Trask GIS Spatial Metadata Standard Template (Recommendations):
This document defines our recommendations for the Trask River Watershed Study Geographical
Informational Systems (GIS) data standard. This data standard should be applied to any and all
GIS data files uploaded to the Trask GIS clearinghouse, so that each GIS layer has a minimum of
metadata. Without this minimum amount of metadata, GIS layers can be functionally useless. It
is recommended that a full metadata record be completed before a GIS layer is made available
for widespread public distribution.
II. Starting to add metadata: Import Template into ArcCatalog
Metadata for any GIS layer can be easily edited within ArcCatalog. To start applying metadata
to your GIS layer, select your layer from the contents tab in Arc Catalog. Then click on the
metadata tab and click “Import Metadata” from the metadata toolbar. In ArcCatalog, select
“XML” as the format, click “Enable automatic update of metadata”, and browse to the following
template: Metadata_base_trask.shp.xml. Click “OK”. Do not start editing the metadata prior to
importing, or you will lose all of your previous edits.
After importing the metadata template, click on “Create/Update Metadata” from the metadata
toolbar to fill in some of the automatic spatial and attribute information.
III. Instructions for editing metadata in ArcCatalog
A. Bare minimum metadata (not sufficient for a “finished” dataset, but acceptable as a
temporary stopgap if pressed for time):
1. Title: Minimum - where, what, when; Best practice – who, why, resolution, filename, source,
e.g. Aquifer Systems and Recharge Potential in Louisiana from LDEQ source data, Geographic
NAD83, LOSCO (1999) [aqrgeog3dpdeq]
(from FGDC Metadata Quick Guide). The example may be overkill, but the main point is to be
more descriptive than simply the short file name.
2. Abstract: Briefly describe the dataset: why it was created, what information the data set
contains, what geographical area is covered, how the dataset complements the study, etc.
3. Point of Contact: List the organization and person(s) who are responsible for the data and
their contact information. They should be able to answer questions regarding the data and be
able to field inquiries regarding errors or inconsistencies.
4. Time Period of Content: Indicate when the data was collected; include specific dates.
5. Spatial Extent/Coordinate System (Projection): This information will fill in automatically
when “Create/Update Metadata” is clicked. It would be a good idea if everyone used the same
coordinate system. However, the partners tend to use different systems: ODF uses Oregon
Statewide Lambert NAD83, USGS uses UTM Zone 10 NAD27, and Weyerhauser uses UTM
Zone 10 NAD83. With ArcGIS’s ability to reproject “on the fly”, the most important thing is to
define the layer’s coordinate system. A GIS layer with an undefined coordinate system can be
6. Attribute information: If you clicked “Create/Update Metadata” already, the attribute field
names should be populated in the metadata. However, descriptions of attribute fields that are
critical to the use of the GIS layer should be added. Describe the attribute in “Definition,” and
explain codes or numeric values in “Attribute Domain Values.” See below for more explanation.
7. Other general info for editing:
In general, replace or delete any text that is preceded by “***”. Replace “REQUIRED” as well.
Date format: YYYY/MM/DD
B. Instructions for fields that do not already have instructions in the template itself:
i. Access Constraints: Can leave as is, or set to "None". However, this is
something the group should decide as a whole. This refers to any policy or legal restrictions that
may exist regarding who may access the data.
ii. Use Constraints: Can leave as is, or set to "None". This is the place where you
would tell other users whether they must cite your name (or others) in publications arising from
use of this dataset.
iii. Native Data Set Environment: Fills in with “Create/Update Metadata”
iv. Native Data Set Format: Fills in with “Create/Update Metadata”
v. Geospatial Data Presentation Form: Will probably be either raster, vector, or
tabular digital data
vi. Online Linkage: The web address where the dataset can be accessed; fills in
with the local network location when “Create/Update Metadata” is pressed, which is annoying
because this isn’t an “online” linkage.
b. Keywords: Add any keywords relevant to your particular GIS layer.
2. Data Quality
a. Source Information: List any sources that were used in the development of this GIS
b. Process Step: Describe the process steps used in the development of this GIS layer.
3. Entity Attribute
a. Detailed Description
a) Attribute Domain Values
i) Enumerated Domain: Categorical, often coded, data, with a
defined set of possible values.
ii) Range Domain: Sequence, series, or scale (numeric or
alphabetic) with a defined maximum and minimum (“no limit” is an acceptable maximum).
Include units of measurement, if applicable.
iii) Codeset Domain: If using a published codeset, indicate the
iv) Unrepresentable Domain: Any value that doesn’t fit into the
4. Metadata Reference
i. Metadata Date: Update this field with the date(s) when the metadata were
ii. Contact: List the person responsible for the metadata record itself.