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infrastructure > spatial metadata > Geographic Extent Name Register

Geographic Extent Name Register

about the GEN Register

The GEN Register is an online resource that contains the geographic extents of thousands of geographic objects. These objects range from maps sheets, navigational charts, oceans and rivers, through to States, Territories and Local Government Areas.

The register has been developed by ANZLIC—the Spatial Information Council to assist users complete the GEN element of the ANZLIC metadata guidelines. This element requires users to specify the ordinary name of one or more predefined geographic objects that reasonably show the geographic coverage of their dataset.

In addition to enabling consistent communication of ANZLIC compliant GENs, the register provides authoritative listings of allowable geographic objects and their respective attributes for use within the "place-keyword" element of the ANZMETA Document Type Definition (DTD). These attributes include the three components of the GEN element as defined in the guidelines:

  • GEN Category: Category to which the geographic object belongs.
    e.g. 1:1 000 000 Map Series
  • GEN Name: Name of the geographic object.
    e.g. A geographic object within the 1:1 000 000 Map Series is a map sheet.
  • GEN Custodial Jurisdiction: Country, State or Territory that is responsible for maintaining the detail of the geographic object.
    e.g. For each map sheet within the 1:1 000 000 Map Series Category, the GEN Custodial Jurisdiction is Australia. This is because the Commonwealth (through National Mapping Division, Geoscience Australia) is responsible for maintaining the map sheets within this series.

Geographic Bounding Box (GBB) coordinates are also provided for each geographic object. The incorporation of these is important for two reasons:

  1. They automatically define the boundaries of the GEN (i.e. assists the entering of coordinates for the mandatory Geographic Bounding Box metadata element), and
  2. They support spatial searching within the Australian Spatial Data Directory (ASDD).

Format of the GEN Register

For each GEN Category there is an associated GEN file containing the list of Geographic Extent Names, their attributes and a metadata record. These files are in simple delimited format (pipe "|" is the delimiter).



ID = Code or numeric identifier of the GEN
Name = GEN Name
N = North Bounding Latitude
S = South Bounding Latitude
E = East Bounding Longitude
W = West Bounding Longitude
Jurisdiction = Name of the custodial jurisdiction

The name of each GEN Category and its associated GEN file is held within a special file called 'anzlic-gencategories.txt'. It is important that this file is used by metadata tools to ensure that the requested GEN Category is valid and it refers to the appropriate GEN file.

Using the GEN files

The downloadable GEN files can be imported into metadata tools for use when entering metadata records. It is the responsibility of metadata tool developers to ensure that their tools can:

  • Import the files and their associated GEN Categories, and
  • Export metadata records in accordance with the ANZLIC Metadata Guidelines.

There are two types of files available:

  1. Individual GEN files for each GEN Category, and
  2. Single file of all GENs from the GEN Register (anzlic-allgens.txt).

For the individual files, the category name is not contained within the records. Hence, metadata tool developers need to keep in mind that the name of each GEN Category and its associated GEN file is contained in the file 'anzlic-gencategories.txt'.

GEN Register Manager

John Hockaday

Phone: +61 2 6249 9735

The GEN Register is maintained by Geoscience Australia on behalf of ANZLIC.