Mostly for my work I use PostgreSQL or .tab files (MapInfo). However, I am familiar with conversion from one format to another using ogr2ogr. My problem is that how can I make the metdata file or .xml file for a shapefile. I converted it using ogr2ogr and QGIS, but none of them makes the .xml file with it.

How can I make shapefile metatdata?

I can use any software including esri for that, just need to know how.

  • For what purpose do you need such .xml file?
    – user30184
    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:13
  • I am trying to convert postgresql table to shapefile...
    – IbadRaza
    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:13
  • For shapefiles you must have three parts .shp, .shx, and .dbf. All above that is optional.
    – user30184
    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:14
  • I want to store the metadata of the shapefile in the .xml file
    – IbadRaza
    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:15
  • <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <metadata xml:lang="tr"><Esri><CreaDate>20161206</CreaDate><CreaTime>15344700</CreaTime><ArcGISFormat>1.0</ArcGISFormat><SyncOnce>FALSE</SyncOnce><DataProperties><itemPro.... here is a sample I got from a cllient
    – IbadRaza
    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:16

3 Answers 3


The ArcGIS tool Synchronize Metadata will do this for you (Conversion toolbox).

Be aware that it will create ESRI metadata, a standard that covers fields from many different standards (ref here). If you need metadata in another standard (FGDC, ISO, Inspire, etc.) you will need to follow up with the Esri Metadata Translator tool (Conversion toolbox).


This question has been changed after my answer, so this answer is for making the metadata outside of Esri products.

The FGDC has a Geospatial Metadata Tools page with links to some free and commercial software tools for doing this.


  • @Hélène, the question clearly notes "any software", not just Esri.
    – artwork21
    May 30, 2017 at 15:24
  • my apologies! I read too fast something along "I can use any software within esri". duh. I deleted my comment ; apologies again.
    – Hélène
    May 30, 2017 at 16:11

You can export an XML workspace document from a geodatabase, including metadata. First you will need to export your shapefile to a geodatabase, though.



  • 1
    The question is asking about generating a .shp.xml metadata file to go with a shapefile, not converting the shapefile into XML.
    – Vince
    Apr 6, 2017 at 3:17

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