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RDB model, based on the GCE LTER Metabase, with adaptations from other LTER sites
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This was last updated: July 26, 2019


LTER-core-metabase is a PostgreSQL-based relational database model designed for the management of ecological metadata. This metadata database model is based on usage patterns by sites in the U.S. Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network. See Metabase history for more on the project's development history.

LTER-core-metabase is also oriented towards production of Ecological Metadata Language (EML) documents. This project is tightly coupled with the MetaEgress R package: use MetaEgress to quickly and easily export EML documents from an installed and populated instance of LTER-core-metabase.

The database design is still in active development. We encorage anyone to give it a test drive, but please keep in contact with us for advice prior to installation for use in production.


Quick visualization of schema.

  • Good for metadata management in LTER sites
    • Designed for earth, environmental, and ecological sciences metadata
    • Reuse information across datasets and projects
    • Database constraints for more compliant and better quality metadata
  • Companion R package MetaEgress to create EML docs quickly and easily
  • Supports EML 2.1, (coming) support for EML 2.2

Known limitations

  • LTER-core-metabase design records revision history to the dataset. However, it is only designed to describe the most recent version of the dataset. In other words, updating metadata means overwriting rows, not adding them.

  • LTER-core-metabase can store geographic information in rectangles or points, but not polygons of arbitrary shape. If required, you can archive a shapefile or other geospatial dataset as an otherEntity along the other data entities in the data package.



See the docs folder for a complete list of docs.

For contributors

See the contributing guide.

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