Metadata are data about data. It is a way of documenting information about datasets. The information contained in metadata will document the creation of a dataset and give you an idea of what the cartographic product to which it is attached was designed to do. The following links will take you to further information and examples of metadata and explain the who, what, where, why, and when of metadata.

Circular A-16 (October 19, 1990) established the Federal Geographic Data Committee. The major objective of the Circular is the eventual development of a national digital spatial information resource.

You can get a wealth of information at Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) that explains how metadata came into being and what rules govern its usage.

FGDC's "Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata"

FGDC Clearinghouse Home Page

NBS Metadata Standard Browser Interactive graphical metadata standard browser.

MetaData and WWW Mapping Home Page

Geospatial Data Infrastructure (a NSDI node) (USACERL).

Metadata Tutorial with Barney

Metadata Tools


Metadata Creation Tool. Login as metadata. Hit the return key for the password.

Metadata Software (FGDC).

Metadata Parsing Tools (FGDC).

Metadata Validation Service

Metadata compiler written by Peter Schweitzer, USGS

Metadata template in WordPerfect

Metadata template (use with Validation Service)

Metadata Elements Form from USACE (under construction)

CORPSMET a USACE program to create metadata


XTME - Metadata Entry System

Clearinghouses and Metadata Catalogs

Master Environmental Library

Minerals Management Service

Nebraska Geospatial Data Clearinghouse

Prototype Spatial Data Discovery System

SEIC Spatial Metadata Catalog

Spatial Data Discovery System at Montana NRIS

USGS database --100k DLG files

Metadata examples

SEIC Spatial Metadata Catalog

Metadata for GCIP Reference Data Set (GREDS)

Metadata for 7.5-minute Digital Elevation Models

Metadata for 1:100 000 Digital Line Graph.

Metadata from the National Wetlands Inventory.

Digital Geospatial Metadata Standards for Geodetic Data from the National Geodetic Survey.

Metadata on the database through GRASSLinks at Berkeley.


Other Information about metadata

Metadata Standards Draft Implementation Guide

Metadata and Data Management Info Page

Metadata for Geodetic Data

Metadata Information

Metadata References

Metadata Workshop Minutes