Metadata Wizard: An Easy-to-Use Tool for Creating FGDC-CSDGM Metadata for Geospatial Datasets in ESRI ArcGIS Desktop

Product Type: 

Open-file Report

Year: 

2014

Author(s): 

Ignizio, D.A., M.S. O'Donnell, and C.B. Talbert

Suggested Citation: 

Ignizio, D.A., M.S. O'Donnell, and C.B. Talbert. 2014. Metadata Wizard: An Easy-to-Use Tool for Creating FGDC-CSDGM Metadata for Geospatial Datasets in ESRI ArcGIS Desktop. Open-file Report 2014–1132. Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey. 14 p.

Creating compliant metadata for scientific data products is mandated for all federal Geographic Information Systems professionals and is a best practice for members of the geospatial data community. However, the complexity of the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata, the limited availability of easy-to-use tools, and recent changes in the ESRI software environment continue to make metadata creation a challenge. Staff at the U.S. Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center have developed a Python toolbox for ESRI ArcDesktop to facilitate a semi-automated workflow to create and update metadata records in ESRI’s 10.x software. The U.S. Geological Survey Metadata Wizard tool automatically populates several metadata elements: the spatial reference, spatial extent, geospatial presentation format, vector feature count or raster column/row count, native system/processing environment, and the metadata creation date. Once the software auto-populates these elements, users can easily add attribute definitions and other relevant information in a simple Graphical User Interface. The tool, which offers a simple design free of esoteric metadata language, has the potential to save many government and non-government organizations a significant amount of time and costs by facilitating the development of The Federal Geographic Data Committee’s Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata compliant metadata for ESRI software users. A working version of the tool is now available for ESRI ArcDesktop, version 10.0, 10.1, and 10.2 (downloadable at http:/www.sciencebase.gov/metadatawizard).

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