Ecoinformatics Conference Service, Environmental Information Management 2008

Mercury- A Distributed Metadata Management, Data Discovery and Access System

Giriprakash Palanisamy, Bruce Wilson, Jim Green, Ranjeet Devarakonda

Last modified: 2008-08-21


Mercury is a federated metadata harvesting, search and retrieval tool based on both open source software and software developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It was originally developed for NASA, and the Mercury development consortium now includes funding from NASA, USGS, and DOE. A major new version of Mercury was developed during 2007 and released in early 2008. This new version provides orders of magnitude improvements in search speed, support for additional metadata formats, integration with Google Maps for spatial queries, support for RSS delivery of search results, and ready customization to meet the needs of the multiple projects which use Mercury. For the end users, Mercury provides a single portal to very quickly search for data and information contained in disparate data management systems. It collects metadata and key data from contributing project servers distributed around the world and builds a centralized index. The Mercury search interfaces then allow the users to perform simple, fielded, spatial and temporal searches across these metadata sources. This centralized repository of metadata with distributed data sources provides extremely fast search results to the user, while allowing data providers to advertise the availability of their data and maintain complete control and ownership of that data.