Tuesday, March 20, 2012

An Update from the Field: County and State Agency Metadata Training Days!

Last week was busy for the Iowa GIS Service Bureau!  On both Tuesday and Wednesday we hosted day-long metadata training workshops as part of the Iowa Metadata Outreach Project funded through a grant from the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Cooperative Agreements Program.  Tuesday's class was focused on county agency GIS users and Wednesday's class focused on state agency GIS users.  Between the two days there were thirty-five participants.  These workshops were targeted for novice or infrequent metadata creators. 
The workshop covered several different topics.  The first morning session was an introduction to metadata - what it is and why it should be created.  It was followed by an exercise that gave users experience reading and searching for information in a metadata file.  After a break, the second morning session covered two main ideas: 1) how metadata benefits different user groups (data producers, data users, and organizations) and 2) an explaination of metadata standardization and the Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM).  To provide greater understanding of how the CSDGM workbook could be a good reference we did an exercise with the workbook.

After a hearty lunch from Hickory Park we returned for an overview of Iowa metadata requirements and three metadata editor tools (ArcCatalog Editor, EPA Metadata Editor, and Iowa Geospatial Data Clearinghouse Editor).  Participants were then encouraged to work on creating metadata files for their agency and to upload completed metadata files to the Iowa Geospatial Data Clearinghouse for data sharing and discovery.

From the initial evaluations, it appears that most respondents felt that the training was helpful and relevant to their job. We will be holding several more workshops this summer, one targeting general GIS users and another targeting watershed groups.  Please feel free to send us an email for more information.  Additional information will also be posted in May.

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