ESRI is the leading developer of mapping software and different GIS applications.  It has also developed a dedicated ESRI metadata schema to simplify the discovery, distribution and cataloguing of scientific data created using standard GIS applications.  The ESRI metadata can also be hosted on a portal serving as a clearinghouse where users can search for millions of scientific information.

ESRI metadata can be very useful when creating a digital library for maps and other geographic information.  Researchers, scientists, and map developers can dump their bulky and cumbersome filing cabinets and use digital libraries to find information.  A scientific file stored on a database however will be very difficult to discover if not properly catalogued.  Scientific information managers therefore use metadata to organize millions of digitized files to make it recognizable for search functions.  By creating encapsulated information on each file, research would be simpler, faster, and easier. 

By using the ESRI metadata utility, information centers could make use of ESRI’s validation application ensuring correct metadata input.  Validation of metadata structure and content are means to standardize filing and cataloguing for library services.  The utility ensures that the correct format of metadata is being followed by data administrators.

ESRI metadata schemas also use stylesheet techniques.  Information database managers can configure metadata into a simple list format.  Individual list element can be accessed simply by utilizing markup language.  The application is similar to HTML pages for site map or frequently asked questions.  The researcher can view the entire library resource on a single HTML page.

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