By Adrienne Ruga
The key to any good dataset or project is comprehensive metadata; information about the data itself. Metadata addresses the ‘who, what, where, when and how’ the data was generated. Over the years, FWRI utilized a variety of tools to create metadata. The most recent tool was NOAA’s MERMAid (Metadata Enterprise Resource Management Aid) application which served as FWRI’s online metadata repository. Several years ago, NOAA decided to shelve this project. While there were other online metadata tools available, FWRI decided to develop its own.
FWRI-IS&M staff built a tool for FWC’s biological and geospatial** metadata needs, called MetaRep (Metadata Repository), but it’s much more than a repository. It allows you to:
- Create new project and dataset metadata records
- Search, filter, and edit existing records
- Self-manage your information in the contact database
- Export a FGDC XML* document for grant deliverables
- Draw geographic study areas with a Mapping tool
- Associate project with dataset records
- A Help document explains how to use the tool
MetaRep was designed for ease of use and with an awareness of users’ time constraints. The only required fields are on the first tab of the record entry view. However, the more details the better, so we provided tabs for you to fill out additional information such as habitat, species, data information, geographic details, and to draw study areas on a map.
FWC’s metadata records are used for several purposes, the most important of which are to archive information about data for future research, for data discovery so other researchers will know what research has been conducted and in which geographic areas, and to show granting agencies the value of our research.
Federally-funded projects normally require researchers to submit metadata with their deliverables. MetaRep allows you to easily export your metadata record as an XML or a Word document to include with your final documents. Even if your project doesn’t mandate a metadata record, it’s strongly encouraged that you create metadata for datasets and projects.
We worked to make this tool useful and simple to use. We hope that once you start using it, you’ll appreciate the value of metadata and how it supports our mission.
The FWC-RIC’s Metadata page provides a link to training materials and to the metadata application. It also contains a Suggestion Log link for you to help us improve the next iteration of MetaRep.
For more details, please feel free to contact Adrienne.Ruga@MyFWC.com 727-502-4774.
*Federal Geospatial Data Committee’s standard for metadata (FGDC-CSDGM)
** To record complete geospatial datasets (with Entities and Attributes) consider using ArcCatalog and/or the EPA Metadata Editor (EME) version 3.2.1, which can be used with or without ArcCatalog.
Here’s the link to the EME: https://github.com/USEPA/EPA-Metadata-Editor-3/releases Download the “EME_v321_Installer.zip”, which has a .msi file to install. Do not use the newer version of the EME as that is for the ISO standard.