Phase 1 Final Report, A Prototype National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse Node

Final Project Report for the 1996 Federal Geographic Data Committee Competitive Cooperative Agreements Program Project.

Daniel O. Nelson, Sheena K. Beaverson and Robert J. Krumm
Illinois State Geological Survey


The Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse project is a multi-agency effort, lead by the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), to make metadata and digital geospatial data about Illinois natural resources available on the Internet. The project was initiated in September, 1996, and the prototype Illinois Clearinghouse began operation on July 1, 1997. The primary goal of this effort is to foster a climate for the cooperative development of a statewide clearinghouse network in Illinois by promoting the advantages of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) via a highly-visible, operational prototype. Thus far the Clearinghouse has received a great deal of attention and is providing unprecedented data access to digital data consumers. During the first eight months of operation, the web site had 180,000 hits, averaging 39 users per day. Usage has increased every month. Metadata documents have been accessed over 5,000 times and 15,000 data sets (7.5 gigabytes) have been downloaded. The metadata database has been searched thousands of times through the Wide Area Information Service (WAIS) Z-server connected to the primary clearinghouse node at the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The Illinois Clearinghouse is available at

The agencies participating in this project are:

Each participant has contributed metadata and GIS data to be served on the Illinois Clearinghouse, making available data on topics such as the Public Land Survey System, bedrock and Quaternary geology, wetlands and streams, landfills, fish and wildlife areas, land cover, political boundaries, municipal boundaries, roads and railroads, and more.

This report discusses the status of the Illinois Clearinghouse project in terms of project background and summary, activities and results, challenges and implementation lessons, and impacts and continuing efforts. Also included are responses to a questionnaire that is a required element of this report.

Project Background and Summary

The project leaders and several of the participants have been using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology since 1983 to develop and analyze natural resource information in response to public planning and land use needs. Typically, such work has been done using Arc/Info software from Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI, 1997) for projects in partnership with other government agencies, academia, industry, or citizen groups. The cumulative result of such project work is a large collection of digital geospatial databases and a team of GIS specialists capable of addressing a wide range of natural resource issues. The data, until recently, were accessible only to agency staff and a limited number of specialized data consumers. Technological advances during the last few years, however, have significantly increased the use of GIS technology. The decreasing cost of computer hardware and GIS software, increasing Internet connectivity, and new, user-friendly software have fostered an unprecedented demand for digital geospatial data. The project participants initially addressed the new demand in two primary ways: individually by direct distribution to end-users, and jointly by development of two multi-agency spatial data compilations on CD-ROM.

A prototype Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse was the next logical step. The intent was not only to meet existing data distribution needs, but also to provide an operational example of the NSDI Clearinghouse system in Illinois that would encourage other agencies to recognize the value of participation in the data development and sharing initiatives of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). The ideal result would be a coordinated statewide clearinghouse system involving organizations from all levels and sectors that generate, manage and use digital geospatial data. While great progress has been made, such a goal will require several years of additional effort. We consider this project the first phase, providing initial impetus and a successful model for subsequent efforts.

The specific project objectives were:

Two developments necessitated a change in project objectives. First, subsequent to project approval it was determined that the HTML-based metadata viewer concept was redundant with similar efforts underway at two other organizations. Second, the default Arc/Info metadata collection tool, an Arc Macro Language (AML) program named Document.aml (ESRI, 1997), was proving problematic in the generation of properly formatted metadata as regards FGDC requirements. A change of scope was sought and granted, and the metadata viewer objective was replaced with an effort to develop Fgdcmeta.aml, a streamlined variant of Document.aml focused specifically on the generation of FGDC compliant metadata for use with existing clearinghouse metadata preparation, indexing and server tools.

The project has been very successful thus far. The clearinghouse was brought on-line on July 1, 1997 with over 1,800 downloadable GIS data sets described by over 100 complete metadata documents and an additional 100 "skeleton" metadata documents that comprise our working list. The data and metadata are accessible through browse and search functions. Z-server (WAIS) software was brought on-line simultaneously, giving users the ability to search the metadata database remotely from the primary NSDI gateway and locally by navigating directly to the Illinois Clearinghouse. The downloadable data have since been augmented with short abstracts, metadata links, and over 110 GIF images giving a graphic portrayal of the data. Links to various other geospatial data applications in state government have been added. Fgdcmeta.aml was developed as planned and has been well received. It has been downloaded over 100 times and is in use at the Illinois Scientific Surveys, the USGS, the Geological Survey of Alabama, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and several other organizations.

The Illinois initiative is now positioned for the next phase of the effort, which will be to use the Clearinghouse as a self-promotional tool, in pursuit of a broader base of institutional support and participation, as well funding for maintenance and expansion.

Activities and Results

The technical construction of the Illinois Clearinghouse was relatively straightforward and the status of clearinghouse operation has already been discussed. This section addresses changes in project scope, allocation of project funds, metadata training, and development of Fgdcmeta.aml.

Changes in Project Scope

By agreement with FGDC Competitive Cooperative Agreements Program (CCAP) contract administrators, the development of a graphical metadata viewer as described in the project proposal was replaced with the development of a new Arc/Info metadata collection tool called Fgdcmeta.aml. This tool is focused specifically on the generation of FGDC compliant metadata files in a format compatible with existing tools for the preparation, indexing and serving of metadata on the NSDI Clearinghouse System. There were two reasons for this change:

As a result of the change in project scope, the project title also changed.

In addition, a no-cost extension of the project was sought and granted, changing the project completion date from September 30, 1997 to March 31, 1998. This was required to compensate for changes in project staff funding structure and staff turnover during the project period.

Allocation of Project Funds

Project funds have been expended as outlined in the project proposal. Funds were used (1) to purchase a four gigabyte computer hard drive for data storage, (2) to pay salaries, (3) for direct computer usage costs, and (4) to support travel to the 1996 CCAP kick-off meeting, and to the 1997 ESRI User Conference and other in-state meetings for presentation of project results. Due to an unanticipated change in state salary funding, one of the co-principal investigators was able to contribute significant additional matching funds not included in the original budget. Funds thus freed were used to support additional metadata generation and training activities.

Metadata Training and Development

One of the needs identified was for a flexible, adaptable metadata system. We wished to provide as much viable metadata as possible, while keeping the commitment of effort to metadata training at reasonable levels while the CSDGM was undergoing review and revision. Four major issues were (1) the adoption of a specific metadata format, (2) the amount and type of staff training to provide, (3) the metadata tools to choose, and (4) the problems with Document.aml. The following discussion of these issues is taken in large part from the interim project report (Nelson, 1997).

Adopting a Standard Metadata Format

The CSDGM has been in revision over the past two years. Personal communication with members of the FGDC metadata committee and perusal of draft revisions of the standard indicate that it will probably not change much. Rather, some metadata elements will be redesignated as "core", "recommended if applicable" or "optional" (or something similar), and a standard method of adding "user-defined" metadata elements will be instituted. These changes will give users of the standard more freedomin the way they choose to apply it, while maintaining relative uniformity and utility. The implication is that existing FGDC-compliant metadata will also comply with the revised standard. Nonetheless, project participants decided that to formally adopt a specific metadata format based on a soon-to-be-replaced standard would be ill-advised. However, they did informally agree to continue to produce FGDC compliant metadata using the set of elements that had previously been identified for use with the Illinois DNR GIS Data CD-ROM (Illinois DNR, 1996). This metadata element set consists of the Identification Information and Metadata Reference sections of the CSDGM, and substantial parts of other sections as applicable. Although the difference is subtle, proceeding in this manner leaves the participants in a position to better assess and recommend a formal metadata format for Illinois data after the revisions to the CSDGM are complete.

Staff Training

Project staff have received and provided metadata training. Project partners participated in a half-day training seminar focused on clearinghouse mission and goals, and how clearinghouse software programs and data structures utilize properly formatted metadata files for search and presentation. Core project staff have attended and presented at several local and regional meetings where the FGDC, clearinghouse and metadata were primary issues. Project staff promoted and hosted three Illinois sessions of "A Practical Guide to Metadata Implementation for GIS/LIS Professionals" (NSGIC, 1997), a satellite videoconference that took place on October 15, 1997. Most recently, a hands-on metadata training class was developed for staff members of the Illinois Scientific Surveys. The class included lecture and laboratory sessions, and highlighted the Illinois Clearinghouse and the Wisconsin Metadata Primer (Hart and Phillips, 1997).

In our pilot project, training of staff not directly involved with the project has been kept to a minimum. There are two primary reasons for this. First, the tools and techniques needed by metadata developers are not necessarily those needed by data developers or data users. It was considered prudent to first establish the prototype clearinghouse, assess the results, and refine the product. Then the response of data developers and users can be evaluated to determine the type and scope of training required. Second, as previously mentioned, the FGDC metadata standard is in revision. Project participants were already familiar with the standard, and training of others was judged not to be an immediate necessity. It was deemed more efficient to wait for the release of the revised metadata standard than to provide training in the current version only to re-tool and retrain for the subsequent version.

Metadata Production

To date, project participants have produced over 130 comprehensive and CSDGM-compliant metadata documents that describe over 1,800 downloadable GIS data sets. Another 70 "skeleton" metadata documents comprise an on-going working list that represents several hundred additional data sets.

Metadata files were produced using several tools: word processing templates, Document.aml, Xtme (Xt Metadata Editor, Schweitzer, 1997), or a combination of these. Many metadata files that were originally produced for the Illinois DNR GIS CD-ROM compilation were reformatted using cns (Chew 'n Spit, Schweitzer, 1997) and augmented to comply with clearinghouse requirements. Limitations experienced with these various approaches led to the development of Fgdcmeta.aml (described later in this report). Through trial and error, the following metadata generation process was developed: Fgdcmeta.aml is used to gather initial, data-specific information from Arc/Info data sets and produce a CSDGM-compliant template file in ASCII format. The template contains generalized institutional, distribution and contact information, as well as headings and input fields for additional metadata elements that require manual data entry. Any text editor can be used to provide the additional information; Xtme is recommended. The files are then processed with mp (Metadata Parser, Schweitzer, 1997) to generate SGML and HTML formatted files in preparation for indexing and serving the metadata. Files are indexed using Isite software (CNIDR, 1997) and served on the Internet with the WAIS Z29.50 protocol. Fgdcmeta.aml is available free of charge at the Illinois Clearinghouse web site. All of the other software tools mentioned here are available free of charge at the FGDC web site.

Development of Fgdcmeta.aml

Because of problems experienced with Document.aml, a replacement AML was developed. The new AML, called Fgdcmeta.aml, uses the &DESCRIBE and spatial domain calculation functions of Document.aml to derive descriptive information from an Arc/Info data set. This information is then ported directly to Xtme (or any other text editor) for further editing, avoiding the manual data entry portions of Document.aml. Fgdcmeta.aml has proven to be straightforward and efficient in the generation of metadata from Arc/Info data sets for the Illinois project; other metadata developers have also found it useful. The problems with Document.aml and the development of Fgdcmeta.aml were presented in detail in a paper entitled Arc/Info Solutions to Metadata Problems: Building a Solid NSDI Clearinghouse Node on a Shifting Metadata Landscape (Nelson et al, 1997), which was presented at the 1997 ESRI User Conference. Portions of that paper are reprinted here.

Review of Document.aml: Document.aml is a metadata generation tool for Arc/Info that was created by staff of the Water Resources Division of the USGS and subsequently included with recent releases of Arc/Info. For the purposes of this discussion, it is assumed that the reader has some familiarity with the Arc/Info Document atool.

For three years, the ISGS used Document.aml as its primary metadata collection tool. During that time there were five or six generations of the same tool; USGS ver. 2.0.2, Arc/Info vers. 7.0.2, 7.0.3, and 7.0.4, Blmdoc from the BLM, and the most recent USGS release. ESRI version 7.1.1 has been subsequently released but is not included in this review. The conceptual basis for Document.aml is excellent and the program has proven useful for creating on-line documentation for individual Arc/Info data sets. It has several operational problems, however, especially in generating FGDC formatted metadata. These problems can be attributed to three primary causes:

Some of the specific Document.aml problems are:

The net result is that the FGDC output must almost always be re-edited to add or correct information. This is the fundamental problem. It raises the question, "Why perform data entry in Document.aml when it is much more straightforward and resource-efficient to do it in Xtme or some other text-based editor?"

Additionally, ESRI is reportedly developing a new metadata tool, which casts substantial doubt on the future development and support of Document.aml. Because of these problems, the project partners chose to discontinue using Document.aml for the collection of FGDC-compliant metadata.

Document.aml does, however, have some impressive functions including a very useful metadata gathering engine that uses the AML &DESCRIBE function, and a powerful block of code that determines projection information and calculates spatial domain in decimal degrees. Not wanting to forego the convenience of these functions, Document.aml was used as a template to develop a related AML program called Fgdcmeta.aml.

Description of Fgdcmeta.aml: Fgdcmeta.aml retains the excellent automatic data gathering routines of Document.aml, but discards manual data entry from within an Arc/Info session. All data entry is done in Xtme or another text editor. Fgdcmeta.aml consists of line commands only; there are no forms or menus. Its main function is described in three steps:

The usage for Fgdcmeta.aml is:

FGDCMETA <geo_dataset> { CREATE { TEMPLATE | MINIMUM } | EDIT } FGDCMETA USAGE (for verbose usage notes)

The CREATE option creates a metadata template as described above. TEMPLATE is the default switch for the create option. It creates a field in the metadata text file for several the metadata elements common to many GIS data sets. Some generic statements, such as use constraints and distribution liability, are included. These should be customized by individual organizations as necessary.

The MINIMUM switch for the create option generates an output file that requires minimal additional information to be added by the user. It includes only the Identification and Metadata sections (numbers 1 and 7) of the CSDGM, plus any other information that can be automatically generated. This option should only be used by those who are very familiar with the CSDGM and wish to build a custom metadata file by hand. Raw output alone from this option is not sufficient as a complete metadata file.

The EDIT option opens an existing metadata file in an editor. It checks for metadata files in the following order:

Only the <geo_dataset>.met file is displayed. If <geo_dataset>.met does not exist in the current workspace, then the program checks for the existence of a <geo_dataset>.nar file that may have been previously created with Document.aml. A message will indicate the presence of a narrative file from Document.aml, but Document.aml must be invoked to view the file. Also, the program could be edited so that the EDIT option checks a specified in-house metadata database.

The advantages of Fgdcmeta.aml are:

In a comprehensive review of metadata tools (Phillips, 1998), Fgdcmeta.aml is rated very favorably. In personal communication, the author of the review indicated that Fgdcmeta.aml was one of the few tools in his personal "metadata tool kit".

There are, however, some disadvantages to using Fgdcmeta.aml. It is not as robust as Document.aml. In its current form, it only supports a one-time query of DESCRIBE data from coverages, grids, and tins for the purposes of generating FGDC compliant metadata outside of Arc/Info. It does not write the metadata to an INFO file or directly support update of an existing metadata file.

Challenges and Implementation Lessons

The Illinois Clearinghouse participants owe a great debt of thanks to the grantees of the 1994 and 1995 CCAP awards for their efforts in laying the foundation for our work. Perhaps the single most significant result of our work in terms of the NSDI as a whole is that NSDI-node-in-a-box works; the Illinois Clearinghouse is a textbook example. Node-in-a-box is a FGDC catch-phrase that is intended to convey the relative ease with which a NSDI Clearinghouse can be assembled. The implication is that a great deal of the initial experimental work has been done and that interested parties need only download the required software via the Internet and follow step-by-step instructions to build a clearinghouse node. For the Illinois project it was almost that easy. This is not to say there were not technical difficulties; every computer system has its unique challenges. Technically adept personnel are essential, and a robust computer network with high-speed Internet connectivity and plenty of disk storage is an absolute requirement. Ultimately, though, thanks to node-in-a-box technology, project staff spent minimal time bringing the metadata indexing and server software up to operational status. This allowed for maximum concentration on the truly important aspects of the project: metadata creation, catalog development and digital data sharing.

In terms of metadata creation, there is a very important and simple lesson to be learned, and it is echoed frequently by novice metadata builders. The FGDC metadata standard is complex. It takes a great deal of time and several attempts to gain expertise with the CSDGM. Without in-depth study, the meanings of many metadata elements often seem unclear or redundant. The Illinois project was fortunate in this regard because some of the participants had prior metadata experience. Less time had to be spent learning the standard, so more time could be spent implementing it. Nonetheless, a warning to new users of the CSDGM is appropriate: when learning to use the metadata standard, recognize that it is indeed complex, as are most powerful tools. Be prepared, at first, to write and rewrite the same metadata documents reiteratively. After all, how many people can ride a bike on the first try, or write the perfect report in the first draft? Repetition is an unavoidable feature of the learning process. It is not unique to metadata creation and, if planned for, should not be a source of frustration. As expertise with metadata increases, so does an understanding of the dynamic nature of metadata and the relationships between individual metadata documents. Such insights often suggest modifications and updates to existing metadata. A constructive way to approach this need is to institute periodic review and update of data and the associated metadata. This is not only good database maintenance practice, but is also a perfect application of metadata!

The greatest challenge of metadata and clearinghouse implementation is convincing those who do not have a budget for it that it is a worthwhile activity. Many approaches have been suggested to address this issue. In this project the approach was simple: partner with supportive organizations, build the prototype clearinghouse, and use it to promote its own utility. If the data are useful, the demand will be demonstrable and the benefits compelling. In fact, the demand may be too great. One contributor to the Illinois Clearinghouse asked that his metadata be temporarily removed, stating, "I'm getting too many requests for the data, and I'm not quite ready to distribute it!"

Impacts and Continuing Efforts

This section is in a questionnaire format required by the contractor. Text supplied by the contractor is italicized.

The focus of this section is on identifying the impact of your effort on your own organization and on other target audiences, and to call attention to activities that are continuing beyond the grant funding. The questionnaire which follows has been prepared to facilitate answering this section and is to be filled-out and included with the final report. While filling-out the questionnaire will suffice for addressing this section, the grantee is encouraged to elaborate on any answers to the questionnaire and include other information in this section that will help assess the project's impact and its contributions towards building the NSDI.

The intent of this questionnaire is to gain an understanding of the success of this partnerships program and how to maximize its impact. Questions have been grouped to identify the impacts of your project effort, to examine the ingredients for sustaining project efforts, and to assess the impact of the Cooperative Agreements Program itself. The questions can be completed by circling answers (on a 1 - 5 scale) and/or in some cases by providing written responses.


1. Do you believe you achieved your project goals?

2. Of what value has your particular project effort been to you?

3. If you answered either 3, 4, or 5 please describe its importance:

For several years the project participants have been GIS leaders in Illinois and national leaders in their respective fields. Our participation in the NSDI enhances this standing by giving us a very visible forum through which to further distribute information, data and methodologies. The technical advantages of a Clearinghouse allow us to greatly increase distribution without significant long-term costs. Also, in some of the participating organizations this effort has provided the impetus to greatly reorganize and improve existing GIS databases. As a result, better data maintenance, update and control policies have been implemented, and the geospatial data are well prepared to move into the mainstream of our basic digital information system.

4. Has this project made geospatial data more affordable or accessible than before?

4.a. If possible, quantify (or describe) this change, ex. increase in # of users or % increase in sales, etc.?

From July, 1997 to March, 1998 the site had 180,000 hits and 9,450 user sessions, averaging 39 users per day. Metadata documents were been accessed over 5,000 times and 15,000 data sets (7.5 gigabytes) were downloaded. The metadata database was searched hundreds of times through the WAIS Z-server housed at the primary clearinghouse node at the USGS. Fgdcmeta.aml was downloaded 124 times. Although Internet statistics of this sort are imprecise, they indicate that the Illinois Clearinghouse is receiving a great deal of attention and is providing unprecedented data access to our digital data consumers. This activity represents new data distribution, and these values exclude access by staff of the ISGS.

5. How has this project affected the targeted end users for whom you developed your data service? (i.e., What difference did it make for them?)

For existing customers, we have provided easier data access and a larger data catalog. Also, making the data available over the Internet allows us to distribute most of the data free of charge, rather than charging a customary nominal handling fee. The real impact, however, is for those potential customers, many of whom, until now, had absolutely no idea of the breadth and depth of our digital data holdings.

6. Will you continue to implement the NSDI?

6.a. If yes, please describe in general terms, the essence of these implementation activities.

The scope of continued implementation activities depends largely on the availability of new funding. The intent is to use the Illinois Clearinghouse as its own promotional tool in pursuit of expanded institutional participation and funding. The ultimate goal would be a statewide NSDI system as a subset of the national system.

6.b. Has the project effort and/or tenets of the NSDI been institutionalized within the other organizations involved in the project?

7. Have you had inquiries from other organizations about your project?

7.a. Are you aware of other organizations that have initiated similar efforts as a result of your project work?

8. What are three observable, measurable benefits of your project to date (ex., improved data management, improved understanding /interest in metadata creation by state and university community, recognition as a central facility for data distribution)?

The three examples in the question all apply. Perhaps the greatest resulting benefit, however, is a growing (albeit slowly) awareness in state government organizations of the value of digital geospatial information and the need for coordinated, cooperative distribution and data sharing channels.

8.a. The benefits you've experienced have been:

9. Describe how you've disseminated information about your project. What have been the most effective ways of achieving public awareness of your project?

Having an Internet connection to the primary NSDI clearinghouse gateway and announcing the project on the NSDI-L e-mail list server have probably reached the widest audience. Public presentations at meetings in Illinois, however, have probably reached the most important user base. Talks have been given to many groups: the Illinois Board of Natural Resources and Conservation, the Illinois Scientific Surveys, the Illinois GIS Association, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the Geography Departments of the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University. Letters of announcement were also sent to the heads of several state agencies, but these did not produce a noticeable response. Many new users have stated they found the Clearinghouse by searching the Internet.

10. Did the results and experiences from other NSDI Competitive Cooperative Agreements Program projects help your effort?


1. What are the sustainable results of your project (ex., creation of an operational C-2 level clearinghouse, development of agency metadata records)?

By far the greatest result is the development of agency metadata records, especially at the ISGS, and to a lesser degree at the State Water and Natural History Surveys. The project has also provided impetus for a comprehensive re-tooling of GIS database operations at the ISGS. The current operational level of the Clearinghouse could be termed a B2-C2 hybrid, as defined in Attachment L of Program Announcement 8187. It is sustainable at this level for 2-3 years without additional funding, but would remain relatively static. If additional funding is obtained, there is a possibility that the Clearinghouse would become an institutionally supported, on-going service of either the Scientific Surveys or the Department of Natural Resources.

2. How are the objectives of your project likely to be sustained, and where do you expect to find follow-on funding for it?

At present, the project will be sustained as a part of GIS database operations at the ISGS. In the long-term, we hope this project, or a similar one, will be recognized as an intrinsic service of the State of Illinois and be funded appropriately. Meanwhile, funding may be sought from state initiatives, third parties, or perhaps as a component of broader-based FGDC Framework initiative.

3. What recommendations regarding sustainability do you have for other groups? (This could be in the context of funding, program development, and/or program operations.)

The combination of node-in-a-box technology and a large database inventory ripe for documentation, plus proper system and technical support, provided an extremely solid foundation for our project. Thus, the majority of the project was spent building a strong end-product that provides impetus for its own sustainability. This is reinforced by a reduction in "crisis database management"; that is, the database manager becomes proactive and anticipatory, rather than reactive to unanticipated needs.

4. Will the partnerships you've established be continued after the project's completion?

5. What do you predict will be the three long-range most important observable, measurable contributions of your project?


1. Were you aware of the NSDI before participating in this Cooperative Agreements Program?

1.a. Was the Program instrumental in making you more fully aware of the NSDI?

2. Did the NSDI Cooperative Agreements Program help further your program efforts?

2.a. Please describe how this NSDI Cooperative Program helped further your efforts?

By providing:

3. Without the FGDC investment would you have undertaken your project?

Yes, but probably not as a multi-agency cooperative effort.

4. Did this Cooperative Agreements Program help you promote the NSDI tenets to others? Did it strengthen your ability to promote the NSDI to managers/peers?

5. What else should we examine when evaluating the NSDI Competitive Cooperative Agreements Program?

See the next question.

6. What could the FGDC have done to help you be more successful?

Increase the funding. The Illinois project is appreciative of the funding provided by the CCAP program, however, the FGDC must recognize that grants of $35,000 do not go very far when multiple agencies are concerned.


Funding for this project was provided by the FGDC 1996 Competitive Cooperative Agreements Program (CCAP) administered by the USGS, and by the Illinois State Geological Survey. The authors wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in this project:

For data and metadata development, and institutional support:

For technical assistance:


Center for Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval (1997) Isite software, CNIDR, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina,

Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (1997) Arc/Info GIS software, ESRI, Redlands, California, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (1995) Document.aml (several versions through ESRI version 7.0.4), ESRI, Redlands, California, original programming by D. Nebert and M. Negri (United States Geological Survey), and M. Hoel (ESRI).

Federal Geographic Data Committee Web Site (1998) Federal Geographic Data Committee (1995) Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata Workbook (March 24), Federal Geographic Data Committee, Washington, D.C.

Hansen, David (1997) MetaMaker software, United States Geological Survey Biological Resources Division, Onalaska, Wisconsin,

Hart, David and Hugh Phillips (1997) Metadata Primer, National States Geographic Information Council and University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin,

Illinois Department of Natural Resources (1996) Illinois Geographic Information System CD-ROM of Digital Datasets of Illinois, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Springfield, Illinois, 2 vols.

National States Geographic Information Council (1997) A Practical Guide to Metadata Implementation for GIS/LIS Professionals: A National Satellite Videoconference, National States Geographic Information Council, Hanover, New Hampshire,

Nelson, Daniel 0. (1997) Six-Month Project Report for the 1996 Competitive Cooperative Agreements Program (CCAP) Project Entitled: Illinois Natural Resources - A Prototype National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse Node, Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, Illinois, unpublished.

Nelson, Daniel O., Robert J. Krumm, Sally L. Denhart, and Sheena K. Beaverson (1997) Arc/Info Solutions to Metadata Problems: Building a Solid NSDI Clearinghouse Node on a Shifting Metadata Landscape, Proceedings of the 1997 ESRI Annual User Conference, San Diego, California.

Phillips, Hugh (1998) Metadata Tools for Geospatial Data, Wisconsin NSDI Clearinghouse and National States Geographic Information Council, Madison, Wisconsin,

Schweitzer, Peter (1997-98) Chew 'n Spit (cns), Metadata Parser (mp) and Xt Metadata Editor (Xtme) Metadata Tools, United States Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia,

Stitt, Susan (1994) The FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata: An Image Map, United States Geological Survey Biological Resources Division, Denver, Colorado.

Author Information

Daniel O. Nelson
Associate Staff Geologist
Illinois State Geological Survey
615 East Peabody Drive
Champaign, Illinois 61821
Telephone: 217-244-2513
Fax: 217-333-2830