Since 1993, CGIA has worked with CERES to build a compliant, on-line metadata catalog that is free and available to all participants. The FGDC has been a contributing partner in its development. California has moved from an unorganized, decentralized metadata position to one with a very usable, accessible and evolving metadata toolset. In February, 2004, the statewide California GIS Council adopted the principle of completing metadata using this program and toolset -- a significant organizational policy improvement:
Six regions of the State have not yet added their metadata to the CERES catalog. In five of the regions, this is due to their remoteness and budgeting limitations on travel. CGIA and the GIS Council have reached out through telephone conferencing and other methods so that the areas are now aware of the catalog and its potential; however, training remains to be done. The five identified areas include the following:
- North and East: Siskiyou, Shasta, Modoc Counties
- North Coast: Del Norte and Humboldt Counties
- Gold Country: Calaveras, Tuolumne and Amador Counties
- Eastern Sierra: Mono and Inyo Counties
- South Eastern California: Imperial and eastern Riverside County
In 2004-05, CGIA received a grant with the objective of building a guide documenting the best practices for the development and administration of regional metadata catalogs, thus supporting regional coordination while providing standards-based development of data across the state. This grant will be used to facilitate training on how to use the state's online metadata catalog and create a 'Regional Meta-data Catalog Development Best Practices Guide'.
CGIA encourages the GIS community to contribute to the CERES catalog. Its contributors include cities, counties, utilities, state and federal agencies, private businesses, and academic institutions. It is searchable by organization, resource type, geographic region, or keyword. Under "Resource Type" there are 750 records listed under "geographic information systems" and 450 records under "spatial data."