GIS Ontology -- FGDC Approves Metadata Standard

Timothy Finin <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 1994 12:11:49 -0400
From: Timothy Finin <>
Message-id: <>
Subject: GIS Ontology -- FGDC Approves Metadata Standard
Precedence: bulk

I thought this might be of interest. I wonder how they are describing
their ontology.  It would also be interesting to see how easy or hard
it would be to map this into an ontology expressed in Ontolingua or
KIF.  Tim

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Newsgroups: comp.infosystems.gis
From: gdc <GDC@USGS.GOV>
Subject: FGDC Approves Metadata Standard
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 1994 09:25:09 EST

At its June 8, 1994 meeting, the (US) Federal Geographic Data
Committee (FGDC) unanimously approved the "Content Standards for
Digital Geospatial Metadata."  Metadata, or "data about data,"
describe the content, quality, condition, and other characteristics of

The FGDC invites and encourages organizations to use the standard to
document their geospatial data.  President Clinton's recent Executive
Order on the National Spatial Data Infrastructure instructs Federal
agencies to use the standard to document new geospatial data beginning
in 1995, and to provide these metadata to the public through the
National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse.

The objective of the standard is to provide a common set of
terminology and definitions for the documentation of digital spatial
data.  The standard establishes the names of data elements and groups
of data elements to be used for these purposes, the definitions of
these data elements and groups, and information about the values that
are to be provided for the data elements.  Information about terms
that are mandatory, mandatory under certain conditions, and optional
(provided at the discretion of the data provider) also is provided by
the standard.

Obtaining Copies of the Standard:

The standard is available by anonymous FTP from: for WordPerfect
  5.1 (PC/DOS) (remember to transfer in binary/image mode!) or for PostScript.

The WordPerfect file is set up for 10pt Times Roman font on an HP
LaserJet 4 printer.  It can be printed using other fonts or printers,
but the sections that are sensitive to page numbers (i.e. the table of
contents and list of data elements with page numbers) will have to be
regenerated.  We have inserted codes in the file to aid efforts to
regenerate the page numbers.

We will make ASCII text from the standard available from the site, but
we do not think that it will be as useful as the WordPerfect or
PostScript versions.

Paper copies of the standard may be requested from the Federal
Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Secretariat, c/o U.S. Geological
Survey, 590 National Center, Reston, Virginia 22092, USA; telephone
(703) 648-5514; facsimile (703) 648-5755; or Internet
If you previously received a draft of the standard from us, you will
automatically receive a copy of the final version.

Sample Uses of the Standard and Implementation of the Clearinghouse:

We will place sample uses of the standard in under
the gdc/metadata directory as they become available.  We also will
place promotional items and instructional aids at this site.

The FGDC also is developing implementation guidelines for the
clearinghouse.  The current guidelines are in the directory

Michael A. Domaratz
FGDC Executive Secretary
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