Setting Content Type and Extraction of Content Metadata

When files are added to HydroShare, if, based on their file extension, they are recognized as belonging to a supported content type they are automatically converted to a content type object, and where possible metadata is harvested from the content files and written to the metadata fields in the content type object available in the Content Metadata tab on the resource landing page.  Some harvested metadata is also used to populate resource level metadata. There are also right click menu options to remove or add content type associations.  To associate metadata with a single file not automatically converted to a content type object, right click and add metadata to file.  

Geographic Feature Example

Seven files comprising a Geographic Shapefile are added to a Composite Resource by dragging into the content area.

HydroShare recognizes these as a shapefile and automatically converts them into Geographic Feature Content stored in a folder depicted using a geographic feature symbol.

The folder can be opened to see the member files.



Metadata is read and set from the shapefile.

Content Types

The following Content Types are currently available:

  • Single File: Any single file that a user wants to add file level or extended metadata to.
  • Geographic Feature: An ESRI shapefile comprised of the multiple physical files that make up a logical shapefile. There are a minimum of three shapefile component files required for a geographic shapefile:, .dbf, .shp, .shx.  Other shapefile component files (.cpg, .prj, .sbn, .sbx, .xml, .fbn, .fbx, .ain, .aih, .atx, .ixs, .mxs) should also be added where available..
  • Geographic Raster: A GDAL VRT assembly of ".tif" files and associated .vrt file.
  • Multidimensional: A NetCDF file (.nc extension).
  • Time Series: A SQLite file (.sqlite extension).
  • Referenced Time Series: A .refts JSON file.

Folders and Content Types

You can create folders and use these to hold and organize your files and content type objects as you wish.  Changes to files within content type object folders are limited to those permitted by the content type. At present no content types permit adding files to, or deleting files from the content type folder.  

Resource Level Metadata

Some content types automatically recognized hold metadata that can also be held at the resource level.  This consists of title, abstract, authors, contributors, subject keyword and coverage information. In cases where this metadata is encountered and it is meaningful to use at the resource level, it is added or appended.  Title and abstract are only added if they have not been already added. Authors, contributors and subject keywords are appended to resource level information. There are buttons “Set spatial coverage from content files” and “Set temporal range from content files” to control the inheritance of resource level coverage from member content types.Adding and Editing Content Metadata.

To add to or edit content metadata follow the below steps below:

  1. Ensure you are in edit mode by clicking on the pencil icon at the top right of the resource page
  2. Navigate to the Content section
  3. Click to highlight the content type in the Content section to edit
  4. Scroll down to the Content Metadata tab
  5. In the Content Metadata tab, fill in or edit existing metadata

If the Content Metadata tab does not appear, check that you are in edit mode.  If the Content Metadata tab indicates “Select content in the file browser …” you may have selected a file that cannot hold content metadata, such as a member file of an existing content type, or single file not set as a content type.  For single files, you should right click to add metadata to file, before adding/editing content in the Content Metadata tab.

Working with Content Types in Composite Resources

Download zipped.

This will download a zip file, that in addition to the content files includes meta.xml and resmap.xml files that represent the content type metadata and OAI-ORE resource map associated with the formal OAI-ORE aggregation construct used to hold content types in HydroShare.


Remove content type.


This will unpack the content type into its individual files that become plain files in the Resource.

Convert to content type

This will create a content type object from a plain file in the Resource.