The questions and information requirements of the Ministry for the Environment were converted into an interview and reporting table with the first two parts of the table being designed to address the Ministry's metadata requirements.
The Ministry required that the report follow the draft MFE-ANZLIC metadata standard where possible, recognizing that the metadata standard was still in draft. Some of the terms and concepts in the draft metadata standard were not sufficiently developed for use in this type of document. In addition several key concepts, e.g. parameters, had been omitted from the metadata standard. This report uses the same metadata template as was used in Froude (1999). This template was developed after discussion with Ministry for Environment and Landcare Research staff.
In addition to metadata the Ministry for the Environment had a number of questions relating to management. These included:
- original purpose of the database
- current limitations for use
- how is the database used
- public awareness of the database
- existing and developing relationships with other classification systems and databases
- the identification of current and emerging uses of the database for: determining historic and/or current state or baselines; aggregating and reporting data locally, regionally and nationally; monitoring site selection and developing sample designs; modeling possible future senarios and risk assessment.
Table One -Explanation of Database Template- includes an explanation of each component used in the database reporting form.
Information collection for this review proceeded in stages. The first stage identified the database names, organisations and contact people. For some databases and organisations this was a complex task with many leads being followed. This review included national databases for which information was available at the time the report was prepared (June, 2000) and which could be relevant to the confirmed EPI Programme indicators for the marine environment or to a proposed new marine environment classification. Limited funding precluded following every lead with every potential applicable database. Nevertheless, every effort was made to be as comprehensive as possible. Other possible databases that could be pursued are llisted in section 11. Funding constraints precluded comprehensive information collection on marine environment databases held by regional councils. Section 12 contains a summary of marine environment databases for a selection of regional councils.
The second stage in the project involved collecting information about the databases and visiting/contacting persons with a role in managing and/or developing particular databases. A database table was completed for each database. Supplementary information from sources other than the interviewees was used where this was appropriate or necessary.