GISLab Metadata Requirements
GISLab requires metadata for all spatial data submitted in the spatial
data warehouse. See GISLab Metadata
Standard for guidance on and requirements for metadata preparation.
For more information see the FGDC
Workbook on Creating Metadata. For examples of GISLab metadata files
see the 2000
Orthophoto page in the Data Catalog.
What are Metadata?
Metadata are the descriptive information pertaining to geospatial data,
and are based on a common set of terms and definitions. Metadata provide
information about the content, quality, condition, and other characteristics
of data. An example of metadata is a map legend, which contains information
about the map's publisher, publication date, the type of map, its spatial
references, scale and accuracy, etc. Metadata help users to find the right
geospatial data and determine the suitability for their particular use.
This helps avoid problems resulting from data that is unclear, incomplete,
or unusable due to insufficient documentation of origin. As personnel
change in an organization, undocumented data may lose their value. Metadata
are an important way to provide this documentation.
The initial expense of properly documenting data with complete metadata
clearly outweighs the potential costs of having to recreate the data,
assuming that is even possible. Lack of knowledge about other organizations'
data can also lead to wasteful duplication of effort, avoided by having
sufficient metadata. The benefits of metadata are such that most digital
geospatial files now have some associated metadata; GISLab requires it.
FGDC Metadata Standard
Federal Geographic Data Committee
(FGDC) compliant metadata are required for all government agencies. The
FGDC metadata standard provides a systematic way to record metadata, and
includes the following:
- Identification - basic information about the data set.
- Data Quality - an assessment of the quality of the data set.
- Spatial Data Organization - the mechanism used to represent spatial
information in the data set.
- Spatial References - the reference frame and means of encoding coordinates
in the data set.
- Entity and Attributes - content of the data set, including the entity
types and their
attributes and the domains from which attribute values may be assigned.
- Distribution - how to obtain the data set.
- Metadata References - currentness of the metadata and the responsible
party for metadata.
- Citation - recommended reference to be used when citing the data set.
- Time Period - information about the date and time of an event associated
with the data.
- Contact Info- To whom and how to communicate with those associated
with the data set.
Other Sources of Information
Content Standard for
Digital Geospatial Metadata