Foreword

 

 

Welcome to RAMON, Eurostat's metadata server.

 

Metadata are the foundations on which all statistical systems, national as well as international, are built. Thus, it is essential that statisticians have access to an extensive, reliable and regularly updated source of information on these elements.

 

The main objective of this server is to make available the largest possible stock of past and present metadata in order to help users in the analysis of statistical data. This site will not be limited to recent documents; indeed users needing "old" metadata in order to analyse long time series will often have to consult methodological and other material which is no longer in force (for example NACE 1970, ESA 1970, etc.) and RAMON will try to provide this information.

 

The information presented in RAMON is organized by large metadata categories so that users can easily find what they are looking for. One object (for instance, a classification) can be present in several categories. Furthermore a section called "Quick links" makes it possible to access directly from the home page the most consulted objects of the site (for instance, NUTS, Combined Nomenclature, CODED, etc.). The number of metadata categories is not at all finite; new categories are likely to be added if the need emerges.

 

The main features of this new tool are the following:

 

- Use of UNICODE. Making use of the UNICODE character set makes it possible to store and disseminate information in any language.

 

- Multilingual character of the information disseminated. Whenever possible or available, the information is presented in all languages in which it exists. This is especially true for some classifications which sometimes exist in 20 languages.

 

- Its powerful search engine. When a search is performed, the search engine of RAMON goes through all the objects loaded in the database and returns all results found, whatever the metadata category in which it was found.

 

- Layout adapted to the type of metadata presented; the way the information is displayed on the screen depends on the kind of metadata; for instance thesauri will respect the main international standards used for presentation of these data (Narrow terms, broad terms, etc.).

 

Technically speaking, the database management system used is ORACLE and the application used for Web dissemination has been written in ColdFusion MX.

 

Contact address: ESTAT-RAMON@ec.europa.eu

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