In the 1990's ECAI developed the ECAI Metadata Clearinghouse, a system for managing and cataloging spatio-temporal cultural data. ECAI's Metadata Clearinghouse includes records which describe datasets or map layers. ECAI metadata records include bibliographic and descriptive metadata for resource discovery allowing identification of resources relevant to a particular place, time or thematic interest. They also contain connection metadata for each dataset which allows software such as TimeMap™ to connect to the data server across the Internet (or to local files), drill down into the data and integrate results from different datasets (heterogeneous distributed database query.)
The ECAI Data Portal will host data migrated from this original clearinghouse. Metadata from the Clearinghouse has been loaded into the portal. migration of the spatial datasets is in process.