Coastal and Marine Geology Metadata and Data
Dictionaries: Data Dictionary Metadata Dictionary
- Metadata is information about data or other information.
- Formal Metadata is metadata that follows an FGDC approved standard that provides a common set of terminology, definitions, and information about values to be provided.
- Formal metadata are formally-structured documentation of digital data products.
- They describe the who, what, where, when, why, and how of every aspect of the data.
- Formal metadata:
- help organize and maintain an organization's internal investment in data,
- provide information to data catalogs and clearinghouses (e.g., USGS Geoscience Data Catalog), and
- provide information to aid data transfers.
- Metadata should be recorded during data acquisition, processing, and analysis -- when the information needed for metadata is known, not after the fact, when important information may be lost or forgotten.
- Other metadata information also occurs for: navigation, gravity, magnetics, bathymetry, seismic, cameras, crew, geodetic positioning, lines, metering, ports, samples, and stations.
- Why is Metadata important? (from MMI)
- Q & A about Metadata (from MMI)
- In April of 1994, President Clinton signed Executive Order 12906 initiating the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), a Federal coordination effort to answer the need for quality spatial information.
- The Clearinghouse is a distributed network of Internet sites providing metadata to users.
- To promote consistency in metadata, the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), an interagency council charged with coordinating the Federal implementation of NSDI, has produced the Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata.
- The standard provides standard terms describing 335 elements common to most geospatial data and specifies the relationships among those terms.
- Some elements are mandatory, some are optional, and some are mandatory if applicable.
- Geospatial data are defined by EO 12906 as information that identifies the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features and boundaries on the Earth.
- EO 12906 specifically requires Federal agencies to consult the Clearinghouse before collecting new geospatial data, as a potential cost-cutting measure.
- Executive Order 12906 requires Federal agencies to document all new digital geospatial data products using standardized metadata.
- The standard defines a data set as a collection of related data.
- Using a formal standard helps to exploit the power of worldwide web (WWW) search services by allowing more precise queries that result in fewer, but more relevant documents.