In the rest services catalog, show layer metadata written in ArcCatalog

02-10-2012 04:29 AM
Status: Closed
New Contributor II

When you loock at the details in the rest service catalog of ArcGIS Server it would be GREAT to see the metadata that is created for the featureclass in ArcCatalog (Description tab). I simply don't understan why ESRI haven't iplemented this feature.

I could get the metadata from the SDE database if i just knew the name of the database and the featureclass name. Then I could get the XML stored in the database. There may be security issues but I think you can solve them.

I totally agree, if we maintain the metadata in ArcCatalog, why should we have to then export to some other txt xml or html format.  This process has just not been throught through.

It would be great if the metadata was published in some REST type format so that other apps could use a style sheet xsl to transform on the fly - given a reference to the layer name & source should be enough to find the metadata.

Absolutely!  Feauture class metadata should be accessible in a service.  This has caused us unnecessary/redundant metadata work when creating services and it's not intuitive to the end-user.
All they need to do is allow arcpy.ExportMetadata(aService, aTranslator, aOutputFile) to work through Arc Server / a geoProc. Right now it returns a "Tool is not valid" error. Clearly a decision was made not to allow this tool on server, because (I am guessing) they want you to use the REST service description. 

Albeit this wouldn't allow EDITING. 

Off to make a custom, complicated, option from scratch. Sigh.
Exposing metadata at the layer level through the ArcGIS Server in the same way that it is at the service level would be great.

There's an example of this with the WSDOT Server Object Extension, but it'd be great having this in the core product
As Greg mentioned, WSDOT needed this functionality so we had to create our own Layer Metadata SOE.  The source code is on GitHub.
We at NOAA need this as well.  As we put more and more of our data online, we are required to have ISO or FGDC metadata associated with it.  Without it, we will have to redo the entire rest web interface.  So please ESRI add a Metadata link at the bottom of a service layer in the Supported Operations section. Should be an easy add.
This should be merged with an idea posted in 2010:

Which would combine the point total.

Layer-specific metadata needs to be exposed through services.

Any GIS person worth their salt knows that data has limited value without metadata. Esri SHOULD know this as well as anyone, but they have yet to make it easy for us to expose it. We all end up spending considerable time building workarounds.
  • Service level metadata only gives the most basic informaton which defeats all of the work we've put in to making data discoverable and understandable.  We are required to use NMF metadata. To make basic information such as date of the data, Field descriptions, POC, and Use limitations, we are relegated to posting all of the data from the various xml fields into the Description field to make it discoverable and usable.  This is twice the work.  
  • Additionally, The services I see at NGA have multiple files within each service.  Therefore the metadata at the service level is so generic that it is be nearly worthless.    We are essentially starting from scratch to and have to recreate metadata.  This is not efficient.  
  • I find it ironic that I can create a shape file and have all of the all of the files that make up the shapefile...except the xml.
Status changed to: Closed

There have been many advancements in service metadata since this was originally logged.  If you have any further ideas for us, please let us know!