Frequently Asked Questions
Metadata (data documentation) Questions
- What is metadata?
- What metadata standards do we use?
1. What is metadata?
Metadata is “data about data”. It is a description of the content, quality, condition, and other characteristics of data. Metadata is necessary to preserve the usefulness of data over time.
2. What metadata standards do we use?
There are many metadata standards available today. In 1994 it became mandatory for all Forest Service agencies to use the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC): Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata for any geospatial data. A superset to this standard is the CSDG Metadata Part 1: Biological Data Profile (BDP). This profile works for geospatial and nongeospatial biological data as well as physical and social science data. Because it is a superset of the FGDC standard, which is mandatory, we will use this profile for all data.