Metadata is a key component in TheDataWeb. It allows users to find, access, and understand the statistical data they need. Metadata is the information that defines a dataset and the variables or items, found within that dataset. This includes the name of the data collection, the name of each dataset within that collection, the time period for the dataset, and the name, description, and values of each item in the dataset, as well as other information. This information is stored in a complex relational database – TheDataWeb Metadata Repository. Geographic metadata is stored in a separate relational database – TheDataWeb Geographic Metadata Repository.
The Metadata/GeoMetadata Service processes queries that retrieve metadata and geographic metadata, providing a standardized request and response for multiple applications and interfaces.
TheDataWeb Metadata engine is a re-usable, portable service that facilitates:
The same metadata is used for each tool built on TheDataWeb framework, ensuring consistency across interfaces. For example, the same metadata used to drive the DataFerrett interface is used in the labels shown in HotReports, as well as in the XML dataset documentation that API developers use.