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.
NISTs 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