March 2000

March SN Contents

State of the Art

A New Language


MUCH OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY owe their progress to the careful collection, logging and interpretation of data. And as information technology becomes more efficient, so do the methods scientists use for sorting and accessing data. Now hoping to improve the utility of electronic materials property data, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have just embarked on a project to standardize the way materials property data is posted on the World Wide Web.

NIST’s Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory is inviting others in the materials property data community to join this effort called Materials Property Data Markup Language, or MatML. The goal of MatML is to create a standard markup language for web-based materials property data collections. While current hypertext markup language specifies elements of web page design, it contains no mechanism for tagging or specifying any of the hundreds of materials properties that materials scientists and engineers need to know. MatML will address interpretation and interoperability of materials property data. The goal is to develop a markup language that will describe the data source, the material, and the material properties.

Ultimately, this project could allow researchers to easily use electronic materials property data from multiple sources in models, simulations or distributed databases.

For more information or to join the MatML effort, contact project leader Ed Begley at NIST (301/975-6118). Visit the MatML Web site.

Some ASTM standards are being referenced in the development of MatML. See the article on page 22 of the November 1999 issue of SN. //