Metadata is information about data. Similar to a library catalog record, metadata records document the who, what, when, where, how, and why of a data resource. Geospatial metadata describes maps, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) files, imagery, and other location-based data resources. The FGDC is tasked by Executive Order 12906 to enable access (see to National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) resources and by OMB Circular A-16 and the A-16 Supplemental Guidance to support the creation, management, and maintenance of the metadata required to fuel data discovery and access. 

Geospatial metadata standards and Guidelines

Specifications for formatting and populating your metadata