Anthropometric data are used by numerous types of organizations for health evaluation, ergonomics, apparel sizing, fitness training, and many other applications. Data have been collected and stored in electronic databases since at least the 1940s. These databases are owned by many organizations around the world. In addition, the anthropometric studies stored in these databases often employ different standards, terminology, procedures, or measurement sets. To promote the use and sharing of these databases, the World Engineering Anthropometry Resources (WEAR) group was formed and tasked with the integration and publishing of member resources. It is easy to see that organizing worldwide anthropometric data into a single database architecture could be a daunting and expensive undertaking. The challenges of WEAR integration reflect mainly in the areas of distributed and disparate data, different standards and formats, independent memberships, and limited development resources. Fortunately, XML schema and web services provide an alternative method for networking databases, referred to as the Loosely Coupled WEAR Integration. A standard XML schema can be defined and used as a type of Rosetta stone to translate the anthropometric data into a universal format, and a web services system can be set up to link the databases to one another. In this way, the originators of the data can keep their data locally along with their own data management system and user interface, but their data can be searched and accessed as part of the larger data network, and even combined with the data of others. This paper will identify requirements for WEAR integration, review XML as the universal format, review different integration approaches, and propose a hybrid web services/data mart solution.
How to Cite:
Cheng, H. and Robinette, K., 2007. An XML-Based Networking Method for Connecting Distributed Anthropometric Databases. Data Science Journal, 6, pp.S18–S27. DOI: http://doi.org/10.2481/dsj.6.S18