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METADATA STANDARDS

This page describes recommended metadata standards and provides a high-level summary of metadata requirements for data objects when publishing data to the BC Data Catalogue.

AUDIENCE      
Data Publishers Metadata Editors DataBC Data Modellers DataBC Catalogue Team

Table of Contents


WHAT IS METADATA AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Definition: Metadata

Metadata is data (or information) which describes some aspect of data. Everything from database table descriptions, data relationship mapping, storing who created/updated data, purpose of the data, can be classified as metadata.

Benefits of Metadata

In the DataBC Program, we value the importance of using metadata to describe the data we serve and we strongly encourage activities that support and create valuable metadata documentation.

  • Provides business context and helps bring an understanding to the data
  • Facilitates data re-use and sharing
  • Defines data structure (i.e.: data flow, data relationships, data dependencies)
  • Enables historical data tracking (i.e.: audit columns)
  • Facilitates data design discussions
  • Provides data consistency
  • Supports user self-service to understand the purpose and characteristics of a data set
  • Can be used to help troubleshoot data issues; i.e.
    • who is the data custodian / person responsible for the data?
    • what is the security classification?
    • will the change impact other data?

There are international standards for metadata that DataBC follows. This provides interoperability with other data service utilities, meaning that descriptions of your data can be widely published and accessed (assuming your security profile allows this).

Metadata should be:

  • Easy to access and understand for consumers within and outside the organization.
  • Produced throughout the application development life cycle.
  • Of high quality, and managed effectively.
  • Open to improvement, and have a feedback mechanism by which consumers can inform the custodian of incorrect or out of date metadata.

MANDATORY METADATA FOR THE BC DATA CATALOGUE

Data elements optionality for each dataset type are as follows:

Section Data Element Example(s) Application Dataset Geographic Dataset Web Service - API
Dataset State DRAFT Required Required Required Required
  Title descriptive title Required Required Required Required
  URL https://….. Required Required Required Required
  Organization Ministry of Citizen Services Required Required Required Required
  Sub-Organization DataBC Required Required Required Required
  Description detailed description about the data Required Required Required Required
  Purpose summary of the intentions for which the dataset was developed N/A Optional Optional N/A
  Data Quality descriptive text that cn include info about issues, completeness, consistency, etc. N/A Optional Optional N/A
  Lineage Statement information about the events or source data used in constructing the data N/A Optional Optional N/A
  More Info supporting url(s) Optional Optional Optional Optional
  Keywords searchable term(s) Required Required Required Required
  ISO Topic Category unknown N/A N/A Required N/A
Contact Name contact’s first and last name Required Required Required Required
  Email someone@somewhere.ca Required Required Required Required
  Organization Ministry of Citizen Services Required Required Required Required
  Sub-Organization DataBC Required Required Required Required
  Role Custodian Required Required Required Required
  Contact Displayed Yes Required Required Required Required
Data Currency / Update Resource Status planned Required Required Required Required
  Data type Created N/A Required Required N/A
  Date YYYY-MM-DD N/A Required Required N/A
Access & Security Who can view this data? Public N/A Required Required Required
  Who can view this record? Public Required Required Required Required
  Who can download this data? Public N/A Required Required Required
  Who can access this application Public Required N/A N/A N/A
  License   N/A Required Required Required
  Security Classification LOW-PUBLIC Required Required Required Required
Preview Information Layer name Name of the layer for preview N/A N/A Optional N/A
  Preview latitude Latitude of layer for preview N/A N/A Optional N/A
  Preview longitude Longitude of layer for preview N/A N/A Optional N/A
  Preview map service URL URL of map service for preview N/A N/A Optional N/A
  Preview zoom level Zoom level for preview N/A N/A Optional N/A
  Image URL _URL for non map service images N/A N/A Optional N/A
  Link to iMap link N/A N/A Optional N/A
Geographic extent North 60.0 N/A N/A Optional-system default N/A
  South 48.0 N/A N/A Optional-system default N/A
  East -113.5 N/A N/A Optional-system default N/A
  West -139.5 N/A N/A Optional-system default N/A
  Spatial Datatype SDO_GEOMETRY N/A N/A Optional N/A
  Object Name schema.table(view) N/A N/A Optional N/A

MANDATORY METADATA FOR BC GEOGRAPHIC WAREHOUSE RESOURCES

Table and column descriptions are required for all objects in the BC Geographic Warehouse. These descriptions are created by the BCGW data modeller, in consultation with the custodian and DataBC data administration staff. The medium for defining the descriptions is the Dataset Logfile.

MANDATORY METADATA FOR RESOURCES NOT IN THE BC GEOGRAPHIC WAREHOUSE

Spreadsheets (Excel or CSV files) uploaded to the BC Data Catalogue must be documented sufficiently so that people looking at the spreadsheet can understand what the columns mean. A good way of providing this information is to supply a data dictionary resource, explaining the purpose and content of the other resources. See for example, this resource for this dataset.


RESOURCES

The following links will provide you with additional information regarding metadata standards:


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