MetadataWizard User Guide

The Metadata Wizard is a user-friendly desktop application for creating, editing, and validating metadata that conforms to the Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM) version 2.0. The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) has authored and endorsed this metadata standard as well as other standards. Metadata provides information about a data set, allowing data users to understand and appropriately use the data in different contexts. Metadata is crucial to support searchable information about data that otherwise is not directly incorporated within data and therefore undiscoverable. Metadata in its most basic form includes information about the data’s origin, creators, accuracy, availability, and distribution. Metadata is necessary for the appropriate interpretation and reuse of the data, and importantly provides the necessary definitions of data content. The Metadata section of the USGS Data Management website has information on helpful metadata resources, as well as best practices for metadata creation.

The Metadata Wizard is designed to better standardize the workflow of metadata creation and decrease the user’s level of effort to develop high quality and compliant CSDGM metadata. We accomplish this, in part by auto-capturing content from a dataset, pre-populating a record with reasonable defaults, and reducing the expertise level needed to create a high-quality metadata record. It provides an efficient and pleasant metadata experience for a wide range of users from scientists to data managers.

Users should be advised that information not stored in CSDGM elements (such as custom elements, or elements belonging to different standards) will be lost upon saving in the Metadata Wizard. Users should also exercise caution with metadata records that contain information in less-used CSDGM elements that are not accessible in the tool. Effort has been made to retain information stored in some of these elements, but no guarantee can be made that information stored in elements not accessible in the tool will be retained.

This software was engineered as an open-source evolution of the original MetadataWizard to support metadata creation outside of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) software environment.

The Metadata Wizard software was developed and is currently maintained by the Data Management Team at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center. We also worked with incorporating feedback from within other USGS science centers during the software’s infancy.