Berry, D.I. and Kent, E.C.
WMO Publication 47: Consistency Checking and Gap Filling, Version 1.0. Southampton, GB, Southampton Oceanography Centre, 77pp.
WMO Publication 47 (Pub. 47) contains information on the Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) observations contained within ICOADS. However, this data has been collected over a
50 year period by numerous countries and in a number of different formats, ranging from 13 fields in the 1950’s up to around 120 fields in the modern editions. The changing formats and contents of Pub. 47 are described in Kent et al. (2006). The addition of new fields leads to information becoming available which may be valid for records in earlier editions. As a result, it should be possible to increase the amount of information available from Pub. 47 by
copying new fields into earlier additions as they become available.
Due to the operational nature of Pub. 47 and its collection by different agencies there are a large number of coding differences and typographical errors in the metadata. Also, due to WMO regulations, once data has been added to Pub. 47 by a country that data persists until the next entry from that country. This leads to out of date metadata and may lead to ambiguous entries where multiple records for the same ship from different countries exist in the same edition.
This report describes the process used to homogenize the metadata data set, correct typographic and coding errors and to copy information into the earlier editions when new
fields are added. Section 2 describes the process of homogenizing the dataset and section 3 makes an assessment of the homogenization.
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