H1: Oral Presentation C Thursday, 1:30 2:00 pm C Lake Superior Ballroom L

The Minnesota DNR Extended Data Dictionary: Integrating Data Documentation and Distribution

Robert Maki
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN  55155

Sandra Paddock
EMA, Inc.
1970 Oakcrest Ave Suite 100
St. Paul, MN  55113-2624

Many Information Technology (IT) organizations have difficulty maintaining adequate information describing their data resources. In the field of GIS, traditional documentation concepts such as Data Dictionaries have been augmented with narrative metadata related to the Federal Content Standard for Geospatial Metadata, thereby increasing the complexity of an already formidable documentation task. The value of data documentation systems can extend beyond the creation of user documentation into integrated systems for data lineage tracking, attribute code validation, and data content integration. For documentation systems to play sophisticated roles in information system enterprises, they necessarily must exist in some structured database form.

The Minnesota DNR is the process of deploying an Oracle relational database which integrates traditional data dictionary/data registry concepts with industry standard GIS metadata content. The database model is further extended to support the concept of secondary product generation tracking, such as those found in data warehouse-publishing environments. Furthermore, the database is integrated with automated fileserver-based data distribution processes which maintain the content of GIS data on remote DNR sites, making the documentation system integral to GIS database administration activities within the department. Additional proposed applications that may utilize the Extended Data Dictionary are also discussed.