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USGS - science for a changing world

Core Science Analytics, Synthesis, and Libraries - Metadata Program

Federal and USGS Policies

Executive Order 12906: This Executive Order established policy that implemented the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, and stated that all Federal agencies would create metadata for scientific data, and share those metadata records in clearinghouses.

Executive Order 12906: COORDINATING GEOGRAPHIC DATA ACQUISITION AND ACCESS: THE NATIONAL SPATIAL DATA INFRASTRUCTURE, signed by President Bill Clinton on April 11, 1994, launched the initiative to create the NSDI. President George W. Bush amended EO 12906 by issuance of Executive Order 13286 on March 5, 2003.

Executive Order 12906, published in the April 13, 1994, edition of the Federal Register, Volume 59, Number 71, pp. 17671-17674; and amended by Executive Order 13286, published in the March 5, 2003, edition of the Federal Register, Volume 68, Number 43, pp. 10619-10633.

  • Executive Order 12906 established executive branch leadership for development of the coordinated National Spatial Data Infrastructure, and called for development of a National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse, spatial data standards, a National Digital Geospatial Data Framework and partnerships for data acquisition. The Executive Order was amended in 2003 in connection with the transfer of certain functions to the Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • Executive Order 13286, published in the March 5, 2003, edition of the Federal Register, Volume 68, Number 43, pp. 10619-10633 amended Executive Order 12906.

USGS Policies Regarding Metadata:

Fundamental Science Practices: Planning and Conducting Data Collection and Research

The USGS has a legacy as the producer of long-term datasets for multiple uses, many of which are geographically extensive. Part of the value of these datasets is dependent on USGS scientists describing and documenting the methods used to collect data and making these data accessible in information products. Proper documentation (including appropriate metadata) and broad dissemination ensure that USGS data and research can be interpreted appropriately, meet the highest scientific standards of excellence, and can be used broadly by the scientific community.

Older Policy Related to Metadata:

BRD Policy Issuance

BRD Clearinghouse Memo

USGS Implementation memo

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