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

Step 2

Preparing to create metadata requires management of your GIS data and directory structures to make the process as quick and easy as possible. This means...

Clean-up and Consolidate datasets

  • Creating metadata takes less time for fewer datasets. 
  • Have a workspace for developing data outside the core directories. 
  • Ensure that geospatial datasets meet National, Regional or other standards for ATTRIBUTES and structures.
  • Combine coverages that should have identical data structure if they won't become enormous. Useful commands include: additem, dropitem, and redefine, append, mapjoin, get, and put.
  • Consider consolidating similar coverages into single coverages with multiple region subclasses, for example an activity coverage with different types of activities. Useful commands include: polyregion, union, and regionarea.
  • Place final/correct version of GEOSPATIAL DATASETS in your core data directories. 
  • Inform users of any changes to filenames that would effect their ARCVIEW projects.

Decide where to store metadata

  • Will metadata reside in the coverage, in the same directory, or in a website? 
    • Ensure that the link between the metadata and the data is not broken.
  • The metadata will probably have to at least be duplicated to a website or clearinghouse for publication.
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