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The XPaths provided on the following pages were current as of 12/2012.  A more current mapping has been developed and is available here. The XPaths on the following child pages will be updated ASAP.

The XPaths notwithstanding, information contained on the following child pages remains current and can be helpful in constructing schemas for new missions.



The relationship between the ECS attributes and the NASA Best Practices for ISO is complex. The following pages contain valuable and up-to-date information on ECS and ISO data structures and attributes. The pages are organized thematically and contain information that may assist users updating their knowledge of ECS.

Thematic Organization of the ECS Attributes 

Note the (ECS) designation is intended to distinguish the themes from the ECHO theme which have a slightly different data structure.

ECS Required Attributes

The following is a list of required attributes to define a new collection within ECS:

  • ShortName
  • VersionID
  • LongName
  • CollectionDescription
  • RevisionDate

For a minimal descriptor file, the following attributes are also required (note that these are not stored in any database and might not be required for some missions):

  • ArchiveCenter
  • ProcessingCenter
  • VersionDescription

ECS Attribute Field Definitions

Following are the field names and descriptions used in the generation of the ECS-ISO crosswalk and attribute documentation.

ECS Name

ECS Attribute Name

Metadata Level

"Collection" or "Granule" only. An attribute that occurs both at the granule and collection level should be denoted as such in the "Attribute Definition Comments"

Data Type

Native database data type e.g. "Text" or "* Bit String". Proprietary codes are not used.


"Mandatory" or "Optional" only. "Core" or "Recommended" should go under "Attribute Definition Comments"


Description of the attribute, building upon latest definitions document e.g. 420-EMD-001

Sample Value

Sample value that will be accepted for ingest or is representative of suitable use of the attribute

Dependent Attributes

Related attributes. Includes parent-child, child-child, etc. relationships.

Attribute Definition Comments

Comments concerning the attribute definition and best practices for its use.


The thematic area corresponding under which the attribute will be found on the Earthdata wiki. Could be more than one but usually only one thematic area. Examples include "Spatial Information".


The ECS XPath


The ISO XPath

Crosswalk Comments

Comments on implementation of the crosswalk, anticipated changes, acceptable or unacceptable values, alternative mappings, etc.

Downloadable Spreadsheet

Link to the comprehensive spreadsheet containing all attribute definitions.

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