When you add or edit content within Exchange, you are given an opportunity to add or edit the metadata…but what is metadata? Why is it so important?
Metadata is what provides information on the identification, extent, quality, ownership, temporal and spatial aspects, content, provenance, maintenance, and other properties of digital geographic data and services.
Simply put, it is a file that represents the who, what, where, when, why and how of a geospatial record. Without it, you have no way of knowing the origin or validity of your data. It describes the dataset in a way similar to how a book cover describes a book.