The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) is a national facility for maintaining and distributing data concerning the marine environment. It provides several web services for implementing this data, including the NERC Vocabulary Server. The Vocabulary Server provides access to lists of standard terms used for oceanographic metadata, including descriptions of data, platforms, instruments, and geographic locations.
Using standardized sets of terms solves the problem of ambiguities associated with data markup and also enables records to be interpreted by computers. This opens up possibilities for computer aided manipulation, distribution, and long-term reuse. The BODC NERC Vocabulary Server can be accessed programmatically using SOAP calls issued in XML format.