Get metadata parsing software

Executable tools for creating and validating formal metadata

There are two main programs -- mp and cns -- that are available for download to assist in your validation and re-expression of metadata in alternate formats. Currently supported platforms include UNIX and Windows based operating systems.

The mp program is a compiler for formal metadata designed to parse metadata, check the formal syntax, and is most frequently used to re-express the metadata in HTML, SGML, XML, text, and DIF formats for use in Clearinghouse, metadata sharing, and on web servers. You will need mp to validate (check the structure) and generate alternate forms of metadata.

Download cns and mp for your specific platform by connecting to and selecting the appropriate program name or bundle with your computer operating system's suffix. When you save it to disk, save as either mp or cns without the suffix for ease of reference. These programs are executed using the command line in all computer environments.

The cns program is an optional metadata pre-parser designed for people who have not been using rigorous software to create metadata, and now want to publish their records into the National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse. It is a program that should only be applied where metadata are not properly indented (in the text form) or if the element tags happen to include numbers on them (not permitted in the Profile). It reformats the metadata to be readable by mp. This is not a simple operation, however, and without careful work, some information will not be properly transferred. Consequently, cns creates a file for the leftover pieces of the input--those lines that could not be properly placed in the parseable output. Again, avoid repeated or unnecessary use of cns.

Installation Notes

The mp and cns software may be installed in a common-use directory (e.g. /usr/local/bin or C:\WINNT\system32) or included in the "PATH" variable so that it may be seen anywhere on the system or in a special directory if it is to be used only by an individual. It is recommended that the executable be renamed to its prefix (e.g. mp) after download. Permissions may need to be set in UNIX/Linux to make the program executable (chmod +x program_name). The author of these programs may be contacted at for comments, questions, or queries regarding support of additional platforms.

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