FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata:

GIS data created by the National Park Service and its partners are required to be compliant with the Federal Geographic Data Committee's (FGDC) Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM). FGDC compliance is required of all Federal agencies according to Exective Order 12096. The FGDC website provides a number of documents to help you understand the CSDGM. The CSDGM Workbook is designed to be a user-friendly guide to the standard.

If you enjoy diagrams more than text, the CSDGM Graphical Representation may help you understand the relationships between metadata elements. If not, the Graphical Representation may simply be overwhelming and confusing. Below is the Identification Information section. As the legend indicates, yellow boxes are mandatory, green are mandatory if that section can be applied to your data, and blue boxes are optional. To read this representation, start with the largest box and work in toward the 3-D boxes. The 3-D boxes are the fields where you actually type information. The elements appear in your metadata in roughly left-to-right order. So start at the left with Citation Information, then Description, then Time Perio of Content, and on through to Cross Reference at the far right. All of the sections in the image below are contained within the Identification Information section (Section 1).

NPS Metadata Profile:

In order to be compliant with the NPS Metadata Profile, you will need to download the NPS Metadata Tools & Editor (MTE). The MTE can also be used to edit selected sections of metadata that is compliant with the CSDGM. The MTE can function as stand-alone software, or you can add it as an extension to ESRI's ArcCatalog. A description of the NPS GIS Metadata Profile is available here. If you collapse all of the sections in the NPS Metadata Editor, you will see that the NPS MTE allows you to edit only Sections 1, 6, and 7 of the FGDC CSDGM plus the NPS Section 0. All of the additional elements included in the NPS Profile are contained within these sections.

NPS Profile Sections 

Data Management