The Alpine Catalogue of Data of Sources (Alpine-CDS) is a wide-ranging reference tool for environmental information about the Alps. It provides key meta-data documenting Alpine institutions and their data holdings that will be of use to decision-makers, scientists as well as the general public.
The Alpine-CDS has been jointly developed by the System for the Observation of and Information on the Alps (SOIA) and the Swiss Federal Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), with technical backstopping from GRID-Europe. In the initial pilot phase, meta-data was collected in Switzerland and from international sources. The Alpine-CDS will be made available in the languages of all Alpine Convention member countries; that is German, French, Italian and Slovenian. In addition, the application's multi-lingual support system allows for information searches to be made simultaneously in a dozen European languages.
On the request of the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention, a web portal is currently being developed, which would provide access to the various services offered by SOIA. These include the meta-data catalogue based on WebCDS technology. This on-line entry point will also allow users to consult the SOIA website and to access two services developed by Austria, an internal system for information exchange (CIRCA/EIONET) and a Geographic Information System database.
The Alpine-CDS "meta-data bank" as other SOIA activities were stopped at the end of 2003. Nevertheless, this archive information could be included in an interractive cdrom for the Alpine Convention in 2005, before closing definitvely the website and the CDS-A