Metadata is any information that describes data. Geospatial metadata refers to the description of geospatial data and information resources. In fact, it is the generalization and extraction of the attributes and spatial characteristics of geospatial data set or products.
Geospatial metadata provides information which allows resources to be discovered by interested parties searching for resources, evaluate, accessed and understood, enabling proper utilization.
Metadata allowed organizations to better manage their investments in geospatial data and provide information to online catalogs and clearinghouse.
With the continuous development of GIS (Geographic Information System), information technology and other related technologies, geospatial data increasingly being applied to people daily life. Geospatial metadata will typically be stored in an XML, TXT or HTML file with same filename as the associated dataset.
Geospatial data are applied into all kinds of GIS applications, such as GPS car navigation, toponym query, metro and bus lines query, hotel catering and accommodation query and so on.