Metadata Profile for Shoreline Data

Document number


Maintenance authority

NOAA Coastal Services Center


This Shoreline Metadata Profile is the first in a series of standards that will define a Shoreline Data Content Standard.   The metadata profile is to be used as an extension or profile to the existing Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM). The glossary and bibliography are informative annexes that will provide a basis  for understanding the shoreline and related issues.  Because the CSDGM only allows for the documentation of  generic geospatial data, the Bathymetric Subcommittee felt it was neccessary to develop a metadata profile that addressed shoreline data and data that intesects with the shoreline.  The objective of the metadata profile is to capture the critical processes and conditions that revolve around creating and collecting shoreline data. The metadata produced using this standard will be important for clearinghouse activities to locate potential data sets and to indicate the fitness for use and accuracy of a given data set.  This Standard is intended to serve the community of users who are involved with geospatial data "activities" that intersect the U.S. Shoreline. The purpose is to clarify (standardize) some of the complexities of shoreline data by developing a metadata profile, bibliography and glossary, which will be an extension or profile of the FGDC CSDGM. 


The Shoreline Metadata Profile provides the format and content for describing data sets related to shoreline and other coastal data sets.  The metadata complies with the FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Standard.  It provides additional terms and data elements required to support metadata for shoreline and coastal data sets. 

The profile is primarily oriented toward providing the elements necessary for documenting shoreline data and reaching a common understanding of the shoreline for national mapping purposes and other geospatial and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications. Shoreline data are important for coastal zone management, environmental monitoring, resource developments, legal land jurisdictional issues, ocean and meteorological modeling, engineering,  construction, planning, and many other uses.  A published standard by a responsible agency will  provide the affected community with a basis from which to assess the quality and utility of their shoreline data.  Shoreline is an integral component of the geospatial data framework. 

The shoreline glossary provides the working vocabulary for shoreline topics and thesaurus for the metadata standard.   Every reference in the glossary has at least one reference to  the bibliography. Additional explanatory material about the use of the term, common or known  mis-uses of the term, and confounding or clarifying descriptions are included in the glossary. The glossary is structured so that users understand relationships among terms.

Sponsored by

FGDC Marine and Coastal Spatial Data Subcommittee

Project history

Document Version Date Custodian 
Proposal  revised 1998-03-03 FGDC Standards Working Group
Public review draft    2000-01-28  FGDC Secretariat 
FGDC-endorsed standard   2001-06  FGDC Steering Committee