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ISO 19115:2003

Definition, specification and resources to support ISO 19115:2003 “Geographic Information – Metadata“.

What defines ISO 19115?

ISO 19115 applies to the ISO geographic suite of standards as well as all the standards of the 19100 series.

It gives tools to describe in a certain conventional way geographic information and services. It means, that according to this standard you can find mandatory elements which must be used for the description of any real geographical object. Also, there are some optional elements provided. They could be used to widen the description according to the needs of the organization and the type of information required.

In other words, ISO 19115 explains how to reflect a real geographical object through digital data as accurate as it is possible. The FGDC metadata standard is in compliance with the ISO 19115.

What it could be used for?

The most frequent options to use ISO 19115 are:

  • the cataloguing of datadets and their full description;
  • clearinghouse activities;
  • description and structuring of dataset series and geographic datasets as well as individual geographic features and their properties.

The last amendments to the ISO 19115 were added in the year 2014 and by the moment are giving the most modern way of geographic data description.  It is recommended to use the last edition because there the growing use of the Internet for metadata analysis and management has been taken in account. Also, new codelists (more categories of the metadata elements) were added.

Despite ISO 19115 is mainly used for working with the digital data, it is also applicable to non-digital geographic data sources such as: charts, maps and textual descriptions. Also, its principle could be used for non-geographic data description.

What type of information the ISO 19115 do provide?

It provides information to work with the digital geographical data which includes its:

  • identification;
  • extent;
  • quality;
  • special and temporal schema;
  • spatial reference;
  • distribution.

It is worth to be mentioned that ISO 19115 provides all the basis for global understanding of principles of organization of the metadata. It gives 16 UML-diagrams which provide the vocabulary of metadata.

All in all, this standard is an all-in-one standard which incorporates the principles of the 19100 series standards. ISO 19115 would be a starting point and the first step for the organizing metadata process. Perhaps, mostly it will be needed to adapt and clarify the given information to needed task using other standards.

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