American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

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Employing Metadata to Identify Published Resources in Precision Agriculture on the Internet: a Proposal

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  013031,  2001 ASAE Annual Meeting. (doi: 10.13031/2013.7413) @2001
Authors:   Donna Schenck-Hamlin, Wenyan Zhan
Keywords:   Precision Agriculture, Metadata, Knowledge discovery, Internet Search, Dublin Core, DC, Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata, CDSGM, Digital Publishing

While the goals of Precision Agriculture are well articulated, there are many barriers to identifying published knowledge in this field of inquiry. Although availability of international databases and Internet publishing make Precision Agriculture research more accessible, a lack of standardized metadata for multiple information resource types still stymies researchers.

We would like to address the application of ASAE-supported metadata and standardized keyword vocabulary, as a means of identifying all Precision Agriculture knowledge resources, be they bibliographic, image, or structured databases. Dublin Core (DC) metadata and Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM) both offer standards for describing knowledge resources. DC is a more general, extensible set of descriptive elements that can be applied to bibliographic or other resources. CSDGM is specific to digital geospatial data sets. Whenever new Precision Agriculture information is published for the Internet, these or other metadata sets should be embedded within the resource, in order to enable its discovery by search engines.

As the Internet grows, it is becoming increasingly difficult to limit searches to a context that is meaningful to a given user group or discipline. A virtual segment of the Internet can be extracted if a discipline agrees to the use of unambiguous descriptors and unique identifiers within their metadata. We recommend that vocabulary pertinent to Precision Agriculture be identified from ASAE glossaries and organized into a three-tier system of descriptors and keywords recommended for use as Precision Agriculture metadata content. A template from ASAE would make publications, structured data and image sets “Internet-ready” with relatively little effort on the part of authors or editors.

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