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What is Metadata?
What is a data set named? What phenomena does the data represent? Who created it? Who
maintains it? Why and when was it created? How accurate is it? If it is distributed and/or
sold -- how does one obtain it? What format is it in? In which case(s) is it appropriate
for use? Metadata answers these kinds of questions.
What is the Clearinghouse?
The Clearinghouse is
a network of internet information servers organized by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). The FGDC is comprised of representatives from 15
federal agencies working on development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The U.S. Geological Survey's Biological Resources Division has a parallel Clearinghouse network, focused on
biological data. The
National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) added a "Biological Profile" to FGDC's Metadata
Content Standard to produce the NBII Metadata Content Standard.
As metadata is
created and posted to Clearinghouse Nodes such as ours, it is searchable via the main FGDC
Geospatial Data Clearinghouse from several entry points from Alaska to the FGDC
headquarters in Reston, Virginia. Metadata is locally contributed and locally stored, but
globally searchable via the internet!
The ONRC Clearinghouse
Clearinghouse is integrating both geospatial and biological metadata. Therefore, the ONRC
Clearinghouse adheres to the Federal Geographic Data Committee's Content Standards for
Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM)(FGDC June 1994 Version 1.0, published March 1995).
Also, for those biological data sets that apply, the ONRC adopts the USGS Biological
Resource Division's National Biological Information Infrastructure Metadata Content
Standard with its additions to FGDC Content including Taxonomy, Taxonomic System,
Methodology, and Analytical Tool elements. We're working with the WA State Geospatial
Clearinghouse to incorporate NBII metadata that we gather at the ONRC Clearinghouse.
Special Note To
frequently-requested data you distribute, the Olympic Natural Resources
Center can archive your data for you for digital distribution. If this type of service
interests you, please contact TZA at ONRC GIS.