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Special Insert   

Metadata in ArcInfo 8

ArcInfo 8 has been engineered to support data set properties and documentation across all supported data types. More specifically, the ArcCatalog application supports editing and viewing of metadata. Metadata includes useful information about your spatial data such as when the data was gathered, full names of data attributes, the scale of the original source information, the accuracy of locations, and the map projection used. ArcInfo 8 has been designed to create metadata for any data set supported/created by ArcInfo as well as any other data set identified and cataloged by the user (e.g., text, CAD files, scripts). Supported data sets include

  • ArcInfo coverages
  • Esri shapefiles
  • CAD drawings
  • Images
  • GRIDs
  • TINs
  • PC ARC/INFO coverages
  • ArcSDE
  • Personal ArcSDE
  • Workspaces
  • Folders
  • Maps
  • Layers
  • INFO tables
  • dBASE tables
  • DBMS tables
  • Projections
  • Any documents
  • And much more

ArcCatalog comes with support for several popular metadata standards. There are editors to enter metadata, a storage schema, and property sheets to view the data. The implementation is completely customizable and so any metadata format can be implemented. The metadata is actually stored in XML (extended markup language) format. It is stored with the data and all data management tools honor it (e.g., copy, kill, rename, etc.).

Implementing your own custom metadata documentation editor is easy and requires the following components:

  • Schema
  • ActiveX control (editor)
  • Document type definition (optional--for validation)
  • Style sheets (for viewing)

Out-of-the-box metadata documentation editors are provided with ArcInfo 8 by Esri. In addition, Esri anticipates both third party developers and end users will develop a significant number of custom metadata documentation editors.

"Smart" Data
  • All-relational, open geodatabase handles feature, raster, and TIN data formats
  • Data that understands its relationships with other features
  • Intelligent data means fewer errors

Just as it supports multiple metadata documentation editors, ArcCatalog can also support multiple style sheets to give you different ways to look at the underlying XML. These style sheets basically convert XML to a more easily readable HTML.

In future releases of ArcInfo 8 technology, ArcCatalog will include a number of enhancements for even more robust metadata support including additional out-of-the-box metadata editors, as well as a rule base for lineage of metadata through geoprocessing.

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