NRGIS Library Metadata Standard
Adopted January 1, 2004


This is a standard for metadata documents submitted for publication on the Iowa DNR's Natural Resources Geographic Information Systems Library at The NRGIS Library is a central repository for the discovery of Geographic Information System data about Iowa, and it provides for download or direct access of it's resources.

Metadata is "data about data," in other words, it describes your data so that other users can understand what your data is about and how to properly use it.  Metadata is required for all data that is going to be included on the NRGIS Library and DNR Web Mapping Applications. 


Metadata documents submitted to the NRGIS Library must be valid XML documents that conform to the structure set out in the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s (FGDC) Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM), version 2.

There is extensive information about the CSDGM at The web site has links to free and commercial software tools available to assist publishers in creating FGDC-compliant XML metadata documents. The FGDC published a workbook describing the CSDGM, and a copy of this is available from the NRGIS Library here.

The CSDGM contains information about what metadata elements are required and optional. For the purposes of the NRGIS Library, the FGDC standard is a list of elements that are available to fill out. Some metadata software tools have various levels of enforcement of the element requirements from the CSDGM. NRGIS Library contributors may exercise discretion on whether to obey the rules set up by these tools.


Mandatory Information
The Library managers will review your metadata and the data it describes. If they feel they do not understand it or if the following sections are not filled out properly, they may ask you to provide more information before they publish your metadata.


Other Important Metadata Fields
You are strongly encouraged to fill out these fields. In some cases, the Library managers may ask you to fill some of these out if they feel an element from this list is especially important for your data set.

Appendix A:


Citing your source data is a very important step in giving  the user information about where the data came from and how accurate it may be.

Appendix B:

Positional Accuracy Assessment

Appendix C:

Theme Keywords

Metadata documents for the NRGIS Library must have a Theme Keyword section that contain a Theme Keyword Thesaurus whose value is "ISO 19115 Topic Category" and at least one Theme Keyword whose value is taken from the following list.

  • farming
  • biota
  • boundaries
  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
  • economy
  • elevation
  • environment
  • geoscientificInformation
  • health
  • imageryBaseMapsEarthCover
  • intelligenceMilitary
  • inlandWaters
  • location
  • oceans
  • planningCadastre
  • society
  • structure
  • transportation
  • utilitiesCommunication