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How To Make Yourself Acquainted With agroXML

Documentation Elements

XML Schema provides with its <annotation> and <documentation> a standard way to add additional information. In recent versions of the schema, these child elements have been assigned to most of the element and type definitions. For getting to know the schema, it is wise to use the current snapshot, as there have been several additions since version 1.5.

You can also find a doc subfolder in the schema downloads. For now, this folder contains mostly schema developer information in docbook format, however more will be added in the next few months and we might switch to a more human-readable but also machine-processable format for the new release.

Schema Modules

We have distributed things across different schema modules. These can be used as a whole, but also independently from each other (links provided point to version 1.5 schema files):

agroxml.xsd:
If you want a global view on the complete schemas e. g. for creating a full-blown documentation file for a certain production year, you can use this file. It contains the definition of the <AgroXMLDoc> root element and an inclusion of all the other schema files.
Xlinks.xsd:
This file contains definitions of the attributes defined by the W3C XLink specificationy. It is used within agroXML to allow for distributed resources to be linked with each other across distributed services and files.
CoreComponentTypes.xsd:
Offers a set of basic data types e. g. for physical quantities, localized text types and several union types used for elements that allow for differing precision or description of concepts.
Gml.xsd:
A subset (profile) of OGC's Geography Markup Language. Defined herein are basic spatial types and elements like polygons, points etc. used throughout the schemas.
CommonBasicComponents.xsd:
A collection of elements without child elements that are used at several places across different schemas.
ContentList.xsd:
The structural definition for content lists that provide lists of names and identifiers for commonly used objects in agriculture, e. g. for varieties, pesticides, active ingredients etc.
Address.xsd:
Common elements for annotation of contact information like street address, city, phone etc. This is oriented on several existing definitions available on the web like vCard, LDAP Schema for User Application and others. It may be replaced in the future by something standard provided elsewhere.
Analysis.xsd:
Common types and elements to analysis processes within agriculture, currently mainly soil analysis, but further types of analyses will follow.
Crop.xsd:
Elements and datatypes to represent crop data, e. g. species, variety, but also classes of crops like catch crop, primary crop and so on.
Economic.xsd:
A currently almost empty schema. Economical parameters to be represented are picked from the list EconomicalData.xml. The content list will soon be deprecated and parameters will go into separate element and attribute definitions in the future.
Farm.xsd:
Master data of the farm, like address, contact person etc.
Field.xsd:
Field data like geospatial location and different identifier systems.
Harvest.xsd:
The harvesting process involves a lot of information and therefore was split from the WorkProcess schema. Also included here is product quality data like protein or starch content, moisture etc. This may be split out into a separate schema in the future.
OperatingSupplies.xsd:
Herein, you find structures for representing data on all kinds of farm supplies like fertilizers, pesticides, seeds etc.
Rating.xsd:
The rating schema provides very generic constructs for field observations, ratings and their classification and evaluation.
Storage.xsd:
This schema file provides possibilities to describe crop storage conditions and facilities.
WeatherStation.xsd:
The weather station schema is currently in draft stage and may be replaced in the future. The reason is that there are several existing competing schemas for representing weather observations and environmental sensor data. It is not yet clear which one is optimal to use for agricultural purposes.
WorkProcess.xsd:
The work process schema is one of the core schemas of agroXML providing elements and types to describe all kinds of farm work processes, even ones that are not executed with the help of machines and for which there is therefore also no electronic data acquisition and logging from the machine.

For more in-depth knowledge you should pick a schema file in relation to issues that are of interest to you. At the stage of making yourself acquainted with agroXML using an XML editor that allows for graphical representation of element hierarchies based on a schema definitely helps. That way, you can browse the relevant document structures.