From NCGMP09 to GeoSciML (and back again)
I'm almost done building a complete mapping file that will output GeoSciML MappedFeatures from polygon features in a database that follows the NCGMP09 schema. This schema, developed as part of the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, is a proposed standard database schema for the publication of single digital geologic map. An ESRI Personal Geodatabase implementation of the NCGMP09 schema is available on the website linked above.
The big problem getting people to participate in GIN (Geoscience Information Network), OneGeology, or OGC web services in general, is that the ETL process (Extract-Transform-Load) to get their data from their source schema into the intended distribution schema is always complicated. We want people to particiapte in GIN by providing their data as GeoSciML. We also want to minimize the number of ETL processes that someone has to do to in order to do it.
With that in mind, we figure it will be easier for people to deal with SQL, MS Access, and ArcCatalog to get their data into the NCGMP format than it will be for them to learn to read XML and understand GeoServer's implementation of a complex-feature WFS. In my dream world, you get your data into the NCGMP format, then I'll give you exactly what you need in order to use that as a backend for a GeoSciML service.
After that is taken care of, I also want to write some software that will read GeoSciML data, and map it straight back into an NCGMP data structure. At that point, GeoSciML becomes what it is truly intended to be: an interchange format.