Meaning & purpose

Temporal coverage refers to the time period during which data was collected or observations were made; or a time period that an activity or collection is linked to intellectually or thematically (for example, 1997 to 1998; the 18th century). Temporal coverage is contained within the Coverage element wrapper.

Temporal coverage can be recorded as a date range using the Date child element or it can be entered as text using the Text child element:

Temporal Coverage attributes

Temporal Coverage Date Type

If Temporal Coverage is described using the Date element, a Date Type is required, preferably from the Temporal Coverage Date Type vocabulary:

Type

Explanation

dateFrom

the start date for a temporal coverage period

dateTo

the end date for a temporal coverage period


Date Format attribute

If Temporal Coverage is described using the Date element, a DateFormat attribute is required for each instance of Date Type. A single date or a range of dates can be provided and may include both start and end dates or an open ended date. The W3C Date Time Format (W3CDTF) is the only format specified in the vocabulary.

Use in Research Data Australia

Temporal coverage description using dates supports timeline filtering and display of search results in Research Data Australia.

Temporal coverage is displayed in records using the labels 'From [date]' and 'To [date]'. If only one date is provided, only the appropriate label will be displayed with the date.

Best practice

 

In RIF-CS v1.0.1 temporal coverage was provided using the Location element with type="coverage". The information below applies only to those users. Upgrade of feeds to the current version of RIF-CS is recommended to take advantage of schema enhancements and the current Research Data Australia display.

There were no defined types, only dates were used. If temporal coverage could not be described as dates using dateFrom and dateTo (for example, 18th century), this information was recorded in a Description element using type of "temporal".

<location dateFrom="2010-03-01T00:00:00Z" dateTo="2011-01-31T00:00:00Z" type="coverage">
</location>


XML encoding examples

 <coverage>
    <temporal>
        <date type="dateFrom" dateFormat="W3CDTF">2001</date>
        <date type="dateTo" dateFormat="W3CDTF">2004</date>
    </temporal>
</coverage>
<coverage>
    <temporal>
        <date type="dateFrom" dateFormat="W3CDTF">2001-01-12T19:20:30.45Z</date>
        <date type="dateTo" dateFormat="W3CDTF">2004-03-12T09:14:10.00Z</date>
    </temporal>
</coverage>
 <coverage>
    <temporal>
        <text>18th century</text>
    </temporal>
</coverage>
<coverage>
    <temporal>
        <date type="dateFrom" dateFormat="W3CDTF">1863</date>
    </temporal>
</coverage>
<coverage>
    <temporal>
        <text>1863 to present day</text>
    </temporal>
</coverage>

 

Change history

Date

Change history

April 2010

Consultation draft

26 Oct 2010

RIF-CS 1.2.0 changes and examples added

6 Jan 2011

RIF-CS 1.2.0 examples corrected to show temporal coverage dateFormat on date type as specified in schema; examples for describing open-ended collections added

6 Dec 2011

Page restructured to separate RIF-CS v1.0.1 information to avoid confusion; information about display of temporal information added;  Research Data Australia image updated

8 Jun 2012

Added ISO3166 example

5 Jul 2012

Added advice to use W3CDTF format

16 Jul 2012

Corrected links to ISO 3166 information

31 Jul 2012

UTC: Coordinated Universal Time was removed as approved by RAB

Nov 2012

Split Spatial and Temporal coverage into two pages