Please could ESRI create an easy to use python module/function (for 10.2.1 onwards) to auto generate the metadata thumbnail so that it can be iterated to process datasets in bulk?
The only way I see is to preview the geography of the dataset in ArcCatalog and then hit the thumbnail button. I have recently created a python metadata tool which modifies metadata from a lookup table and the final thing I need is to generate a thumbnail to make it fully automated.
During large data management projects this is a required task to get the metadata to the standard requried. I can't believe this is not already integrated into an arcpy function. Perhaps it can be done in ArcObjects but I don't have the knowledge for that.
Metadata is not much fun but I know we can make it less painful!