Feature-level Metadata

Esri Production Mapping’s Feature-level Metadata allows for quick population of fields across feature classes that share common attribution such as source, date last modified and by whom, horizontal/vertical accuracy of the feature and so forth.  Auto populating these fields not only provides important information such as user tracking and timestamps but also helps prevent human error, thereby allowing for a more efficient editing experience.

Note: Both Esri Production Mapping and ArcGIS for Desktop provide ways for you to automatically populate the user name and date on which the feature has been created or modified. Click here to learn when to use one instead of the other.

Create and Modify Flags

A tech lead will first identify the necessary fields that need to be categorized as metadata (using flags) and then configure the appropriate method in which those fields will be populated.  You might want to populate some attributes only during certain times (these are called Metadata Events), for example when the feature is created, when the feature is changed, or both. Having the Create flag toggled will populate the targeted field only when a feature is created.  The Modify flag will update the field if the feature is changed spatially or if an attribute is changed.

User Tracking and Timestamps

Feature-level metadata can also track who created/updated the feature and the dates for each.  The flags to identify a field as a Date or Username (Metadata Type) can be used in conjunction with the Create and Modify flags (Metadata events) explained above.  For example, if you wanted to track the creation date of a feature, you’d choose the Metadata Event as Create and Metadata Type as Date. This will cause each new feature to automatically capture and retain the information. Because the Create flag was toggled, this information will not change when the feature is modified.

Using the Metadata Tab

Now that the metadata is set up, it is time to begin editing.  Using the Metadata tab on the Feature Manager window, you can create a favorite to save the attribution for the metadata fields.  Multiple favorites can be created with different attribution and the correct one can be selected and used where appropriate.

You can see that the metadata is automatically populated when the feature is created.  Metadata fields are disabled, which means that editing is not allowed within the Create and Update tabs.  The fields specified as Date or Username are populated based on the current login and date.

We explored the different types of fields that metadata can handle and how they can be auto populated using Feature Manager and the Metadata tab.  You can make your editing workflows much more efficient by using several other ways to populate feature-level metadata and by creating various configuration combinations that are specific to your production environment.

Happy editing!

Content contributed by Sean Granata

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  1. kreuzrsk says:

    This is great but please tell me it’s going to be available outside of Esri Production Mapping extension.

    • briancoward says:

      I agree. Sounds great but why isn’t this a basic functionality of ArcGIS 10.1 (Advanced ArcInfo). I have not been able to locate the extension or the feature-level metadata tool. Obviously I’m missing something?

      • ProductionMappingTeam says:

        Brian – If you’d like to evaluate Esri Production Mapping please submit a request here. The solution needs to be installed and authorized in order for you to acces the feature-level metadata tool.