While speaking about metadata, it is important to remember that different types of metadata exist. From a data provider perspective, the two main categories to relate to are

  • Discovery metadata are powering human and machine search efforts for data. This is similar to the index card in a library. It will tell where a certain dataset is located, who owns it, its content, how to access it and what you can do with it.
  • In order to actually use the metadata to something useful, use metadata is required. Use metadata tell you the actual meaning of a number in the dataset. It links numbers to variables (whether temporal or geographical), tells how missing values are encoded, units of the variables etc.
  • MM2, MMD, DIF, ISO19115 and ACDD are all discovery metadata.
  • CF is use metadata.
  • It is important to remember these differences and their application areas.

Some relevant information resources are listed below


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