Why is the Esri/MetaID element not created when new metadata record created?

08-30-2011 01:13 PM
New Contributor II
I want to track geospatial items (featclasses, geodbs) with a unique ID.  The Esri Profile of the Content Standard for Digital GeoSpatial Metadata (2003) describes the "Metadata ID" element that Esri added to the profile for essentially this purpose.  This element's value is that of a GUID "that is assigned to the metadata record when it is created." 

The documentation for the IXMLPropertyset.InitExisting method states it can be used "to add Esri elements MetaID, CreaDate,CreaTime, and syncOnce" to an existing non-esri metadata record (where MetaID is the shortname for the Metadata ID element describe above) and ends with the statement that  "Anytime ArcGIS creates metadata, automatic or not, these elements will be added."

Problem is, I can't seem to find the <Esri><MetaID> element in an xml metadata record associated with a new dataset.

In the metadata editor in ArcCatalog I can click the "Create" button next to the File Identifier field under the Metadata/Details section to generate a GUID to identify a datasets metadata record.  But when I examine the datasets metadata xml file the GUID value winds up associated with the <mdFileID> element.

Here's the final bit of confusion:
I generate a new GUID and assign it to the metadata record for a new gdb featureclass using XMLPropertyset.SetPropertyX()  :
- IF assigned to the <mdFileID> element it shows up in the ESRI Data Source Item Description metadata dialog window in ArcMap or ArcCatalog for the new featureclass under the Metadata Details section titled METADATA IDENTIFIER.
- IF assigned to the <Esri><MetaID> element it shows up in the aforementioned dialog under the ESRI Metadata and Item Properties section as "ESRI-ISO METADATA IDENTIFIER".
Isn't that backwards?  I pretty sure mdFileID is an ISO element...

If anyone can explain the logic behind ESRI's handling of <mdFileID> and <Esri/MetaID> I would greatly appreciate it!
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