The provision of XML-based interfaces to allow enhanced access to the Gazetteer for Scotland
Item statusRestricted Access
The Gazetteer for Scotland (GfS) is a large database of encyclopaedic knowledge concerning geographical features in Scotland. This content-rich dataset is made available to the general public via a large collection of web pages which are generated from the original database using a series of scripts and templates. The only means of access to this data is through the HTML based website. By introducing the data as Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) it becomes possible to add significant functionality to both the website and alternative interfaces which have been developed. This research will focus upon many of the technical issues involved in generating descriptive gazetteer XML data from a database, and provides an overview of both the advantages and disadvantages of using XSLT to transform this XML to XHTML web pages available for public use. In order to provide alternative interfaces, XML was further transformed to produce Keyhole Mark-up Language (KML) for use in geo-browser applications, and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) to provide GfS news items to an audience of subscribers. The research paper considers further interfaces as possible future applications, including conformance with the Gazetteer Content Standard, an XML grammar produced by the Alexandria Digital Library Project, to allow the sharing of gazetteer data between interested parties. Such an application would allow the GfS to reach a much wider audience through the provision of a stand-alone digital gazetteer web-service, which could be utilised by other parties interested in accurate gazetteer information.