At Esri UK we have been thinking hard about how best to support our customers using the Gemini metadata standard in the future.
Hard work by the AGI has narrowed the gap between the UK Gemini 2.3 and the INSPIRE standards and accompanying guidance for maintaining metadata. This means we no longer need to have a dedicated Gemini-specific way of storing metadata within ArcGIS. Nor do we need a Gemini-specific user interface for maintaining it.
Within ArcGIS, currently the Productivity Suite extension provides some tools for capturing Gemini 2.2 metadata. However the metadata it captures is only visible within the Productivity Suite tools: the information can’t be seen in the standard description tools and when publishing data the metadata is not passed to the services nor available via the REST API.
With the advance of ArcGIS, the UK-specific Productivity Suite extension has become more of a barrier to effective metadata sharing than an enabler, and so we wish to retire it at the end of 2019 (along with the other features of Productivity Suite). Instead we want to help our customers ensure that Gemini compliant metadata is visible and usable by everyone in your organisation.
After the retirement of Productivity Suite, we recommend that customers wishing to maintain their metadata with the ArcGIS platform use the INSPIRE templates. These are already provided both within ArcGIS Pro and the Geodatabase, and within the ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise web applications. We will be publishing guidance on how to maintain the metadata within these templates so that it is Gemini 2.3 compliant. This guidance will be based on the AGI documentation.
This approach brings many benefits including:
Metadata maintained within the Geodatabase will be editable and visible within ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap and ArcCatalog without the need for plugins.
Metadata can also be edited within ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise at the service level and at the layer level within a service. This is done using the ArcGIS Online/Enterprise portal web interface, and it becomes visible for all web and desktop users, and via an API.
Services published from ArcGIS Pro to ArcGIS Enterprise, which reference Geodatabase data with metadata, will now include live views of the metadata as well as the data. This means feature class metadata changes are instantly available in the portal when someone views metadata for the service’s layers.
In the future these standard templates will take advantage of new metadata capabilities added to the ArcGIS platform.
Can I keep using Productivity Suite to maintain metadata after it is retired?
Yes. However you will no longer be able to get support for it through our support desk, and we will not be updating it for future versions of ArcGIS Desktop.
Do I have to use ArcGIS to maintain my metadata?
No. Whilst there are obvious advantages to maintaining and publishing data and its metadata within the same platform, many organisations have their own metadata editing capabilities. For UK public sector organisations, you can also use the metadata editing within data.gov.uk. The devolved governments have implemented local solutions with various capabilities which support Gemini metadata and have extensive guidance about metadata maintenance - see Lle (Wales), SpatialNI (Northern Ireland) and the Scottish Government SDI. The important consideration is to ensure there is a link between the data/service and the metadata.
How do I harvest metadata?
Harvesting metadata is useful and for UK public sector organisations it’s an important part of the UK meeting its obligations under INSPIRE. It involves synchronising metadata from your own metadata platform (e.g. ArcGIS) into either corporate or country-level metadata platforms such as the SSDI and data.gov.uk. At the moment with Productivity Suite this is possible either via writing your own scripts or doing a manual export/import. We will publish better guidance and scripts to enable you to do this much more easily in the future.
How do I keep the metadata I have already captured in Productivity Suite?
If you have used Productivity Suite to create Gemini metadata, there is a currently a manual process to export metadata from Productivity Suite into ArcGIS Geodatabase metadata or to load into ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise. We are currently validating this process and our plan is that before Productivity Suite is retired at the end of 2019, we will release a tool which will automate this process for you. In the meantime, if you wish to trial it or run it yourself, the manual process is documented in the Appendix below.
To manually migrate metadata out of Productivity Suite and into the native ArcGIS templates involves using the export metadata data tool twice, first to translate the data through an intermediary standard and then import it back into the feature class.
Run Export Metadata to extract the Productivity Suite Gemini feature class metadata into a Gemini XML file, choosing the gemini22_to_schematron.xml translator which is installed as part of Productivity Suite.
Then run Export Metadata again, this time use the Gemini metadata XML file generated above as the Source, and choose the ISO19139_2ESRI_ISO.xml translator. This generates the ArcGIS metadata output file which can be loaded into the ArcGIS Platform using either Import metadata Geoprocessing tool or using the Portal web interface.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com