Mercury is a federated metadata harvesting, search and retrieval tool based on both open source packages and custom software developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). It was originally developed for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the consortium now includes funding from NASA, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Mercury is itself a reusable software application which uses a service-oriented architecture (SOA) approach to capturing and managing metadata in support of twelve Earth science projects. Mercury also supports the reuse of metadata by enabling searches across a range of metadata specification and standards including XML, Z39.50, FGDC, Dublin-Core, Darwin-Core, EML, and ISO-19115. It collects metadata and key data from contributing project servers distributed around the world and builds a centralized index. The Mercury search interfaces allows the users to perform simple, fielded, spatial, temporal and other hierarchical searches across these metadata sources. This centralized repository of metadata with distributed data sources provides extremely fast search results (Table 1) to the user, while allowing data providers to advertise the availability of their data and yet maintain complete control and ownership of that data.
MetadataMetadata managementMetadata discoveryScientific data searchReusable search engineORNL DAAC