Vol. 47 No. 3 (1999)
Research Article

Metadata for South African Geographic Names Databases

Published 1999-09-01



The relevance of adequate information on digital datasets of geographic names is being recognized world-wide. During the development of the geographic names databases of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) it was found that descriptive background information or metadata on such databases is lacking in South Africa. The HSRC databases are discussed here in relation to the standards set to such databases, and to some of the problems of defining the information fields and technical issues of developing such large databases in digital format. Furthermore, the advantages of descriptive metadata relating to common data standards are explored in this context. Finally, reference is made to the formulation of a policy or framework for the South African context that would set the parameters to promote the optimal use of these datasets.


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