Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare METeOR Home Page

Object class

An object class represents a person, organisation, structure or event that is of interest and needs to be described. Within METeOR examples of object classes include Person, Dwelling and Family.

The union of a specific object class with a specific property creates a data element concept. For example, some of the above mentioned object classes can be combined with an Religious affiliation property to create the data element concepts: Personreligious affiliation and Familyreligious affiliation.

Object classes can be specialisations of other object classes. For example, Adult is an age group related specialisation of Person

Specialisations allow object classes to be grouped and subtyped in a meaningful manner and help users in browsing and locating relevant object classes. In a specialisation tree an object class can only be associated with a single parent object class but may have more than one child object classes. A child object class inherits all characteristics of its parent object class, but a child object class may have unique characteristics.

Click on a parent object class image to link through to related object class specialisations.


PartyLife eventPerson/Group of persons Service episodeService eventService providerOrganisationLocality


Below is a graphical representation of the relationship between object classes and related metadata item types.

Figure representing object class relationships within metadata structures

Figure: Diagrammatic representation of object class relationships in METeOR metadata structures.