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Half-Day Class
4 hours
8:00am–noon or 1:00pm–5:00pm

Registration & fee required

Continuing education units (CEUs): 0.4

GISCI educational achievement points: 0.1


King Street Center,
Computer Training Room

next date to be determined


Due to the increasing availability of geospatial data on the Web, and the expanding universe of GIS users, accurate and up-to-date metadata is now, more than ever, a key part of effective data use, maintenance, and development.

The creation of metadata that conforms to GIS community standards, is closely integrated with your data, and is stored in industry-standard XML format is critical to making your data fully useful to your clients. It ensures institutional continuity, fosters good data maintenance practices, and, where appropriate, advertises your data through metadata publication.

Students will build ArcGIS Metadata using ArcCatalog and its metadata conversion tools. You will learn how to transform metadata between the ArcGIS model and the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) standard. Classroom exercises will allow students to gain a better understanding of components of the FGDC standard, as well as how to use metadata templates and options for evaluating the quality of their metadata. Metadata maintenance posting and publishing protocols, as well as ways to make your metadata accessible and useful to your GIS users, will be shown. The class workbook contains a screenshot walk-through of the ArcGIS metadata structure with useful hints for what is necessary to build FGDC compliant metadata.


Document Your Data: Mastering Metadata is for all GIS data/metadata maintainers. The material is also useful for subject-matter experts who do not use ArcCatalog’s metadata editor extensively, but who are responsible for providing metadata content. This class can benefit all GIS users as the techniques, tools, and products discussed comply with industry and GIS community standards and are applicable to any organization interested in building or improving the quality of their data library through more complete and structured documentation.

Activities and Goals

  • Develop complete, error-free, FGDC-compliant metadata that has good user value.
  • Gain an understanding of key sections of the FGDC (Federal Geographic Data Committee) standard.
  • Learn how to use ArcCatalog's metadata editor to create and update metadata.
  • Investigate new options for metadata maintenance and workflow.
  • Export metadata to a standalone XML document, perform quality assessment, and publish your metadata to HTML format.
  • View a dataset's metadata as a living document tightly linked to the maintenance of the dataset.

Topics Covered

  • XML metadata format and the ArcCatalog metadata editor.
  • Hints on interpreting the FGDC standard and tips for applying it to real-life workflows.
  • In-class exercises to import, edit, QC and export what you've created.

Prerequisites and Recommendations

This course requires knowledge of GIS concepts, and the general functionality of ArcCatalog and ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro. Completion of Fundamentals of ArcGIS or Introduction to ArcGIS Pro or equivalent knowledge is required.

What You Will Receive

  • 4 hours of instruction from a subject-matter expert and Academy class author.
  • Use of a student PC while in class, with appropriate GIS software and access to training data.
  • A copy of the class training material.

Our Students Speak

“The detailed instructions were great and I'll definitely utilize them at work. Also, the ‘real life’ bugs that occurred, while frustrating, were good to have because it made me feel better about dealing with them on my own!”

“I gained the ability to export and fill in the metadata while updating the data. Tricks and skills to make working with GIS easier and more efficient, tools to find answers to current and future questions. Exercises were helpful”

“I liked the walk-through of the metadata editor, and becoming aware of the issues that you can encounter with conversions/import/export.”