Metadata are structured "data about data." High-level (i.e. overview) geospatial metadata about data sets are similar to library catalog records about books, but contain more information. The structure of the metadata is determined by a named standard to enable interoperability.
Metadata are essential for use and re-use of data. Geospatial metadata explain the contents of the data, how and why the data were created, the geographic location of the data, and how the data can be acquired and used.
The NJGIN 3.0 catalog, hosted on ArcGIS Online/Open Data, uses the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC - CSDGM) Style ArcGIS metadata. Eventually it will transition to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 19115 Style ArcGIS metadata.
Use the ArcGIS Online metadata editor to write and update ArcGIS format, FGDC - CSDGM style metadata. This option is good for those who are new to writing metadata and who want to use a simple interface. Learn how to enable metadata in your ArcGIS Online organization here.
NJOGIS has developed the following abbreviated collection of required metadata elements to support Search and facilitate publishing, called NJGIN Core:
NJGIN Core White Paper – details on NJGIN Core plus guidance on using the ArcGIS Online metadata editor set to the FGDC - CSDGM style
Additional NJGIN Core Help – with ISO topic keywords, use constraints language, and entity and attribute information
*Remember* NJGIN Core is "metadata lite." To fully document a data set so that its value is preserved over time more information is needed.
Create standard-compliant metadata that fully document the data, from scratch, using the ArcCatalog metadata editor. This option is good for those who want to use ArcGIS Desktop tools to write and maintain metadata.
If you have an old metadata record created in ArcCatalog, chances are that it is stored in in FGDC - CSDGM XML file format. You will need to upgrade your document to the new ArcGIS XML format. NJOGIS has authored the following document providing some guidance on this process.
FGDC - CSDGM Standards Workbook
ISO 19115 Metadata Workbook
FGDC Metadata Page
US Geological Survey (USGS) Metadata Page
USGS Formal Metadata: Information and Software
FGDC - CSDGM vs. ISO 19115 with guidance for ArcCatalog metadata
FGDC - CSDGM Standard Full Documentation Element List
ArcCatalog Metadata Editor Help
ArcGIS Online Metadata Editor Help
ArcGIS Pro Metadata Editor Help (as of fall 2018, ArcGIS Pro lacks full functionality for writing metadata)
Free Geospatial Metadata Editors
USGS Metadata Wizard
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Metadata Editor
USGS FGDC - CSDGM Metadata Validator
Alaska Data Integration Working Group (ADIwg) mdEditor
Additional ADIwg Metadata Tools
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