Creating MGMG-compliant Metadata

MGMG required and recommended elements for the Commons

Data resources in the Minnesota Geospatial Commons must have metadata that is compliant with the Minnesota Geospatial Metadata Guidelines (MGMG). Although we recommend that Commons publishers create complete metadata, the Commons team is currently identifying the metadata elements that are required for the Commons and those that are recommended so that a Commons user has enough information to evaluate a dataset. See the draft recommendation which was approved by the Statewide Geospatial Advisory Council on June 24, 2015 and is currently awaiting final approval by the Geospatial Technology Committee.

The Minnesota Metadata Editor

The Minnesota Metadata Editor (MME) tool was created to enable the creation of MGMG-compliant metadata. The tool is available through a Minnesota Geospatial Commons search or by downloading from the MME webpage. It is recommended that you copy or download the MME tool to your desktop rather than just linking to the version on the GDRS. MME includes some internal help that describes each metadata element, and an MME tutorial can also be downloaded from the MME web page. Other metadata help is also available from MnGeo.

Publishing metadata to the Commons

Metadata is created and defined in XML format. For legibility, MME also provides an export function to HTML format. You will likely want to create metadata with unique record naming (e.g., lidar_centrallakes2012.xml and lidar_centrallakes2012.html). When publishing a data resource to the Commons, you will need to create a “metadata” folder and rename your metadata record as metadata.xml and metadata.html, as defined in the Commons Data Resource Directory Structure. Once created, these metadata files can be used in other systems, for instance, Data.gov.

Using the ArcCatalog Metadata Editor

ArcCatalog metadata tools can be used to create MGMG-compliant metadata for the Commons.  ArcCatalog offers a choice of “Metadata Styles”.  It is important to note that the default ArcCatalog metadata style, called “Item Description”, is inadequate to meet MGMG minimum metadata requirements.  Users need to select the “FGDC-CSDGM” metadata style in ArcCatalog, which by default opens the ISO metadata editor.  Likewise, the internal Esri XML format must be exported to the FGDC XML format before the Commons can read and validate it.  MnGeo’s web pages provide an overview of Creating ArcCatalog Metadata for the Commons, with links to a Best Practices document, which includes the guidance on how to fill in specific metadata fields so that Commons validation will recognize them.

Using other metadata tools

It is possible to use the standalone EPA Metadata Editor, or the EPA Metadata Editor Add-in or the FGDC Metadata Editor Add-in to ArcCatalog, to create Commons-compatible metadata.  While MnGeo has not explored these tools sufficiently to create specific online help, some information in the ArcCatalog Best Practices document is relevant to these tools, also.  Contact MnGeo if you are interested in using other methods to create Commons metadata.