Simon Cox reports that the Exploration and Mining Markup Language (XMML) is under development as an XML specification governing online data transfer for the exploration and mining industry. XMML is being designed as an application of the Geography Markup Language (GML); GML is an XML format for geospatial data based on the ISO/TC 211 feature model, and provides components, such as geometry, for re-use in specific domains. Interoperability with GML will allow XMML "to leverage developments in GIS and will provide maximum compatibility with generic software (e.g., GIS, CAD, DBMS, spreadsheet, web-browser). Thus XMML will be compatible with emerging geospatial data standards. It will support the efficient transfer of data between current software packages, between users at different sites, and of extracts of data from servers to clients in a variety of other scenarios, which requires shared protocols. XMML will be capable of describing rich 3-D geology, including ore-bodies, boreholes, geophysics and samples." Development plans call for the completion of data models, XML schemas, and several stylesheets by the end of 2001.
Usage scenarios: "Data encoded in XML is encapsulated as a text-format message that can be saved and exchanged as a disk-file, or transferred using standard web technology. Geoscience data encoded in XMML will easily be exchanged between software applications on the desktop, between colleagues in different offices, and between explorers, contractors, data-managers and regulators on a transactional basis. Because it is a self-describing clear-text format, XMML is also suitable for archiving. Here are some scenarios. (1) Users will be able to combine the strengths of different software packages without having to wrestle with reformatting and attendant information loss. (2) Software developers will have a framework in which they can focus on the distinctive functionality of their packages, while maintaining interoperability with complementary applications through data interchange conforming to a robust common model. (3) Data collectors and custodians will have a single representation to provide to clients. (4) Value-adding service providers and laboratories can receive inputs from the client in machine-readable format, and provide outputs in the same form. (5) Regulators can receive reports in XMML, and load it directly into a common database."