Metadata and Its Types, Description, and Uses (Especially for GATE-Geospatial 2022)

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What is Metadata?

Metadata is data about data

Metadata can describe a single piece of data, a dataset or collection.

Metadata can be used to describe anything – both physical and digital.

Figure Shows Definition of Metadata

Ways to Describe Your Data


Title, dates, geographic locations, subjects, dimensions


Investigators, collaborators, related publication, websites, projects and datasets

Access and Rights

Copyright licenses, access and usage restrictions, embargo dates.


File format and size, software, programming language.


Storage location and format, retention periods

Where to Describe Your Data


Within your work files, databases and other structures. Use metadata to keep track of the data you are collecting or generating.


Collection level metadata can be created and shared within metadata stores and data repositories. This helps other researchers to find out about your work, may lead to new collaborations and minimizes duplication of effort.

Types of Metadata

There are three types of metadata.

  • Descriptive Metadata
  • Structural Metadata
  • Administrative Metadata
This Image Shows Types of Metadata

Metadata helps you to better organize and keep track of your research data, saving you time by making it easier to find your data when you need it.

Metadata helps you to understand a dataset – what is, how it was collected and how it is structured.

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