Chapter 8

MDWEB: Cataloging and Locating Environmental Resources

8.1. Introduction

Environmental applications are on the rise, especially when it comes to territory development projects subject to stronger and stronger natural and human constraints (risk management, territory management, process observation and resource assessment, cultural heritage management, etc.). All these applications require geo-referenced data. Although these data are locally available and their volume is increasing, due to the explosion in the use of new data sources (GPS readings, airborne and satellite images, etc.) and tools to manage them (GIS, spatial database management system (DBMS) we must however go beyond the data produced to question their ability to be efficiently mobilized to serve the targets that are aimed for, whether we are going for monitoring, diagnosis, or decision helping. To this end, we must implement “decisional” systems allowing us to use the data and processes based on multiple sources and focusing on a single space or a single issue. Designing such systems requires the means to gather necessary resources, make them accessible, and share them (if possible) in a unified manner.

A spatial data infrastructure (SDI) is one of the solutions which is suggested today to ensure the outcome. The architecture of these infrastructures always provides for a discovery service that relies on metadata specific to the shared resources [LIB 03]. It is an essential component that will help both ...

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