Where can I find metadata for USGS products?

Metadata for publications authored by USGS scientists can be found on the USGS Publications Warehouse.

Metadata for USGS data can be found on the USGS Science Data Catalog or on the repository serving the data. USGS data that predate 2000 might not have metadata.

Learn more: USGS Data Management: Metadata/Documentation

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What are the differences between data, a dataset, and a database?

Data are observations or measurements (unprocessed or processed) represented as text, numbers, or multimedia. A dataset is a structured collection of data generally associated with a unique body of work. A database is an organized collection of data stored as multiple datasets, that are generally stored and accessed electronically from a computer...

What can I do if I cannot find a publication in the USGS Publications Warehouse?

If you can't find a known publication in our USGS Publications Warehouse , first try contacting the Publications Warehouse Team . If a print copy is readily available to them, they’re sometimes able to scan it and post it online for free download within a few days. If that doesn’t work, chances are good that the publication can be requested...

How do I get USGS data?

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) provides data on many different science topics. Most of it can be downloaded for free from our website. Our Science Data Catalog is a good starting point. If you are looking for a particular data set and cannot find it through Internet searches or our Science Data Catalog, please call USGS Science...

How do I contact the USGS?

For general inquiries, call 1-888-ASK-USGS (1-888-275-8747). You can also use this website to send us a message or to initiate a live Web chat with a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Science Information Specialist. Most of our employees are listed in our online Staff Profiles . USGS offices are located in every state. Please note, however, that most...

How can I find publications of the USGS?

The USGS Publications Warehouse is an online catalog for searching all USGS publications and downloading free digital versions. USGS Libraries contain sets of all USGS publications plus many state geological survey publications. The public go in person to any USGS library to do research, but USGS library materials can only be borrowed by placing a...
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September 9, 2008

What is metadata?

Listen to hear the answer.

CSV of data dictionary used to create structured metadata record

Data dictionary info used to generate metadata

Data dictionary information can be used to fill in the entity & attribute section or feature catalog for formal metadata.