DIF - Directory Interchange Format

An early metadata initiative from the Earth sciences community, intended for the description of scientific data sets. It inlcudes elements focusing on instruments that capture data, temporal and spatial characteristics of the data, and projects with which the dataset is associated. It is defined as a W3C XML Schema.

Sponsored by the Global Change Master Directory, the DIF Writer's Guide Version 6 is from November 2010.

Tools

WiscLINC Metadata Tools Review

The Wisconsin Land INformation Clearinghouse review of metadata tools used for documenting geospatial data and serving geospatial metadata. It includes tools for CSDGM, ISO 19115, Dublin Core, and DIF.

Use Cases

BAS PDC - British Antarctic Survey Polar Data Centre

An organisation coordinating the management of data collected by UK-funded scientists in the polar regions, using an application profile that is harmonious with both ISO 19115 and DIF.

BODC - British Oceanographic Data Centre Published Data Library

This national facility for looking after and distributing data concerning the marine environment requires that data sets use a well-documented format such as CF-compliant NetCDF and be accompanied by a Dublin Core record as well as discovery metadata in a recognised standard such as DIF or FGDC/CDGM.

CEOS International Directory Network

An international effort headed by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites developed to assist users in locating Earth science data sets, data services, and visualizations using DIF metadata.

GFZ Information System and Data Center

A case study describing DIF metadata use in the German Research Center for Geoscience.

Global Change Master Directory

The GCMD uses DIF metadata to promote the discovery, access, and use of Earth science data and data-related services worldwide, parcitularly focusing on NASA data.

NASA EOSDIS - The Earth Observing System Data and Information System

EOSDIS provides online FTP access to thousands of Earth system science data products described with DIF metadata.