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CHM initiatives :: Metadata

Metadata are data records (text files), which provide descriptive information about other data or data sources. In other words, meta data are “data for the data”, describing every electronic or non-electronic source of information according to a preliminary set standard. The use of one standard for information description provides the interoperability of the information disregarding the differences of information systems through which it might have been generated.

In this way, the use of metadata and guaranteed interoperability of the information from various sources make the finding and exchanging of information extremely efficient. Thus the exchange of information about biodiversity at global level is particularly facilitated, which is the main goal of the Global Clearing House Mechanism and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Bulgarian CHM has elaborated a tool for metadata management at global level and a similar tool for metadata at national level. More detailed information is provided below.

CHM Tool for Metadata Management at national level

The CHM metadata management tool (MMT) is used for managing the national CHM metadata. Its primary role is to provide a common interface for searching the information, provided by different sources of information and information nodes in the field of biological diversity in Bulgaria. The meta tool generates metadata using the two methods.

The MMT has two main parts - public and administrative. It is managed and maintained through the administrative part, while the public part provides access to the instrument for searching.

The more information sources are registered by this tool, the richer the meta database will become. Thus the great benefit offered by the tool is that the users do not have to visit all the web sites that are likely to provide information about the red-breasted goose for example. It is enough to use the instrument for searching.

What is the role of metadata in the process of information management?

Metadata make the process of finding and exchanging information more efficient. In other words this is the last stage of information management. Once the information has been digitized (transferred into electronic format) and structured, it is visualized in certain way, which might be Internet page. The efforts from the information digitization and structuring however are well justified only if the information is found and used by as many users as possible. This is made possible using the metadata.

Interoperability and levels of metadata description

CHM Tool for Metadata Management at global level

Important contribution of Bulgarian CHM to the global network development is the elaboration of Metadata Management Tool, which may be used at global level. This tool is similar to the meta tool and meta database operating at national level but it is adapted to the needs of countries with established national Clearing-House Mechanisms.

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