All ArcGIS items have a description, which is also referred to as metadata. The Metadata toolset lets you handle metadata for ArcGIS items and stand-alone metadata XML files.
Having metadata is important when sharing and archiving tools, data, and maps. Some informaton in the metadata is indexed for searching in ArcGIS for Desktop. When exploring search results, it will help you decide whether the item you've found is suitable for your purposes. Almost any item in ArcGIS, including folders and file types such as Word documents, can have metadata.
A stand-alone metadata XML file is an XML file that you can see in ArcGIS that contains metadata describing a GIS resource. It is stand-alone metadata because it isn't associated with an ArcGIS item. Stand-alone metadata is created to describe items such as an atlas that can't be represented in ArcGIS, or a collection of items such as a series of tiles stored in shapefile format. Stand-alone metadata XML files can also contain information created outside of ArcGIS that may be imported to an ArcGIS item, or information exported from ArcGIS for outside use.
Uses the ArcGIS metadata translation engine or an XSLT transformation to export metadata content from ArcGIS to a stand-alone metadata XML file. The exported metadata will be formatted to satisfy the metadata standard associated with the specified translation.
Updates metadata to contain the most current properties of the ArcGIS item before processing the metadata and finally exporting it to an XML file that conforms to a standard metadata format.
Exports metadata for many ArcGIS items to a designated folder. This tool is a model that uses Export Metadata to export metadata for many ArcGIS items.
Imports metadata to the target item after converting the source item's metadata to ArcGIS metadata, if appropriate. The source and target may be ArcGIS items or stand-alone metadata XML files.
Copies metadata from the source item to the target item. Metadata is retrieved from the source item and transferred to the target item without changing it. The source and target may be ArcGIS items or stand-alone metadata XML files.
Publishes metadata to a metadata catalog such as an ArcIMS Metadata Service.
Automatically updates an ArcGIS item's metadata with the current properties of the item.
Updates an ArcGIS item's metadata or a stand-alone XML file to the current ArcGIS metadata format.
This tool only uses metadata elements in an item's metadata or a stand-alone metadata XML file that follow the FGDC CSDGM metadata format. FGDC content may exist in an ArcGIS item's metadata. For example, if the metadata was created in ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1 or earlier using the FGDC metadata editor or created in the current version of ArcGIS for Desktop using the FGDC metadata editor add-in, the item's metadata will include elements that follow the FGDC XML format. This tool only exports these FGDC XML metadata elements—the information displayed in the FGDC Metadata (read-only) section in the Description tab if you are using a metadata style that provides access to an item's complete metadata.
Exports metadata to a standard metadata format then validates the exported file.
Exports metadata for many ArcGIS items to a designated folder, then validates the exported files. This tool is a model that uses Validate Metadata to validate metadata for many ArcGIS items.
Uses the .NET 3.5 Framework's XML software to validate an ArcGIS item's metadata or any XML file. The XML is checked to see if it follows the structure and content rules outlined by an XML schema. Schemas written using the DTD or W3C XML Schema languages may be used with this tool.
Uses the .NET 3.5 XML software to transform an ArcGIS item's metadata or any XML file using an XSLT 1.0 stylesheet and save the result to an XML file.