Metacat 2 Upgrade Provides New Features and Links to DataONE

 While the Network Information System programmers have been working to get the functional prototype of PASTA finished, the DataONE developers have been upgrading Metacat to support the DataONE “Member Node” API (application programming interface). As a DataONE partner, the LTER will upgrade the current Data Catalog to use the new version of Metacat (2.0.1).

Overall, there are five updates to Metacat that will impact the LTER Data Catalog:

  1. EML display has been improved through the use of new style sheets

  2. Improved query capability to allow temporal searching

  3. Support for EML version 2.1.1, which includes support for internationalization

  4. Metacat 2 includes more character encoding compliance and has more robust error checking

  5. EML documents in the LTER Data Catalog will be replicated to DataONE

The first three updates will not adversely affect LTER data harvesting.

The EML display skins are much nicer than their counterparts in previous versions. They provide a tiled layout of content, but may require additional tweaking to meet our community needs.

The decadal review recommended the addition of temporal searches to the LTER Data Portal. Metacat improved its query capability by fixing its temporal search processing; the LTER Data Portal will be modified to take advantage of this important search feature once the LTER’s Metacat is upgraded.

The fourth change will affect a small percentage of documents.

If the EML contains characters that are not in the character set declared in the EML header, part of the document may not display properly or will display properly until the invalid character is reached. This most often occurs after a copy-paste operation from a program like MS Word.

Some invalid EML documents (i.e, those not adhering to the EML schema definition) were initially allowed into the Data Catalog because of limited error checking. Metacat 2 has a more robust error checking system so invalid documents in Metacat 1 will not be picked up by Metacat 2.

Finally, EML harvested into the LTER Data Catalog will begin using DataONE replication to move copies from LTER to NCEAS and vice versa. This also means that LTER data packages will be accessible through the DataONE Mercury search portal.