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FAQ: Why does the message 'At least one type of attribute domain is required' appear when editing metadata for fields in a feature class?

Question

Why does the message 'At least one type of attribute domain is required' appear when editing metadata for fields in a feature class?

Answer

With each new version of ArcGIS, metadata validation is enhanced to help show all the places where a set of metadata does not meet the formal standard of the metadata style employed, such as the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM), ISO 19139, and so forth. These are not necessarily errors in what metadata values are specified, but in some cases omissions that must be filled to comply with the specification.

For instance, when using FGDC CSDGM, fields in a feature class are described by one of four types of domains:

1. Enumerated Domain: The members of an established set of valid values; other properties include label, description, and the authority of the definition.

2. Range Domain: The minimum and maximum values of a continuum of valid values; other properties include minimum value, maximum value, units of measure, and measurement resolution.

3. Codeset Domain: Reference to a standard or list that contains the members of an established set of valid values; other properties include the title of the codeset and the authority for the codeset.

4. Unrepresentable Domain: Description of the values and reasons why they cannot be represented; no other domain properties.

The term 'Domain' in this context does not refer to a geodatabase domain, but to the range of possible values for a given field. Even if a field does not reference a geodatabase domain, the metadata description for the field must still include some information for that property to comply with the FGDC specification.

When the range of values for a field in a feature class does not originate with any metadata authority, but is user-defined or arbitrary, the best applicable domain type may be 'Unrepresentable Domain.'

To resolve this type of error, use the metadata editor to add a new domain of the desired type to each field for which some type of metadata domain has not already been specified. As each domain is entered, the corresponding error message displayed in the top of the metadata property panel is removed.

First and second pages of Metadata Editor list of field properties

Illustration 1: DescriptionErrors_1 (first page of metadata field attributes)
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Illustration 2: DescriptionErrors_2 (second page of metadata field attributes)
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For information on FGDC CSDGM, see the 'Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata' link in the Related Information section below.

If having the applicable metadata properties is not necessary in the documentation environment, ignore the validation errors. Refer to the topic 'Creating standard-compliant metadata' at the link in the Related Information section below.

Related Information