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Understanding Data

About SEED Metadata

About SEED Metadata

SEED metadata is a standard set of information collected for each dataset.

What is metadata and why is it collected?

Metadata is the information that describes the dataset such as when, how, why it was collected, any limitations on its use and how often it is updated.

You can think of it as the questions you might want to ask the person who collected the data to help you understand it.

By organising information using a common set of terminology, metadata allows datasets to be compared and categorised, not only with one another (such as when you do a search in SEED) but against environmental datasets across Australia.

How is metadata defined?

SEED follows the ANZLIC Metadata Standards for spatial datasets, which defines the minimum (as well as optimal) set of information that will be collected for each dataset. Metadata is provided to SEED by the custodians of each dataset. 

How do I see the metadata?

When you view a dataset in SEED, the information you initially see is a subset of the available metadata. The full set, called the ‘Metadata Statement’, can be accessed:

  • from the ‘Export metadata’ button on the SEED Dataset View page if this is available for your dataset, otherwise
  • under the 'Metadata Summary' heading on the SEED Dataset View page
  • from the SEED map, using the 'Metadata' link when you view a particular data feature. For more information see Finding locations and data on the map.

The Metadata Statement may be available in HTML, PDF, JSON, and/or XML format.

What metadata is collected for SEED?

Here is a list of metadata elements. Not all datasets in SEED will have every metadata element, as some are optional or only required for certain types of data.

Metadata collected for datasets in SEED (as per ANZLIC Metadata Standards)

All mandatory metadata elements are shown on each dataset, other elements are optional.

Title A concise and descriptive heading that provides information about the content or focus of the dataset. The title should have the “what”, “where” and “when” information relevant to the business use of the dataset. It serves as a brief identifier to help users understand the nature and scope of the data, facilitating easy recognition and retrieval of specific information within the dataset.
Language The language in which this dataset is presented in.
Parent A "Parent" dataset refers to a primary dataset within a collection composed of multiple datasets. It serves as the overarching dataset from which other constituent datasets are derived from or are part of.
Contact A free-text metadata element of the details of the organisation(s) responsible for the establishment, maintenance and distribution of the dataset.
Alternative title Refers to an additional or substitute name given to a dataset, providing an alternative way to identify or reference the information contained within the dataset.
Edition A specific version/edition of the data released at a particular time, subject to updates for accuracy and relevance.
Geographic Bounding Box The geographic bounding box contains values of the approximate longitudes and latitudes that bound the dataset.
Presentation form Information about the events or the source data used in constructing the data specified by the scope or lack of knowledge about lineage
Publication type Indicates the specific category or format of the dataset. It provides information necessary for citation purposes and typically includes descriptors such as Annual Report, Checklist, Corporate Plan, Fact Sheet, Media Release, Policy Document, or Research Paper. This classification helps organise and identify the nature of non-geospatial datasets.
Description A concise overview detailing the content, structure, and key attributes of the dataset.
Purpose A short free-text summary of the intentions or aims with which the dataset was created.
Status Indication of the current condition or state of the resource. It provides information on whether the data collection or resource is completed, continually being updated, or in any other relevant state that describes its current status.
Organisation Refers to the entity, institution, or agency responsible for generating or managing the dataset
Visibility Refers to the selection of whether the dataset should be accessible to the public (Public) or restricted to authorised users (Private).
Frequency of change Indication of how often updates or additions occur after the initial creation, specifying intervals such as Daily, Weekly, or Never.
Keywords Refers to specific terms, words, or phrases that are commonly used to describe and categorise the subject content of the data. These keywords help users quickly identify and retrieve relevant information from the dataset, facilitating efficient search and analysis processes related to environmental topics.
Tags Uncontrolled terms in metadata, offering flexibility to describe resources with terms outside controlled vocabularies like Keywords or Field of Research.
Field of research The Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008 defined field or fields of research relevant to the dataset.
Metadata date The specific date on which the metadata record associated with the dataset was initially completed or substantially finalised. It serves as a reference point indicating when the metadata information was first prepared, distinct from the date of any subsequent updates or modifications to the metadata.
Date of asset creation The specific date on which the relevant environmental information or dataset was initially acquired or generated. This date is crucial for tracking the temporal aspect of the dataset and is distinct from other date-related metadata fields, such as the "Created" date for attached resources, providing a clear reference point for the dataset's origination.
Date of asset revision The specific date on which changes were made to the dataset. This date indicates when revisions, updates, or amendments were applied to the data, providing users with information about the most recent changes made to the data.
Date of asset publication The date that the dataset was first published.
Date of next update Scheduled revision date for the dataset.
License The licence type applied to assure the protection of privacy or intellectual property, and any special restrictions or limitations or warnings on using the dataset eg CC BY 4.0, 3rd party licence, internal agency use only.
Geospatial topic A high-level categorisation that facilitates grouping and keyword-based searches for relevant spatial information.Helps users identify and navigate datasets based on geographic themes.
NSW place name The NSW place name in which the dataset pertains to.
Extent The geographic and temporal boundaries that define the coverage of the data. It provides essential details about the spatial and temporal scope of the dataset, offering a basic description of the area and time period covered by the data.
South latitude The south bounding latitude coordinate of the dataset provided in decimal degrees to create the dataset extent.
West longitude The west bounding latitude coordinate of the dataset provided in decimal degrees to create the dataset extent.
North latitude The north bounding latitude coordinate of the dataset provided in decimal degrees to create the dataset extent.
East longitude The east bounding latitude coordinate of the dataset provided in decimal degrees to create the dataset extent.
Temporal coverage from The start date of a period during which data within an environmental dataset was collected. It provides information about the temporal extent of the dataset's content. 
Temporal coverage to The end date of a period during which data within an environmental dataset was collected or is applicable.  It provides information about the temporal extent of the dataset's content. 
Supplemental information Additional details or context provided alongside the dataset, enhancing the understanding and usefulness of the data.
Datum  A geodetic datum is a global reference for precisely representing the position of locations on Earth. Provided as a standard datum specification e.g. GDA94  or GDA2020
Lineage A record detailing the data's origin, including source data description, scale, media type, and processing steps. Provides transparency on data history, methodology, and transformation.