USDA Forest Service

Forest Service Metadata Users Guide

FS Metadata
User Guide
Policy & Guidelines
Purpose and Scope
How to use this Guide
Step 1
Gathering Metadata
Step 2
Step 3
Creating FGDC Metadata
Step 4
Step 6
Maintaining Metadata
Feature Level Metadata
Contact Information
Glossary & Terms
Other Resources

USDA Forest Service -
Geospatial Advisory Committee
Last Modified:  3/31/05

Q: What is Metadata?

A:Metadata documents the history and changes made to our data. Metadata is "information about data".

Q: Why Create Metadata?

A:First of all it is Federally mandated that we have this information (see Executive Order 12906). As personnel change in an organization, the knowledge they have is documented in the Metadata. Metadata provides the information people need to understand and trust data. From defining attributes and accuracy to providing information on projection systems, metadata provides answers to many questions a person might have. Knowledge and understanding of metadata helps to avoid wasteful duplication of effort. Appeals and litigation cases have been lost because documentation did not exist or was not interpretable. Metadata helps people find the data they need and determine how best to use it.

Q: How do I create Metadata?

A: Steps 1 through 6 (click here for link to document) will take you through a basic approach to the creation of metadata beginning with collecting the raw data from the field and/or maps to using various software tools available to create the FGDC compliant metadata and finally how to post and publish this data to an appropriate site.



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