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The AgMES (Agricultural Metadata Element set) initiative was developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and aims to encompass issues of semantic standards in the domain of agriculture with respect to description, resource discovery, interoperability and data exchange for different types of information resources.

There are numerous other metadata schemas for different types of information resources. The following list contains a list of a few examples:

  • Document-like Information Objects (DLIOs): Dublin Core, Agricultural Metadata Element Set (AgMES)
  • Events: VCalendar
  • Geographic and Regional Information: Geographic information—Metadata ISO/IEC 11179 Standards
  • Persons: Friend-of-a-friend (FOAF), vCard
  • Plant Production and Protection: Darwin Core (1.0 and 2.0) (DwC)

AgMES as a namespace is designed to include agriculture specific extensions for terms and refinements from established standard metadata namespaces like Dublin Core, AGLS etc. Thus to be used for Document-like Information Objects, for example like publications, articles, books, web sites, papers, etc., it will have to be used in conjunction with the standard namespaces mentioned before. The AgMES initiative strives to achieve improved interoperability between information resources in agricultural domain by enabling means for exchange of information.

Describing a DLIO with AgMES means exposing its major characteristics and contents in a standard way that can be reused easily in any information system. The more institutions and organizations in the agricultural domain that use AgMES to describe their DLIOs, the easier it will be to interchange data in between information systems like digital libraries and other repositories of agricultural information.