Documenting items in the Catalog window

A key aspect in working with your GIS is to document each of the GIS content items that you create and use—your map documents, layers, geoprocessing models, geodatabase datasets, and so on. You create item descriptions to document each item. In turn, these are used by ArcGIS Search to find datasets, layers, and other ArcGIS items in the Catalog window.

Here's how you can document your GIS items and how this can be leveraged for effectively using ArcGIS.

Documenting a GIS item

Here is how you access an item description for viewing and editing.

  1. In the Catalog window, navigate to an item, right-click, then choose Item Description.
    Accessing item descriptions
    The item description is displayed.
    The item description panel
  2. If you have write access, you can click the Edit button in the upper right corner and edit the short description of your item. You can provide a thumbnail picture, set tags, and write a short summary and a longer item description. You can also record credits and acknowledgments for item authors and contributors.

Elements in each item's documentation will be indexed and used as part of ArcGIS Search. This is just one reason why it's important to do a good job in documenting your items simply and clearly.

As you begin to document additional items, you'll be creating a list of tags, which can be reused in other item documentation.

Recording standards-based metadata

The Item Description window allows you to view, edit, and manage standards-based metadata for ISO, North America, and EU INSPIRE types of geospatial data catalogs. See Editing metadata for more information.

How item descriptions are used within ArcGIS

Generally speaking, it is good practice to document your work in ArcGIS. Investing some time in providing simple documentation as you create and modify GIS items will pay off—especially as you begin to search for existing datasets among a sea of data generated over time by your organization. When you create datasets, maps, and other items that you will keep and often share with other GIS users, strong and simple documentation can help improve the quality of your overall work.

ArcGIS helps you to leverage this item documentation by enabling other users to access item descriptions in their own ArcGIS sessions (by viewing item descriptions in the Catalog window).

In addition, ArcGIS Search uses the elements of your item description in its search index and helps you to find information and view it as part of your search results.

These item descriptions are helpful as initial source content when you create GIS services in ArcGIS Server and for when you create standards-based metadata.

Related Topics

Published 6/7/2010