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
Preparation
Step 3
Creating FGDC Metadata
Step 4
Publishing
Step 6
Maintaining Metadata
Feature Level Metadata
Contact Information
Glossary & Terms
Other Resources

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


Step 1
Gathering Metadata

The >step of compiling what you know or can find out about a dataset precedes the use of any metadata tool.  For new data, documentation should be part of the data development process, done up-front rather than later when it's difficult to remember what you did.  Documenting older (legacy) data becomes a sluething job to find out what you can about how a dataset came to be.

You will document both information about the source of  the data and how they were subsequently processed to turn them into a digital dataset.  For newer methods of data collection such as image analyses and GPS, the data originate as digital datasets, but the processes used to make them should be documented.  


Here is a tool you can use for this initial step.  Ideally, this step is completed at the time the data are submittted for data entry:

Metadata Questionaire

SOURCE INFORMATION DIGITAL CREATION INFORMATION

PLACES TO LOOK FOR SOURCE DATA

  • field notes 
  • person who gathered the data 
  • publications and reports 
  • existing documentation files
  • maps
  • other agencie's metadata 

 THINGS ABOUT THE SOURCE DATA

  • who created the source  
  • date the source was created/published
  • source scale/resolution 
  • reliability (known quality standards?) 
  • methods used to create 
  • protocols and attribute definitions 

PROCESSES TO DOCUMENT

  • manuscripting methods
  • who manuscripted or digitized the data 
  • rectification and/or registration levels 
  • digitizing tolerances
  • dates of digital creation 
  • models, amls, programs used to create layer 
  • GPS data dictionaries 

OTHER INFORMATION TO ASSEMBLE

Begin thinking about lists of key words that will be used for internet searches. 

  • themes  (vegetation, buildings)
  • resources  (engineering, wildlife)
  • time and dates of the data
  • geographic area (district name, forest name, etc)
  • data type (raster, vector, image)

 

 

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