Right arrow icon  Site map Right arrow icon  Contact us Search WYDOT
GIS GIS Group

WYDOT Content Standards for Data Knowledge Base (Sept 5, 2000)

Geographic Information Systems Oversight Committee
Technical Advisory Group
Sept 5, 2000

MS Word 97 Version

Definition: A Data Knowledge Base is a collection of metadata, or "data about data". It describes the content and other characteristics of data. The Data Knowledge Base helps a person locate and understand data within the databases at the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT).

Major uses of the Data Knowledge Base:

  • Organize and maintain WYDOT's investment in data. A Data Knowledge Base helps insure WYDOT's investment in data. As personnel change or time passes, information about WYDOT's data will be lost and the data may lose their value. Later workers may have little understanding of the content and uses for a digital database and may find that they can't trust results generated from these data. Complete metadata descriptions of the content of a database will encourage appropriate use of the data. Such descriptions may provide some protection for WYDOT if conflicts arise over the misuse of data.
  • Provide information to aid data transfer. Metadata from the Data Knowledge Base should accompany the transfer of a data set. The metadata will aid the organization receiving the data to process, interpret, and incorporate data into its holdings.

About the Standard: This standard specifies the elements needed to support the above uses. It establishes a common set of terminology and definitions for concepts related to metadata, including:

  • The names of data elements and compound elements (groups of data elements) to be used.
  • The definitions of these compound and data elements.
  • The information about the values that are to be provided for the data elements.

The standard also specifies the elements that are mandatory (must be provided), mandatory if applicable (must be provided if the data set exhibits the defined characteristics), and mandatory if new, optional if existing (must be provided for a newly created data set or provided at the discretion of the producer for an existing data set).

The standard specifies information content, but not how to organize this information in a computer system or in a data transfer, or how to transmit, communicate, or present the information to a user. There are a large number of methods to transmit, communicate, and present metadata. Different metadata elements will be valued by different users, or by one user for different tasks. The Internet and other technologies are causing rapid change in means to providing information. Many users continue to need or prefer metadata to be provided on physical media, including paper. The standard allows WYDOT to use the techniques and forms which best meet the needs of its users.

Data Knowledge Base Information

1 Organization

The program/division/office responsible for the stewardship of the database.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2 Database Information

Repeat as necessary.

2.1 Table Name

The name of the table.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2.2 Table Information

Repeat as necessary.

2.2.1 Column Name

The name of the column.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2.2.2 Column Definition

A description of the column.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2.2.3 Column Definition Source

The authority of the definition.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2.2.4 Data Type

The data type of the column values.
Type: text
Domain: "CHAR", "VARCHAR2", "NUMBER", "DATE", "FLOAT"
Status: required

2.2.5 Length

The number of places wide of the column.
Type: integer
Domain: free integer
Status: required

2.2.6 Precision

The number of decimal places for a number data type column.
Type: integer
Domain: free integer
Status: mandatory if applicable

2.2.7 Nulls Allowed

Specifies if null values are allowed in the column.
Type: text
Domain: "Yes", "No"
Status: required

2.2.8 Key Type

Specifies the type of key.
Type: text
Domain: "Primary", "Primary i of n", "Secondary", "Secondary i of n"
Status: mandatory if applicable

2.2.9 Related Tables

The tables that are connected to the column based on the key type.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: mandatory if applicable

2.2.10 Domain Information

Repeat as necessary

2.2.10.1 Enumerated Domain Information

The members of an established set of valid values. Repeat as necessary.
Status: mandatory if applicable

2.2.10.1.1 Enumerated Domain Value

The name or label of a member of the set.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2.2.10.1.2 Enumerated Domain Value Definition

The description of the value.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2.2.10.1.3 Enumerated Domain Value Definition Source

The authority of the definition.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2.2.10.1.4 Beginning Date of Enumerated Domain Value

Earliest or only date for which the value is current. In cases when a range of dates are provided, this is the earliest date for which the information are valid.
Type: date
Domain: free date
Status: required if new, optional if existing

2.2.10.1.5 Ending Date of Enumerated Domain Value

Latest date for which the information are current. Used in cases when a range of dates are provided.
Type: date
Domain: free date
Status: mandatory if applicable

2.2.10.2 Range Domain

The minimum and maximum values of a continuum.
Status: mandatory if applicable.

2.2.10.2.1 Range Domain Minimum

The least value that the column values can be assigned.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2.2.10.2.2 Range Domain Maximum

The greatest value that the column values can be assigned.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2.2.10.3 Codeset Domain

Reference to a standard or list which contains the members of an established set of valid values.
Status: mandatory if applicable

2.2.10.3.1 Codeset Name

The title of the codeset.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2.2.10.3.2 Codeset Source

The authority of the codeset.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2.2.10.4 Unrepresentable Domain

Description of the values and reasons why they cannot be represented.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: mandatory if applicable.

2.2.11 Units

The standard of measurement for the column values.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: mandatory if applicable

2.2.12 Beginning Date of Column

Earliest or only date for which the column is current. In cases when a range of dates are provided, this is the earliest date for which the information are valid.
Type: date
Domain: free date
Status: required if new, optional if existing

2.2.13 Ending Date of Column

Latest date for which the information are current. Used in cases when a range of dates are provided.
Type: date
Domain: free date
Status: mandatory if applicable

2.3 Contact

The person within the Organization responsible for the stewardship of the table.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

2.4 Beginning Date of Table

Earliest or only date for which the table is current. In cases when a range of dates are provided, this is the earliest date for which the information are valid.
Type: date
Domain: free date
Status: required if new, optional if existing

2.5 Ending Date of Table

Latest date for which the information are current. Used in cases when a range of dates are provided.
Type: date
Domain: free date
Status: mandatory if applicable

2.6 Users

Other organizations who currently use the table.
Type: text
Domain: free text
Status: required

Notes:

What is a domain?
A domain is the set of possible data values of a column.

What is an enumerated domain?
An enumerated domain is one comprised of a list of values. For example, a "road type" column can have an enumerated domain which contains the values "heavy duty", "medium duty", "light duty", and "trail". In this case, the list of possible values, the definitions of the values, and the sources of the definitions should be provided.

What is a range domain?
A range domain is comprised of a sequence, series, or scale of (usually numeric) values between limits. For example, a column of age values might have a range domain of integers from 0 to 100. In this case, the minimum and maximum values should be provided.

What is a codeset domain?
A codeset domain is one in which the data values are defined by a set of codes. Examples include the Federal Information Processing Standards that contain numeric codes for nations, States, and counties. In this case, the title of the publication containing the code set and the source of the codeset should be provided.

What is an unrepresentable domain?
An unrepresentable domain is one for which the set of data values cannot be represented. Reason include columns whose values do not exist in a known, predefined set (for example, the values for a column of people's names), or columns whose values cannot be depicted using forms of representation (available character set, etc.) used for the Data Knowledge Base. In these cases, the information content of the set of values should be provided.