USDA Forest Service -
Geospatial Advisory Committee
Extracting Information from published FGDC Metadata
FGDC Compliant Metadata can be difficult to read through.
It is basically formatted into 7 different numbered sections
of metadata elements (described below) under which a great
amount of detailed information can be stored. At the top of
each FGDC Metadata document are the 7 main element headings
(Sections). Click on the one that has the information you desire
and it will link you to that portion of the document. Click
here for an example.
FGDC Metadata Sections
1. Identification Information --
Basic information about the data set. Examples include title, geographic area
covered,currentness, and rules for acquiring or using
2. Data Quality Information --
assessment of the quality of the data set.
Examples include positional and attribute accuracy,
completeness, consistency, sources of information,
and methods used to produce the data. Recommendations
on information to be reported and tasks
to be performed are in the Spatial Data Transfer
Standard (Federal Information Processing
Standard 173 - 1992).
3. Spatial Data Organization
used to represent spatial information in the
data set. Examples include the method used
to represent spatial positions directly (such as
raster or vector) and indirectly (such as street
addresses or county codes) and the number of
spatial objects in the data set.
4. Spatial Reference Information --
Description of the reference frame for, and means
of encoding, coordinates in the data set. Examples
include the name of and parameters for map
projections or grid coordinate systems, horizontal and vertical
datums, and the coordinate system resolution.
5. Entity and Attribute
about the content of the data set, including
the entity types and their attributes and the
domains from which attribute values may be
assigned. Examples include the names and definitions of
features, attributes, and attribute values.
6. Distribution Information --
Information about obtaining the data set. Examples
include a contact for the distributor, available
formats, information about how to obtain data
sets online or on physical media(such as cartridge
tape or CD-ROM), and fees for the data.
7. Metadata Reference Information --
on the currentness of the metadata information
and the responsible