Metadata Explorer


Browsing

Searching
   Defining Search Area
   Defining Search Criteria
   Executing the Search

Viewing Content
   Navigating the map
   Printing panel contents

Metadata Explorer Help

Metadata Explorer is your tool for searching and browsing the contents of a metadata service—a central repository for metadata. Search by geographic extent, content type, content theme or keyword, or browse through all of the available metadata documents. Use the metadata you find to decide whether the data it describes fits your needs. It's that simple!

Click the Browse tab to browse through a hierarchical list of directories and their contents. Click the Search tab to search for data based on specific criteria. Scroll through the browse or search results in the right panel.

Click a topic to the left to learn more about browsing, searching, and viewing the contents of a metadata server.

 

BROWSING

All metadata documents are organized hierarchically into directories and subdirectories. When you click a directory, a list of subdirectories appears. Click each directory to see its subdirectories, and so on, until you have drilled down as far as you want to go.

When you click a directory, a list of contents appears in the right panel. Each record summary includes the name of the publisher and the content title. Often the record summary also includes the coverage area and map scale of the dataset. In many cases, a thumbnail image of the data also appears.

Each record is followed by at least one of the following buttons: View Details, View Map, Add to ArcMap, or Add to ArcExplorer. See Viewing Content for more information about these tools.

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SEARCHING
 

Many searches begin with defining the search area. There are two ways to define the search area—by typing a place name or by interactively selecting an area on the map. Once you have defined the search area, you can define additional search criteria including content type, content theme, and keywords. You only need to define one parameter of your search (geographic extent, content type, content theme or keyword). However, each additional search parameter helps you narrow your search. Use some or all of the search parameters, depending on the broadness of your search.

Once you have defined the search parameters, execute your search by clicking Start Search. Datasets matching the criteria you specified are listed in the right panel.


DEFINING THE SEARCH AREA

There are two ways to define the search area—by typing a place name or by interactively selecting an area on the map. If you know the name of the area for which you want data—for example, Orange County, California—it might be easiest to type the place name and click Find. If you do not know the correct name for the area, but you do know how to find it—for example, the area around Los Angeles—you can zoom in and select it on the map.

TYPING A PLACE NAME

When you type a place name and click Find, Metadata Explorer returns a list of matching place names. You might have been thinking of the state of Georgia, but your search results also include the country of Georgia in Asia, the city of Georgia in Indiana, Georgian Bay in Canada, and so on. Click the correct place name in the list of place names that appears. The map of the world zooms in on the selected location.

SELECTING AN AREA ON THE MAP Use the Zoom In, Zoom Out, and Pan tools to find an area on the map. Once you are zoomed in enough to see the area, use the Select Search Area tool to select it on the map.

Zoom In  Zoom In Click the Zoom In button, move the mouse pointer to the desired location, then click and drag a box around an area of the map. When you release the mouse button, the map zooms in to the selected area.

Zoom    Out  Zoom Out Click the Zoom Out button, move the mouse pointer to the desired location, then click and drag a box around an area of the map. When you release the mouse button, the map zooms out from the selected area.

Full Extent  Zoom to
          Global Extent
Click the Zoom to Global Extent button, to return to the full extent of the map.


Pan Pan
Click the Pan button then click and drag the map in any direction. If you want to see more to the right, drag the map to the left. If you want to see more to the left, drag the map to the right. If you want to see more at the top, drag the map downward. If you want to see more at the bottom, drag the map upward.

Select  Select Once you have found the correct area, click the Select button and click and drag a box around it. When you release the mouse button, the selected area is indicated by a red box with diagonal upward fill.

Delete Clear Click the Clear button to clear the selected area.

DEFINING SEARCH CRITERIA

CONTENT TYPE

To Search by type of content, click the Choose content type dropdown arrow and click one of the following categories:

Data:
This category includes live, downloadable and offline data.

Live Data and Maps are dynamic services that allow direct interaction with map content. They are delivered in one of two ways: as a cartographic image or “snapshot” of a map, or as compressed vector features that are streamed to you. Streamed features allow for greater client-side interaction including dynamic labelling, feature symbolization, and map tip creation. You do not need to download anything to use live data—just add it to your map and begin exploring.

Downloadable Data includes downloadable files containing map features. After the data has been downloaded to your computer, it can be added to your map.

Offline Data can be ordered on CD or in some other format. Offline data cannot be downloaded directly to your computer.

Documents:
This category includes map files, static map images, and other documents used in conjunction with geographic data.

Map Files are digital maps that can be readily viewed in a mapping application. Maps created for ArcReader and ArcMap are examples of digital maps that fit into this category.

Static Map Images are map image files. You cannot directly interact with static map images as you do with live data and maps, but you can view them and download them to your own computer.

Other Documents include text files, spreadsheets, and other files containing geographic information used in conjunction with geographic data.

Resources:
This category includes clearinghouses, GIS applications, geographic services, and geographic activities.

Clearinghouses are Web sites that either provide links to free geographic data or allow you to directly download data.

Applications are custom-built GIS applications served over the Internet, usually with a complete user interface.

Geographic Services are Internet services that perform basic geoprocessing tasks on map features, such as address matching and buffering. Geographic Services are sometimes referred to as GeoServices.

Geographic Activities are an event or set of events that are geographic in nature. This includes activities such as land surveys, geographic explorations, GIS conferences, and more. The information about these events can be presented in many forms, such as a Web site.

CONTENT THEME A content theme describes the type of features that are included in a dataset. Some examples are: Agriculture & Farming, Cultural & Demographic, and Oceans & Estuaries. To Search by content theme, click the Choose content theme dropdown arrow and click a content theme.

KEYWORD

Searching by keyword limits search results to only those datasets with metadata containing the specified word. To search by keyword, type your search word or words in the Optional Keyword text box.


EXECUTING THE SEARCH
Pan

Click Start Search to execute your search. It is a good idea to double check your search criteria before clicking the Start Search button. Once your search is complete, examine the search results in the right panel. If you are not happy with the results, change your search criteria and execute the search again.

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VIEWING CONTENT

After you have executed a search or browsed to a directory, scroll through the list of search results or directory contents in the right panel. Click the View Details button to see the detailed metadata for a dataset. Click the View Map button to view, zoom and pan a map of the data. Click the Create Printable Version button to print the contents of the right panel. You can print search results, directory contents, detailed metadata and maps.

NAVIGATING THE MAP
Zoom In Zoom In Click the Zoom In button, move the mouse pointer to the desired location, then click and drag a box around an area of the map. When you release the mouse button, the map zooms in to the selected area.

Zoom Out  Zoom Out Click the Zoom Out button, move the mouse pointer to the desired location, then click and drag a box around an area of the map. When you release the mouse button, the map zooms out from the selected area.

Pan Pan Click the Pan button, then click and drag the map in any direction. If you want to see more to the right, drag the map to the left. If you want to see more to the left, drag the map to the right. If you want to see more at the top, drag the map downward. If you want to see more at the bottom, drag the map upward.

Full Extent Zoom to
             Full Extent

Click the Zoom to Full Extent button to see the full extent of the map.

Back  Back Click the Back button to return to the previous extent.

Forward  Forward Click the Forward button to move forward from previous extents.

 

PRINTING PANEL CONTENTS
Print  Print

Anything that appears in the right panel of Metadata Explorer can be printed. Click the Create Printable Version button in the upper right corner of the right panel to open a new browser containing a printable version of panel contents. Click Print on the browser's File Menu to open the Print dialog box. Check the print settings and click OK.

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