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One-Hour Workshop

No cost, reservation recommended

King Street Center (see room below next to date)

Next date to be determined.


KCGIS metadata summarize how, why, and when GIS data sets were created. This short seminar provides what you need to know to find, understand and use KCGIS data effectively. Topics include accessing metadata via web-based data catalogs, through desktop and web mapping applications, via other KCGIS tools (e.g., GIS Data Locator), and through the King County GIS Open Data site. Spatial Data Warehouse organization, metadata location and format, identification of data stewards, and a brief introduction to the FGDC standard are also covered.

As KCGIS develops more in-house data with greater complexity, GIS data users can benefit by having a better understanding of metadata organization, what the metadata contains, and how to use metadata to locate datasets and to answer questions about the data.


Exploring KCGIS Data Using Metadata is for all King County employees who want to know more about the wide range of GIS data and its documentation, and how to use that metadata to determine if the data they need to do their work is in the Spatial Data Warehouse. This course is also open to members of the public, but some information and tools described in this class are only available through the KCGIS intranet.


  • Understand how the Spatial Data Warehouse is structured.
  • Learn how the KCGIS Spatial Data Catalog is organized.
  • Gain an understanding of what metadata is and why it is important.
  • Learn how to make the best use of metadata to answer key questions about GIS data.
  • Learn where and how to access additional search and query tools, and whom to contact for additional help.

Topics Covered

  • Spatial Data Warehouse primer.
  • KCGIS Spatial Data Catalog.
  • Differences in metadata for different groups of data.
  • KCGIS and non-King County tools and websites.
  • Metadata for vector data and for raster data, including images.
  • Search tools: GIS Data Locator, visual catalogs, data dictionaries.
  • Where to go for help.
  • What KCGIS is doing to improve access to and the quality of its metadata.

Prerequisites and Recommendations