General Overview on Using the GIS Inventory
Public Users vs. Registered Users of the System
You do not need to be a registered user or Sign In in order to explore and take advantage of public areas of the GIS Inventory system. Public users can view and query Status Maps, search the Inventory for specific data and utilize the public Contact Directory.
Only people or organizations that create, maintain, and/or publish geospatial data need to register to take full advantage of the system. Registered users are encouraged to fill-out their User Profile including information on their Organization, Systems, Policies and Geography, and then inventory or harvest metadata for the GIS data for which they are the current data steward or point of contact. State and local users may also be asked to fill-out State-specific questions that are optionally managed and collected by the individual states.
Registered users can access all public capabilities of the system as well as continually access and update their profile; generate reports on their current profile; take advantage of starter metadata records; and request technical support in using the system. Each of these areas is further described in this Getting Started guide.
Registered users estimate that it takes between 15 and 25 minutes to fully complete the first five sections of the inventory. After completing these sections you will be able to inventory or harvest metadata about each of your individual data layers at any time in the future using the "My Profile" section. Users estimate that it takes between 30 seconds and two minutes to inventory each individual data layer. You should only inventory data that you or your organization has created or substantially modified, either directly or through contractual services. You should not document data produced by other entities that you use in your operation.