Suddenly, not one but two articles examining the implications of KML 2.1’s <Metadata> tag: Adding Metadata to Your KML Files on the Google Code site, by Google Geo Team member Mano Marks; and Transporting GML in KML by Ron Lake on his blog.
Both articles explain how the <Metadata> tag allows KML to ascribe properties to the content it is depicting. Ron Lake uses GML as an example, while Mano Marks uses ObsKML, developed by Jeremy Cothran (who is not a newcomer to this blog).
(In part via Sebastian Good’s blog, where he comments: “And there it is. KML is the new shapefile.”)