What are dataset identifiers?
Dataset identifiers are short codes that permanently identify geospatial datasets in data.wa.gov.au. Even if you’re not a geospatial data user, you may have seen them without knowing exactly what they are.
The dataset identifier for the Western Australian Museum’s Shipwrecks dataset is WAM-002
Dataset identifiers provide a concise, common name to use in discussing and referring to datasets. It also reduces confusion between datasets with similar names (for example, Landgate’s cadastral datasets have very similar names and may be confused easily). On a technical level, the identifiers provide a short, machine readable code that can exclusively identify a dataset.
A dataset identifier contains two components:
- The name of the agency that created the dataset: represented as an acronym, eg. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is shortened to DPIRD.
- A unique three-digit number identifying the dataset. eg. 001, 002, 003, …
Note: Dataset identifiers only apply to geospatial datasets in data.wa.gov.au that are loaded and managed through the geospatial Data Upload Tool.
How are they created?
As part of the Application Review process, new datasets will be assigned an exclusive identifier by the team. In most cases, the three-digit number will incrementally increase.
eg. If the most recent dataset identifier is DPIRD-012, then the next identifier will be DPIRD-013.
Tip: If you’re migrating an existing dataset to the Data Upload Tool, the dataset identifier can be reused. To do this, use the “Populate metadata from data.wa.gov.au” option. As part of the approval process the identifier will be assigned to your new application.
When your application has been approved, the identifier appears on the Metadata tab of the Data Upload Tool:
Once your identifier is assigned, the dataset title will be updated to include the identifier in data.wa.gov.au:
When the dataset is published, it will appear in the published service.
Machinery of government changes
As part of machinery of government changes and department restructures, dataset identifiers can change as functions and their associated datasets move between departments.
eg. Department of Fisheries <DOF-001> merged to become the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the dataset identifier changed to DPIRD-001.
As this changes a fundamental part of the dataset – the name – it requires a formal change request through the DUT. Dataset names may also change as part of the regular dataset lifecycle (for example, a major change to the structure, retirement and creation of a new version of the dataset).
Reference: Read more about managing changes to your data in the article Managing and changing your data.