
are interested in furthering this work.