Metadata - or data about data - is an important component of any GIS system. This tells users how data were created, how reliable these data are, the spatial reference of the data, and who can be contacted with questions regarding a particular dataset.
Until recently, it has been impossible to add metadata to ArcGIS Online (AGOL), bar the very brief "Description" and "Access and Use Constrains" sections provided on the data description page.
With the July 2015 release of ArcGIS Online, Esri has now made it possible for organizations to upload and save completed XML metadata to their AGOL account.
Below, we will discuss how users can get started with uploading their metadata records to AGOL.
First, we will start with how to enable the use of metadata for an organizational account. Please note that this can only be done by an AGOL for Organizations administrator.
- Click My Organization, and then select Edit Settings.
- Click Item Details from the left side of the page.
- Check option to Enable Metadata. Choose the appropriate metadata style (we chose FGDC CSDGM Metadata).
- Click Save.
Now, members of the organization can begin uploading metadata to any AGOL items including - Feature Layers, Tile Layers, Map Image Layers, and Web Mapping Applications. Below are details on how metadata can be properly exported from ArcCatalog and then imported into AGOL.
- Open ArcCatalog and navigate to a feature class (or shapefile) that has imported metadata.
- Using the Search window, search for the XSLT Transformation tool.
- Select appropriate input data (either a feature class or shapefile), and an output location. Be sure to add ".xml" to the end of your output file name!
- For the Input XSLT, navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.3\Metadata\Stylesheets\gpTools and select exact copy of.xslt.
- Review the screen capture of the geoprocessing tool below!
- Note: This was the location of these stylesheets for us - please locate your ArcGIS Desktop folder and navigate to the exact copy of.xslt file.
- Click Run.
Hint: Your final tool dialog should look like the one below!
- Log into AGOL and navigate to the same dataset.
- Click Metadata, then Open.
- Check box to "Populate metadata with item details" and browse to the exported XML file.
- Click Save & Close.
- View metadata to ensure it was properly imported. This will open a new window and show FDGC-version metadata. It should look similar to what you see below.
This blog posting was developed with the support of a competitive grant (cooperative agreement number P09AC00212; task agreement number P13AC00875) from the National Park Service in partnership with the North Atlantic Coast Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit.