Detailed metadata and the ability to access them are crucial to establishing and interpreting a high quality data record. Each component of the observing system and its operating procedures must be fully documented. This is particularly important when changes to the station occur or are contemplated. Historically, metadata have included such variables as latitude, longitude, and elevation of the station, type of instruments, their exposure and height above ground.
The CRN affords the opportunity to utilize modern technology in the acquisition and presentation of metadata, including in situ and satellite (e.g., LANDSAT) digital imaging to document instrument exposure, land use, and environmental conditions. CRN metadata will include instrument specifications, sampling times, calibration and maintenance records, validation procedures, and algorithms used to process and quality control the data.
This paper will provide an overview of the CRN metadata that will be collected and the associated database and application subsystem design issues.