The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) through its Mountain Environment and Natural Resources
Information Systems (MENRIS) program has been focusing on GIS capacity building and networking of the national institutions
in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region to promote the development of
geographic information, its sharing and effective use of GIS and RS since early 1990. The development in Internet Mapping
technology such as ESRI?s ArcIMS has leveraged the potential to publish geographic and associated information through the
Internet. To take advantage of this, an integrated system - ICIMOD Metadata/Data Server
System has been designed and developed with an aim to provide a platform to share databases and metadata residing in ICIMOD
and its partners and stakeholders through the Internet.
The system includes a metadata editor for customized entering and viewing metadata. The editor has been developed using Visual
Basic and integrated within the ArcCatalog environment. It has an easy-to-use interface that is targeted to the groups in
the region who need basic but relevant information. A custom XSL stylesheet has also been created to display the metadata
information pertinent for MENRIS. The editor produces metadata compatible with FGDC XML format which can be viewed though
the Internet browser as a client. Users can view the metadata using the MENRIS stylesheet or other default stylesheets within
ArcCatalog such as FGDC, ESRI or Geography Network.
Next, a metadata server has been defined. Within it, an ArcIMS 3.1 application has been developed to define information required
by a prospective user to determine whether or not the particular geospatial data is available, and the means of accessing
them on-line. A keyword search engine has also been made available to view the metadata
and the associated data, where available. A major advantage of the system is to be able to use Internet browser as a client
to view the metadata with the same look and feel of ArcCatalog, as they are in XML format and also access data on-line
through ArcIMS 3.1 application.
The system should help in organising, documenting will be realized when all ICIMOD partners in the region will join together
to publish their data and metadata using the system.
Such a network will make it possible for a user to know about any existing geographic information in the HKH region, an
important step towards realising the vision of a Regional Geographic Informand sharing geographic data in the region. Its
potential ation Infrastructure (RGII). Further, this can contribute to bridging the data gap in the region and aid in
global data sharing initiatives such as Geography Network.Com and others.