ASTM and the Federal Geographic Data Committee have developed a content standard for spatial metadata to facilitate documentation, discovery, and retrieval of digital spatial data using vendor-independent terminology. Spatial metadata elements are identifiable quality and content characteristics of a data set that can be tied to a geographic location or area. Several Office of Management and Budget Circulars and initiatives have been issued that specify improved cataloguing of and accessibility to federal data holdings. An Executive Order further requires the use of the metadata content standard to document digital spatial data sets. Collection and reporting of spatial metadata for field investigations performed for the federal government is an anticipated requirement. This paper provides an overview of the draft spatial metadata content standard and a description of how the standard could be applied to investigations collecting spatially-referenced field data.
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