Kokusai Kogyo Co Ltd
In Japan, the joint study group organised by GSI has provided the profile of metadata standard (JMP 2.0) in compliance with ISO 19115. Japanese users commonly use JMP for their clearinghouses, because they can describe metadata easier than the comprehensive one, and it will be included as the informative annex of JIS X 7115 – Metadata. In future, not only metadata but also actual data will interchange on the Web as documents
Since 1994, ISO/TC211 (chair: Olaf Østensen, Norway) has been working to establish a structured set of standards for information concerning objects or phenomena that are directly or indirectly associated with a location relative to the Earth. TC211 is now dealing with more than 40 standards and technical specifications and 12 of them have already published as IS or TS today. ISO 19115 Geographic Information – Metadata is a part of the family of TC211 standards and it defines the term METADATA as “data about data”. Proper documentation to explain the data can be provided by using this standard for the people other than data producer. The objective of ISO 19115 is to specify a structure for describing digital geographic data.
In Japan, the domestic committee (chair: Masao Iri) contributing to the international standardization in ISO/TC211 was established at the Association of Precise Survey and Applied Technology in 1995. The author has been a member of project teams including Temporal Schema, Spatial Schema, Rules for Application Schema and GML in TC211 and a member of the secretariat in the domestic committee since they were established. In 1996, Geographic Survey Institute (GSI) under Ministry of Land, Infrastructures and Transportation has organized the Joint Study on Geographic Information Standards with Japanese private companies. This initiative provided the first draft standards for Geographic Information including the metadata (JMP 1.1a) in 2000 and the second edition JMP 2.0 in 2003.
This paper aims (1) to report the history of Japanese metadata standardization that has been concurrently running with TC211 activity, (2) to introduce the concepts of ISO 19115 and the latest Japan Metadata Profile (JMP 2.0), (3) to explain the relationship between JMP 2.0 and ISO 19115, (4) to report the dissemination of metadata concept and clearinghouses in Japan. Finally, the author discusses aspects toward the future related to geographic data in Japan.
History of Japanese Metadata Standardisation
GSI has started the Joint Studies with Japanese private companies with aims of the investigation for the domestic standards complying with TC211 and the dissemination of them since 1996 (Table 1.).
The project team dealing with Metadata in the first study group investigated the Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata provided by FGDC, US and translated ISO/CD 15046-15 Geographic Information – Part 15: Metadata (1998-07-09). The project team in the second study group investigated ISO/DIS 19115 and specified Japan Metadata Profile (JMP) 1.1a, which aimed to ensure the accessibility of geographic datasets through clearinghouses . The project team in the third study group improved JMP 1.1a and they specified JMP 2.0. During the study, the project team submitted comments on ISO 19115 to TC211 through the domestic committee several times and many of them were accepted.
GSI is setting up the clearinghouse gateway using Z39.50 and many node servers provided by public and private organizations connect with this gateway. Metadata for these clearinghouses are JMP 1.1a or JMP 2.0. Local governments and research institutes are also testing and offering their own clearinghouses