An integrated view of data quality in earth observation

Kevin Yang, Jon Blower, Lucy Bastin, Victoria Lush, Alaitz Zabala, Joan Masó, Dan Cornford, Paula Díaz, Jo Lumsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data quality is a difficult notion to define precisely, and different communities have different views and understandings of the subject. This causes confusion, a lack of harmonization of data across communities and omission of vital quality information. For some existing data infrastructures, data quality standards cannot address the problem adequately and cannot full all user needs or cover all concepts of data quality. In this paper we discuss some philosophical issues on data quality. We identify actual user needs on data quality, review existing standards and specification on data quality, and propose an integrated model for data quality in the eld of Earth observation. We also propose a practical mechanism for applying the integrated quality information model to large number of datasets through metadata inheritance. While our data quality management approach is in the domain of Earth observation, we believe the ideas and methodologies for data quality management can be applied to wider domains and disciplines to facilitate quality-enabled scientific research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20120072
JournalPhilosophical Transactions A
Issue number1983
Early online date10 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

© 2012 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • data quality
  • uncertainty
  • metadata
  • provenance
  • Earth observation
  • environmental informatics


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