A comprehensive open package format for preservation and distribution of geospatial data and metadata

X. Pons, J. Masó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 The Authors The complexities of the intricate geospatial resources and formats make preservation and distribution of GIS data difficult even among experts. The proliferation of, for instance, KML, Internet map services, etc, reflects the need for sharing geodata but a comprehensive solution when having to deal with data and metadata of a certain complexity is not currently provided. Original geospatial data is usually divided into several parts to record its different aspects (spatial and thematic features, etc), plus additional files containing, metadata, symbolization specifications and tables, etc; these parts are encoded in different formats, both standard and proprietary. To simplify data access, software providers encourage the use of an additional element that we call generically “map project”, and this contains links to other parts (local or remote). Consequently, in order to distribute the data and metadata refereed by the map in a complete way, or to apply the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) standard to preserve it for the future, we need to face the multipart problem. This paper proposes a package allowing the distribution of real (comprehensive although diverse and complex) GIS data over the Internet and for data preservation. This proposal, complemented with the right tools, hides but keeps the multipart structure, so providing a simpler but professional user experience. Several packaging strategies are reviewed in the paper, and a solution based on ISO 29500-2 standard is chosen. The solution also considers the adoption of the recent Open Geospatial Consortium Web Services common standard (OGC OWS) context document as map part, and as a way for also combining data files with geospatial services. Finally, and by using adequate strategies, different GIS implementations can use several parts of the package and ignore the rest: a philosophy that has proven useful (e.g. in TIFF).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
JournalComputers and Geosciences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Data model
  • Data standard
  • Internet GIS
  • MMZX
  • Metadata
  • Package
  • Preservation


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