Creating geospatial metadata for the long term
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Creating Geospatial Metadata for the Long-term. Lynda Wayne Federal Geographic Data Committee Geospatial One-Stop GeoMaxim. Metadata… again?. Metadata has long been promoted by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), state GIS coordinators, and project managers as a means to:

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Creating Geospatial Metadata for the Long-term

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Creating Geospatial Metadata for the Long-term

Lynda Wayne

Federal Geographic Data Committee

Geospatial One-Stop


Metadata… again?

Metadata has long been promoted by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), state GIS coordinators, and project managers as a means to:

  • preserve organizational data investments

  • instill data accountability and liability

  • facilitate data sharing.

The Times They are a Changin’

International metadata standard


  • transitional process

  • guidance documents and presentations

  • tools under development

  • stay the course (CSDGM)

    all shall be well…

The Times They are a Changin’

Geospatial One-Stop

one of 19 federal e-gov initiatives

Portal to:

  • NSDI Clearinghouse

  • other metadata servers

  • web map applications

  • geospatial research and related information

Metadata: official language for the geospatial community

  • data discovery and clearinghouse operations

  • data exchange and use

  • data management

    • ESRI ArcCatalog

    • Intergraph SMMS

      quality metadata is operational metadata…

ArcCatalog and Metadata

ArcCatalog provides data management:

  • search for existing, in-house data products

  • track updates, relates and other operations

  • auto populate dataset properties

  • preview data geography and dbase

  • build templates for fixed descriptive info

  • maintain multilevel metadata

    metadata is the fuel for data management…

Go Beyond the Minimum

  • CSDGM mandatory elements are those common to all data types and organizations not most critical

  • value of metadata is to capture that which is unique

    time spent early, saves time spent later

Create Templates

Boilerplate your metadata:

  • identify all pertinent fields

  • provide content for fixed fields such as:

    • Use_Constraints

    • Contacts

    • Process Methodologies

    • Distribution Methods and Liability

      create organization, theme, and project templates

Links to Services and Data

  • Online_Linkage is a repeatable field

  • provide multiple links to:

    • data download

    • data clearinghouse

    • webmapping applications and services

      enable users to locate data and related services…

ISO Topic Categories as Keywords

  • select one or more categories to aid in data search and discovery (see handout)

    boundariesoceans health

    transportation economy society

    elevationfarming location


    geoscientificInformation environment

    utilitiesCommunication inlandWaters

    planningCadastre intelligenceMilitary



ISO Topic Categories as Keywords

  • aids translation to ISO metadata

  • data can sort into ‘channels’

Document Planned Data Acquisitions

  • promotes data development partnering

  • required of federal agencies

    • $1 million current

    • $500,000 next fiscal year


    • ‘Status’ provided as a data search element

    • calls for partnerships can be featured within Channels

Publish or Perish…

Metadata Harvest

  • Register node/service at

  • metadata will be regularly harvested & updated

  • harvest counselor program

    Metadata Upload

  • register and upload at

    Metadata Online Creation

  • online tool at for bare metadata creation


  • search for geospatial data and applications

  • access, compile & download data from different sources

  • seek out data development partnerships

  • create and upload metadata

  • join a thematic Channel Community

Better Content = Better Performance

Robust and accurate metadata enables new functionality:

  • entity attribute descriptions yield feature-level metadata

  • accurate dates facilitate data currency reviews

  • detailed source tracking supports cost benefit analysis

  • detailed process descriptions enable repeatable methodologies

  • valid accuracy statements enable fitness for use assessments

    metadata management is a GIS best practice

Quality Content

  • large data sets require a metadata strategy

  • consider Originator as responsible party

  • a Title is not a filename

  • the Abstract summarizes the metadata

  • USE Supplemental_Information

  • make Use_Constraints meaningful

  • consider Entity/Attribute Detailed_Description as an opportunity to document your dbase

    see handout ‘Metadata Quick Guide’

More Information



  • Sharon Shin, FGDC Metadata Coordinator

    [email protected]

  • Lynda Wayne, NSDI Implementation Liaison

    [email protected]


What is your next step in implementing or enhancing metadata creation within your organization?

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