Earth science data is archived and distributed
in many different formats varying from character format, packed binary,
"standard" scientific formats to self-describing formats.
This heterogeneity results in data-application interoperability problems
for scientific tools. The Earth Science Markup Language (ESML) is
an elegant solution to this problem. ESML is an interchange technology
that enables data (both structural and semantic) interoperability
with applications without enforcing a standard format within the Earth
science community. Users can write external files using ESML schema
to describe the structure of the data file. Applications can utilize
the ESML Library to parse this description file and decode the data
format. As a result, software developers can now build data format
independent scientific applications utilizing the ESML technology.
Furthermore, semantic tags can be added to the ESML files by linking
different domain ontologies to provide a complete machine understandable
data description. This ESML description file allows the development
of intelligent applications that can now understand and "use"