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Search for Data

Search Functionality


  1. Search Functionality
  2. Free Text Search
  3. Controlled Keyword Search
  4. Map Search
  5. Date Search
  6. Additional Search Options

Search Functionality

The new GCMD search interface facilitates data discovery by building on existing functionality that improves search precision and recall.

On the new GCMD homepage users can search for datasets (1) by using their own search terms (free text), (2)by browsing GCMD controlled keywords AND/OR (3) by using a refinement of GCMD controlled keywords to explore data.

front page of site


The short cut menu allows users to click the tab and immediately begin searching by a specific category (Science Keywords, Instruments, Platforms, Locations, Providers, Projects, Map/Date, and Free text).

search tabs

Search Refinements - Clicking on Keywords versus Clicking on Numbers:

Clicking on Keywords (View More Keywords) Legacy Search

Selecting science keywords or other keywords to search a specific metadata record gives users more information within a category that is being searched. This option allows users to continually refine their search, thus providing more specific search results.

Snap shot images of clicking on keywords

Clicking on Numbers (View Titles)

Users have the option to either search within a category using the keywords provided or the numbers located on the side of a keyword in that category. For the numbers option (or if the example keywords that appear in smaller font are selected), users will go directly to a list of metadata records that pertain to that specific keyword. At this point, users will be able to utilize the expanded refinement page where they can continue to refine their search.

view titles search screen shot

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Free Text Search

search results page showing keyword tree and found records

The free text search box has been added to the top banner and gives users the option to search for datasets or data services. By default, free text search terms are matched to the GCMD controlled keywords and highlighted in the keyword "tree". To see all GCMD controlled keywords, uncheck the "Only Show Matching Keywords" box.

The free text search offers Boolean searching (AND, OR, NOT must be entered with capital letters) and fielded searching (allows you to restrict your search to datasets or data services metadata fields.) The AND operator is assumed if you have multiple items in your query. Other enhanced search operations are also available. The View Full Explanation option gives user more information on doing complex search queries.

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Controlled Keyword Search

close up of the keyword tree

The keyword "tree" functionality lets users explore datasets using the GCMD controlled keywords. Users can choose between seven categories (Science Keywords, Platforms, Instruments, Data Centers and Projects) and can further refine a search using the date and map searches. The arrows on the keyword "tree" let users expand their search results down multiple levels of the keyword hierarchy. As users conduct their search, the number of datasets associated with each keyword are shown and the search results are dynamically updated.

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Map Search

close up view of the map search tool

Users can search for datasets by drawing a bounding box around an area of interest using the map. Users can also use the drag and drop feature by selecting the "Enable map dragging" button below the map. Click and drag the map to pan or use the arrows to move the map horizontally or vertically. Drag the zoom slider up or down to zoom in or out incrementally.

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Date Search

close up view of the date range search tool

Users can search for datasets by a date range. Users can choose from a specific time such as before, during, before or during, during or after, and after, following a select day from the calendar provided.

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