From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Mercury 3.0 - A New SOA based data discovery and access system Bruce Wilson (yes for backup poster for materials)

Mercury ( is a federated metadata harvesting, search and retrieval tool based on both open source software and software developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It was originally developed for NASA, and the Mercury development consortium now includes funding from NASA, USGS, and DOE. A major new version of Mercury was developed during 2007 and initially released in early 2008. This new version provides substantial improvements in search speed, support for additional metadata formats, integration with Google Maps for spatial queries, facetted type search, support for RSS delivery of search results, and ready customization to meet the needs of the multiple projects which use Mercury. For the end users, Mercury provides a single portal to very quickly search for data and information contained in disparate data management systems. It collects metadata and key data from contributing project servers distributed around the world and builds a centralized index. The Mercury search interfaces then allow the users to perform simple, fielded, spatial and temporal searches across these metadata sources. This centralized repository of metadata with distributed data sources provides extremely fast search results to the user, while allowing data providers to advertise the availability of their data and maintain complete control and ownership of that data.

As one example of Mercury use, the ORNL DAAC instance of Mercury ( indexes the holdings of the ORNL DAAC, the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTER), the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS), a collection of regional and global data sets, and partial holdings of the LP DAAC. These metadata are harvested in different formats, with search enabled for common fields. The full text of the metadata is also searchable, and the original metadata is available to the end user.

Recent enhancements to Mercury include improved harvesting (including OAI-PMH support) and additional ways to link directly to data (based on information in the metadata record or provided by the data center).