Metadata is information about information. Metadata generally documents the data source and development date, the person or persons to contact regarding the data, data use limitations and restrictions, data distribution options and formats, along with other pertinent information. The characteristics of geospatial data, such as the map layers and orthophotography you view on the Black Hawk County Real Estate Mapping website, are documented in metadata. In addition to the information mentioned above, geospatial metadata also includes important mapping information such as map projection and the bounding coordinates, positional accuracy information, and the map scale at which the data is intended to be used.
People who use geospatial data often find the data they need by reviewing an organization's catalog of metadata. By reviewing the characteristics provided in geospatial metadata, a data user can evaluate the data's suitability for his or her particular application and determine how best to use it.
Black Hawk County GIS Metadata catalog:
Cadastral (data layers used to represent cadastre in Black Hawk County, IA)
Geodetic (Black Hawk County primary geodetic control network)