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Safeguarding GIS Data through Metadata Christopher Cialek & Nancy Rader Minnesota Geospatial Information Office September 2004, updated May 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Safeguarding GIS Data through Metadata Christopher Cialek & Nancy Rader Minnesota Geospatial Information Office September 2004, updated May 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Safeguarding GIS Data through Metadata Christopher Cialek & Nancy Rader Minnesota Geospatial Information Office September 2004, updated May 2014

2 What’s Metadata? If you had two cans without labels, which would you eat? Without a label, how would you know which was tuna and which was cat food? Cat Food? Tuna?

3 By the end of the Workshop... Understand what metadata is; appreciate its value Become familiar with metadata standards Create your own metadata records Use a search engine to find data Know where to go for help You will:

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7 What’s Metadata? “the information that makes data sets understandable, usable and sharable.” International Standards Organization

8 FDA Food Label We often use metadata without knowing it -- even a food label is an example of metadata! What’s Metadata? Structured format Specific content Necessary information

9 What’s Metadata? Search metadata to find resources in the library Library community has developed metadata systems to describe books –Dublin Core Allows you to search by title, author, subject…

10 What are Metadata Used For? MANAGING DATABASES COMPARING DATA SETS FACILITATING DATA SHARING PROVIDING TECHNICAL SPECS FINDING DATA

11 Standards Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM) –Established by the FGDC in 1994 –Foundation standard for the NSDI –“Mandatory” for federal agencies –www.fgdc.gov/metadata/geospatial-metadata- standards#csdgmwww.fgdc.gov/metadata/geospatial-metadata- standards#csdgm

12 Standards Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines (MGMG) –Derived from the federal standard in 1998 –Simplified, but retains all required fields –Became state standard in 1999 –www.mngeo.state.mn.us/committee/standards/ mgmg/metadata.htmwww.mngeo.state.mn.us/committee/standards/ mgmg/metadata.htm

13 Standards ISO Geographic Information: Metadata –International geospatial metadata standard –More information: standards#fgdcendorsedisostandards standards#fgdcendorsedisostandards

14 Metadata Structure Examples mandatory mandatory, if applicable optional LINEAGE Source Information Source Citation Source Time Period of Content Citation Information Source Scale Type of Source Media Time Period Info Source Currentness Source Contribution Source Citation Abbrev Process Step Process Date & Time Source Used Citation Process Description Source Produced Process Contact Contact Information CSDGM LINEAGE MGMG LINEAGE Statement Process Step Description Rationale Processor Date & Time Source Description Scale Spatial Reference Sys Source Citation Source Extent Source Step ISO

15 The Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines

16 The MGMG SUBSET OF A FEDERAL STANDARD MADE UP OF SEVEN SECTIONS DRIVES WEB SEARCH TOOLS USED BY OVER 100 ORGS IN MN MN STANDARD; FGDC RECOGNIZED

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18 A Walk Through the Guidelines Originator: name of organization or individual that developed the data Title: name by which the data set is known

19 TITLE –Too cryptic: niclcpy3 –Too general: Landuse –Acronyms: Wisconsin DOPs –Too detailed: Wetland Polygon Coverage Overlay for St. Cloud (USGS Quad) –Just right (includes theme, area, date): Minnesota Telecommunications Service Area Boundaries, 2007

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21 A Walk Through the Guidelines Abstract: summary of what’s in the data set This land cover data set was derived from 30 meter resolution LANDSAT Thematic Mapper (TM) satellite imagery. Classification is divided into 15 classes with source imagery dates ranging from September 1991 to August Both a raster and a vector version are available. Purpose: why the data set was developed Land use planning, natural resource monitoring

22 A Walk Through the Guidelines Time Period of Content: single date that best describes when the data are current 08/2004 Currentness: text describing what the Time Period date is referring to, e.g., range of dates of aerial photography Date of source imagery (LANDSAT-5 TM, bands 3, 4, and 5) ranges from September 20, 1991 to August 30, 1996.

23 A Walk Through the Guidelines Spatial Extent: description of the geographic area covered (Lyon County, Minnesota) Bounding Coordinates: the extreme north, south, east and west limits of coverage expressed in latitude and longitude values W E N 49.4 S 45.5

24 A Walk Through the Guidelines Keywords: words or phrases that summarize the theme and location of the data set, together with the name of any formal list of keywords (thesaurus) Too general: GIS, layer, survey Just right: Feedlot, animal agriculture,hog Constraints: any restrictions to the access or use of the data set Access: Due to increased security measures taken after 9/11/01, this data set is no longer available online. Use:... right to use these data for any internal purpose

25 A Walk Through the Guidelines Contact Information: the person who can answer questions about the content or development of the data set

26 A Walk Through the Guidelines Browse Graphic: a sample illustration of the data set

27 A Walk Through the Guidelines Associated Data Sets: information about other, related data sets that may be of interest If you’re interested in this data set, here are others that may also interest you. NOT a list of source materials (those are described in Lineage). For information on other air photos available for Minnesota, see

28 A Walk Through the Guidelines Attribute Accuracy: qualitative or quantitative explanation of how accurately features in the data set have been described, including procedures used to assess accuracy (examples: field-checking, checkplots, frequency counts to find invalid codes)

29 A Walk Through the Guidelines Completeness: information about selection criteria, omissions, generalization, etc. EXAMPLE: Geographic exclusion “Data was not available for Smith Township.”

30 A Walk Through the Guidelines Completeness: information about selection criteria, omissions, generalization, etc. EXAMPLE: Categorical Exclusion “Municipalities with population under 1000 not included.”

31 A Walk Through the Guidelines Positional Accuracy: an explanation of what’s known about the horizontal and vertical accuracy of the data set (can be qualitative or quantitative) Qualitative example: Data was collected in the field and plotted on a variety of base maps. Archaeological properties visited in the past 30 years are located on USGS maps. Almost all site locations are accurate to the quarter section. Most site locations are accurate to within a quarter-quarter section. Site boundaries are poorly defined, as are site centroids. Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office Archaeological Inventory

32 A Walk Through the Guidelines Positional Accuracy: an explanation of what’s known about the horizontal and vertical accuracy of the data set Quantitative example: Using the National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy, this data set tested 1 foot horizontal accuracy at 95% confidence level. City of Minneapolis (from Positional Accuracy Handbook)

33 A Walk Through the Guidelines Lineage: information about the sources of data used to construct the data set and processing steps applied

34 LINEAGE RECIPE 1. Source Information Data set reference Scale Media Time period of content Source contribution Source Metadata reference 2. Processing Step Process description software used organization doing the processing Process date 3. Miscellaneous Notes

35 A Walk Through the Guidelines This section no longer used.

36 A Walk Through the Guidelines

37 Entity & Attribute Overview: description of the information content of the data set: the features it represents (entities) and details about them (attributes). An entity might be road and the attributes that describe it might include interstate, 6 lanes, concrete. Entity & Attribute Detailed Citation: reference to other sources of detailed information on the content of the data set; pointer to a data dictionary 5 Entity and Attribute Entity and Attribute Overview Entity and Attribute Detailed Citation

38 A Walk Through the Guidelines Examples: Land Use Codes 5 Entity and Attribute Entity and Attribute Overview Entity and Attribute Detailed Citation Useless: Slightly Better: AGRICULTURAL LAND 21 - Cultivated Land 22 - Pasture Land 23 - Transitional Agricultural Land

39 A Walk Through the Guidelines Much Better: AGRICULTURAL LAND 21 - Cultivated Land Cultivated land includes those areas under intensive cropping or rotation, including periods when a parcel may be fallow. It represents land planted to forage or cover crop. The units exhibit linear or other patterns associated with current or relatively recent tillage Pasture Land Land in active pasture use. This class was discontinued and combined into Transitional Agricultural Land This category includes areas that show evidence of past tillage but do not now appear to be continuously cropped or in a crop rotation. Parcels in this unit include fields that are idle or abandoned and may or may not have been planted to a cover crop. In addition to displaying some evidence of past tillage, they usually are relatively uniform in vegetation.

40 A Walk Through the Guidelines Publisher: organization or individual that distributes the data set Distributor Information: person who can answer questions about the distribution of the data set Distribution Liability: statement of any liability assumed by the distributor Limitations Warranty Liability Redistribution Conditions Data Delivery Terms

41 A Walk Through the Guidelines Ordering Instructions: instructions for obtaining the data set. If applicable, instructions for acquiring data through Online Linkage element below Online Linkage: (optional) when the data set is available online, this is the link to the Internet site where it can be downloaded

42 A Walk Through the Guidelines Two reports available to aid in determining GIS data distribution policy Mapping the Risks: Assessing the Homeland Security Implications of Publicly Available Geospatial Information 2004 RAND National Defense Research Institute RAND researchers found no publicly accessible federal geospatial information deemed critical to meeting attackers’ information needs. The researchers found only four publicly available federal databases that had information that is both useful to potential attackers and could not be obtained from other widely available sources. The four federal databases are no longer being made public by federal agencies

43 A Walk Through the Guidelines Two new reports available to aid in determining GIS data distribution policy Guidelines for Providing Appropriate Access to Geospatial Data in Response to Security Concerns A Federal Geographic Data Committee Homeland Security Working Group study investigating restrictions to geospatial data access that are reasonable, sensible and cost effective

44 Purpose of a Metadata Entry Tool Organizes metadata content Provides help Formats results –printed reports –webpages –Clearinghouse searches Can it write the whole record for you? (no)

45 Tool Minnesota Metadata Editor (MME) Customized from the EPA’s metadata editor Standalone –Requires only Microsoft.NET 3.5 –Microsoft Access is required to edit the database More information and download:

46 How to Make this Easier… Value metadata Create metadata during your project Prioritize legacy data Use existing resources Writing tips Use your judgment Share the task

47 Value metadata Establish its value for yourself and for your organization Short-term investment long-term payoff Metadata is no longer optional; it is part of being a GIS and IT professional Cat Food

48 Create metadata during your project When you create new data When you change existing data If you write metadata as you go along, at the end, it is done! Tuna

49 Prioritize legacy data What is most critical? What are you asked about the most? What may be lost soonest? –Information that is quickly forgotten –Information that only one person or organization knows

50 Use existing resources Guidelines and tools Starter templates Existing documents Other peoples’ metadata

51 Writing tips Goal: Concise but complete Metadata records are drafts –Fill out in any order –Modify when information changes Get help from others –Editor –Interviewer OK to describe imperfections in the data –Data Quality and Purpose fields –OK to say, “I don’t know”

52 Use your judgment Some information is defined Fixed set of choices Fixed format Some information is flexible Defining data sets –Not too fine or too broad Amount of detail –Answer the questions that you want answered

53 Share the task Divide by areas of expertise

54 Do something… How will you follow up after the workshop? Imagine yourself back at your usual place of work… Now, write down one or two specific things related to metadata that you could do in the next week or two

55 Do something… How can you follow up after the workshop? Suggestions: –Install one of the metadata tools on your computer –Start documenting a data set you are currently creating –Create your own starter template –Use the GeoGateway to look for data you need –Write down an obstacle and think of a way around it –Tell a coworker about something of value you learned today

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57 More Help MnGeo chouse/meta_help.html FGDC

58 Questions? Chris Cialek – Nancy Rader –


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