Providing structural metadata


Providing structural metadata is a W3C Data on the Web Best Practice.

Providing information about the internal structure of a data distribution helps others understand, explore or query the dataset.

Structural metadata is usually supplied in a machine-readable format describing for each data column:

  • name, title, description
  • data type (e.g. number, and format
  • any constraints (e.g. required, minimum length, unique)
  • is it a primary or foreign key
  • what represents a missing value.

Standards to specify structural metadata include:

Do you provide structural metadata with your open data? If so, how do you do it?

  • are your schemas hand-crafted, inferred or generated from the source database?
  • what standard do you use and why?
  • what tools do you recommend?