GIS Metadata

There’s a ridiculous discussion going on in one of my LinkedIn groups about whether we should bother with GIS metadata…

I want to bang my head against a brick wall. Repeatedly.

Yes. We should bother.

I think the people who instigated the conversation are not the day to day end users of GIS data.

Believe it or not, I actually need to know the coordinate system used.

I need to know whether a geological map was generated from field data or whether it’s been interpreted from geophysics or remote sensing data (and if so, which geophysical or remote sensing images were used in the interpretation).

If it’s a geochemical dataset, I need to know which lab did the work and which lab analysis techniques were used.

If it’s a geophysical dataset, I need to know who did the data acquisition, the data collection dates, the equipment used, and what (if any) post-processing was done.

If it’s a remote sensing dataset, I need to know the date of image generation so that I know which satellite collected it or what corrections have been made.

If it’s a derived dataset, I need to know what data processing parameters were used to generate it.

Seriously, generating a metadata text file takes a whole 5-10 minutes to do manually. There’s even scripts that automate most of it for you! Are people really that lazy? It would appear so.


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