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Data Users

Learn how to find, appraise, crop and access data on any Koordinates site.

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Understanding metadata

What is metadata?

Metadata is descriptive information about a dataset. Metadata is important because it makes it easier to find and check the data you need.

Because datasets can be quite complex, and can be described in many different ways, data tends to be described using one of several international metadata schemas. While these metadata schemas can appear quite complex, they are intended to provide all the relevant information a user will need to put the data to use.

What metadata schemas are supported by Koordinates?

The three main metadata schemas supported by Koordinates are:

  • Dublin Core, a generic metadata schema that is used to describe objects on the web
  • ISO /19915/19139, a metadata schema specific to geospatial data and information
  • FGDC CSDGM, a metadata scheme for geospatial data established by the US Federal Geographic Data Committee

It is up to the data publisher to decide which metadata schemas will be made available to the user.

What are my options for downloading metadata?

Koordinates supports the download of metadata in PDF and XML, though it is up to the publisher to decide which formats are available for a specific dataset. A copy of the metadata is included in all data downloads from a Koordinates powered site.