Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Below are the questions currently asked during the appraisal of a collection at USGS/EROS.

Section 1: Mission Alignment Characteristics

How do the records fit within the scope of our Collection Policy?

How does the anticipated current and future utility of the data fit within the EROS mission?

How significant, different or unique are the records to the remote sensing, cartographic, and Earth science data user community, i.e. what significant and unique contributions does the collection contain that upgrade our current archive holdings?

How would the contribution of the collection fill gaps or complement the current archive holdings?

Does the data support the study of geophysical changes over time? Explain.

What are the consequences to USGS or the U.S. Government if the collection is not obtained or maintained?

Section 1: Mission Alignment Characteristics Additional Comments


Section 2: Access & Distribution Characteristics

How can the records Authenticity be judged, i.e. how are the records considered to be authentic? (ISO 15489-1:2001(E)) Reference lineage and provenance history.

How can the records Reliability be assessed? (ISO 15489-1:2001(E))

How can the records Integrity be determined. (ISO 15489-1:2001(E))

How are the records Usability conducive to our anticipated exploitation of the information value in the records? (ISO 15489-1:2001(E)) Note any exclusive use periods and/or sunset dates when the collection would become Public Domain.

Do the data involve any legal rights of the Government or individuals or will the data be needed to defend the agency or the Government against charges of data fraud or misrepresentation?

If access to this collection is provided, will some users require use of the original raw data? Explain.

Has the collection been made available to other users, including NARA, through agency schedules or data sharing agreements? Detail all the locations where the collection exists.

How is this collection to be distributed or accessed? W

hat are the physical, intellectual, or legal barriers in making the records accessible?

Who are the anticipated users groups and what are their expected demands for the collection?

Section 2: Access & Distribution Characteristics Additional Comments


Section 3: Additional Characteristics

What is the spatial area covered by the collection, e.g. Minnehaha County, State of Minnesota, North 35-45 degrees Latitude by West 75-105 Longitude, conterminous U.S., the continent of Africa?

What is the temporal range(s) the collection spans, e.g. 1939-1973, calendar year 1999, March-July of years 1988 through 2004?

Does the collection represent a complete population or a statistically valid sample? If the collection is not complete, describe what is missing.

Who created the records and for what purpose, noting whom else in the past has owned this collection and who is considered the current owner, i.e. detail the lineage and provenance of the collection?

How would acceptance of the records impose unique, different or difficult archiving, distribution, or customer service requirements?

If this is a continuously growing data collection, detail the anticipated volume of additional records and volume per year.

Describe if any of the records hold Intrinsic or historical value.

Describe any training that could be available from the current owner or creator of the collection.

Section 3: Additional Characteristics Additional Comments


Section 4: Physical Characteristics

What media are the records stored on, e.g. polyester film, acetate film, nitrate film, 8mm tapes, 9-track tapes, CDs, DVDs?

Describe the size of the collection in terms of volume, boxes, pallets, tapes, canisters, etc.

What order, level of processing and/or format, especially noting proprietary ones, are the records currently in? Describe how the order or format has changed over time including any processing histories available. Note what the best preservation level would be and if that differs from what is most useful to researchers.

Detail what physical condition and overall quality the records are in.

Describe in detail any compression techniques utilized on the records.

What is the file or image naming convention used?

If the collection contains browse imagery, describe the format of the browse.

Section 4: Physical Characteristics Additional Comments


Section 5: Metadata Characteristics

Detail the amount, quality, level and availability of metadata describing this collection.

What additional information is available e.g. libraries of documentation, guides, Data Information Files, fact sheets, Frequently Asked Questions, instrument documentation, Design Reviews, lessons learned, hardware documentation, engineering models, computer models, platform documentation, algorithm documentation, URLs, Principle Investigator contact, Algorithm Theoretical Basis Documents?

Section 5: Metadata Characteristics Additional Comments


Section 6: Economic Characteristics

What Program or funding source has been identified to sponsor any costs associated with acquiring, preserving, and making the records accessible?

Identify any cost sharing opportunities for capital investment and/or recurring expenses.

Estimate the expense to reproduce the collection by us or someone else and how the scientific, operational or secondary value of the collection exceeds the costs to preserve and make the records accessible.

What are the approximate costs of identifying, appraising, accessioning and processing the collection to make it accessible?

Identify the resources necessary for any preservation functions required.

What are the approximate annual costs of housing the original records? Is there a significant cost savings by reducing their bulk by sampling?

Identify any unique equipment required to read or process the records.

Estimate the cost to deaccession/purge/dispose the collection.

What priority will the Project assign to processing this collection? In other words, what work will be stopped or delayed if this collection is accepted? If you intend to request an overguide for this work, a) what priority does it have relative to other overguides you intend to request, and b) what work will be stopped or delayed if you are told to use existing funds?

Section 6: Economic Characteristics Additional Comments


Section 7: Additional Film Characteristics

What is the generation, media base, film type, camera type, camera focal length, lens number, film manufacturer, date taken, flying height, and area of coverage of the photographs? Rate the overall quality of the photographs based upon proper exposure, color balance and sharpness. Identify if there are any clouds or haze captured and if scratches, tears, pinholes or dirt are present. Are the frames in roll format or single-cut format and what is the film-titling scheme? How were or are the photographic rolls stored, e.g. in rubber canisters within a card-key environment maintaining 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit and 30-40 percent Relative Humidity? Section 7: Additional Film Characteristics Additional Comments


Overall Appraisal Comments

Overall Appraisal Comments Additional Comments


Appraisal Overview

Additional Comments on Appraisal





An authentic record is one that can be proven

  1. to be what it purports to be,
  2. to have been created or sent by the person [system] purported to have created or sent it, and
  3. to have been created or sent at the time purported.

To ensure the authenticity of records, organizations should implement and document policies and procedures which control creation, receipt, transmission, maintenance and disposition of records to ensure that records creators are authorized and identified and that records are protected against unauthorized addition, deletion, alteration, use and concealment.


A reliable record is one whose contents can be trusted as a full and accurate representation of the transactions, activities or facts to which they attest and can be depended upon in the course of subsequent transactions or activities. Records should be created at the time of the transaction or incident to which they relate, or soon afterwards, by individuals who have direct knowledge of the facts or by instruments routinely used within the business to conduct the transaction.


The integrity of a record refers to its being complete and unaltered. It is necessary that a record be protected against unauthorized alteration. Records management policies and procedures should specify what additions or annotations may be made to a record after it is created, under what circumstances additions or annotations may be authorized, and who is authorized to make them. Any authorized annotation, addition or deletion to a record should be explicitly indicated and traceable.


A usable record is one that can be located, retrieved, presented and interpreted. It should be capable of subsequent presentation as directly connected to the business activity or transaction that produced it. The contextual linkages of records should carry the information needed for an understanding of the transactions that created and used them. It should be possible to identify a record within the context of broader business activities and functions. The links between records that document a sequence of activities should be maintained.


Records considered "famous," linked with important events, Unique, possessing artistic merit, of high monteary value, rare photographs or a unique photographic format.