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 5
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 the data.

2. Data Quality Information --

An 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 Information --

The mechanism 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 Information --

Information 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 --

Information on the currentness of the metadata information and the responsible party.

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