A First Look at Metadata
Meta comes from Greek, where it means “after” or “beyond.” You can generally assume that it means “about.” So “metadata” is information about data, or data about data. There are so many things to know about geographic data sets that those experts who work with them have established standards for describing such data sets. You will look at metadata in more detail later, using some real data sets. The lesson from what follows is just that metadata exists, that it consists of many elements, and that it can be presented in different formats. A warning: The ways in which metadata is handled changed considerably between ArcGIS versions 10.0 and 10.1. To really explore metadata you should use the help files, or perhaps better, a search engine, to make effective use of the form of metadata you choose. There are too many options and intricacies to go into here.
Click Fire_Hydrants again in the Catalog Tree. Click the Description tab. (If an Upgrade Metadata window appears click No.) Scroll down to the bottom of the Fire_Hydrants window. There you should see the two “sections” ArcGIS Metadata and FGDC Metadata.22
The little triangles should be pointing down, indicating that there is hidden information below them, as in Figure 1-29
. If not, click on the text; the arrows will change direction. If you do not see both sections, first check to make sure the options you set in Exercise 1-4
are still the same (Customize > ArcCatalog Options and the Metadata ...