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IUFRO International Union of Forest Research Organizations Eero Mikkola The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering NEFIS Symposium.

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Presentation on theme: "IUFRO International Union of Forest Research Organizations Eero Mikkola The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering NEFIS Symposium."— Presentation transcript:

1 IUFRO International Union of Forest Research Organizations Eero Mikkola The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering NEFIS Symposium 29 June 2005 Ispra, Italy

2 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering Metadata is a gateway between information/data and users of information

3 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering Metadata: - Titles and dates of folders, files and documents - Library systems 1980’s

4 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering ???? Metadata Today

5 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering Why to create metadata?  Helps user understand data  Facilitates discovery  Protects investment in data

6 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering, Importance of metadata Helps user understand data  Provides consistency  Focuses on key elements of data  Helps user define the data's fitness for use  Facilitates data transfer and translation by new users Helps people find the data they need and define how best to use it

7 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering, Importance of metadata Facilitates discovery  Provides information to data catalogs  Facilities quality: An organization that takes the time to create and maintain quality metadata will also mostly likely take the time to develop good quality data  Reduces workload associated with questions about data: users don't have to keep asking producers questions  Cuts overall costs: allows automation of tools which ease overall burden and cost of data population and maintenance  A key element of spatial data sharing

8 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering, Importance of metadata Protects investment in data  Reduce effect of staff turnover and individual memory loss  Sets the stage for data re-use and update  Provides documentation of data sources and quality

9 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering The importance of a metadata initiative/service  Organizations have long recognized the importance of metadata. However, only few have successfully devised and implemented such an initiative/service.  There are a number of reasons for this disconnect – the nature of the task, the state of most software products, and the complexity of the task, both technically and procedurally.

10 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering There are three major decisions that must be reached when developing a metadata service/initiative: 1.Agreed metadata model 2.Choosing the application which will be used to acquire, manage, and distribute metadata 3.Defining and enforcing a methodology for the use and maintenance of the above.

11 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering Metadata services/initiatives at various level  In house - Intranet  National level – National forest information systems  Regional level – NEFIS  Convention level - GBIF,  Global level – GFIS,

12 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering Similarities and differences of metadata initiatives and services at various level  Data and information are same for all levels  Technically metadata is also same  Services and initiatives are different from their goals and thus they are used for different purposes. => Because of different goals of initiatives they have their own target groups/users

13 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering Example for the metadata initiative at global level - GFIS The Global Forest Information Service (GFIS) is a CPF initiative which is led by the IUFRO, together with the FAO, CIFOR and CAB International. A range of additional partners contribute information to GFIS.

14 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering GFIS, Benefits for information providers:  Improved visibility  Opportunities for cost-effective dissemination of information  Opportunities for enhancing internal information management  Exchange of knowledge with other information providers  Opportunities for increased user feedback

15 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering GFIS, Benefits for users:  Easier and more efficient access to world-wide forest information  Improved networking among forestry professionals

16 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering Goals of GFIS  to enhance access to all types of forest information for all stakeholders, including governments, researchers, forest managers, NGOs, community groups and the public at large; and  to contribute to an improved understanding of complex forest-related issues, to better decision-making and to facilitate a more informed public engagement in forest policy and forest management at all levels.

17 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering NEFIS WP2  The task of WP2, was to establish a NEFIS metadata standard based on DC’s elements and accompanying refinements and to develop a controlled vocabulary to facilitate the cataloguing and accessing of NEFIS metadata records and underlying datasets.  Deliverables: NEFIS Metadata scheme, Keyword lists and Metadata guidelines have been finalized, delivered to the Commission and accepted  Principal research activities focused on work surrounding deliverables and interoperability requirements.  This research, based on partners’ input resulted in recommendations for future activities.

18 The Increasing Importance of Metadata in Forest Information Gathering Recommendations of NEFIS for metadata and keywords:  Co-ordinate all vocabulary activities within a Multilingual Forestry Ontology Projects.  Establish an Editorial Advisory Group comprising subject experts and information specialists to collate and organize terminology to maintain the forestry ontology.  Establish practical links with international initiatives concerned with terminology harmonization in forestry and related fields to feed into the ontology maintenance process.  Produce appropriate authority lists for both field labels and variables within the Metadata schema, and standard data definitions that allow deviations from those standards to be clearly identified.

19 Thank you for your attention! NEFIS Symposium 29 June, 2005 Ispra, Italy


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