The day of Christmas Eve seems to be a good day to look back on an in many respects enervating year.
With GeoCat we've been working on some great projects that have helped to advance our dreams and have given a lot of satisfaction. I will mention a few here. What is great about these projects is that they have helped us advance the GeoNetwork opensource project significantly. Considering that one of my main reasons to leave the security of a United Nations job for a less secure private company adventure was that it would help GeoNetwork opensource to develop faster, I feel really proud about my team and about the GeoNetwork core developers!
Interesting GeoCat projects
The Dutch National Georegistry (NGR) has been a project we've worked on since GeoCat started back in 2007. The official launch happened during the GSDI conference in Rotterdam in 2009.
This year we've worked on improving it, updating the National Metadata Profile validation and improving INSPIRE related OGC CSW support among others. We've also worked together with Geonovum and the Dutch Kadaster to ensure the NGR can be moved onto the operational infrastructure of the Kadaster. The Kadaster will be responsible for all operational aspects of the central part of the Dutch SDI.
Support to Scandinavian National SDI's
GeoCat worked hard to support Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Scotland with their catalog implementations. These countries have joined their efforts and resources to take GeoNetwork opensource to a level that meets their national and INSPIRE requirements. Much of the custom development of their catalog implementations is done by the countries themselves, while GeoCat has taken up most of the generic requirements and implemented them in GeoNetwork. The three released versions of GeoNetwork v2.6 include a lot of what has been developed in the context of this project. The project will continue in 2011 and the resulting operational catalogues should appear in due course. Looking very much forward to that!
The Dutch Waterboards - Het Waterschapshuis
In collaboration with Nieuwland consulting GeoCat is working for Het Waterschapshuis to develop a central geo infrastructure (Geo-voorziening). Het Waterschapshuis is the executive agency on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the 26 regional water authorities (Waterschappen) in The Netherlands, a government body comparable with the Provinces. The Geo-voorziening will be operational early 2011 and will provide country covering data layers related to all water management aspects The Netherlands has to deal with. These layers correspond to data required by the INSPIRE directive. The metadata descriptions of these layers will be catalogued in a central repository that will feed its content into the National GeoRegistry (NGR). The individual Waterschappen will be able to upload the data subsets they are responsible for. These subsets will be aggregated into nationwide OGC WMS (INSPIRE View) services. The GeoCat Bridge extension to ArcMap acts as a Bridge between the Waterschappen and the Geo-voorziening to upload and regularly update data and metadata. It will also allow a Waterschap to upload other (locally interesting) data layers to be served on the infrastructure. The data is loaded into PostGIS and served using GeoServer and GeoNetwork opensource.
At the FOSS4G2010 conference in Barcelona we launched the first version of GeoCat Bridge. Bridge helps GIS professionals to deploy metadata and map services quickly from their ArcMap (ArcView, ArcEditor & ArcInfo) desktop applications.
This video show the install process, the configuration and use of the GeoCat Bridge extension and the resulting metadata and map services configured on GeoServer through the GeoNetwork opensource user interface. (It can also be viewed in HD quality).
- Publish shapefiles, ArcSDE data and gridded data on GeoServer while maintaining the complex symbology created in ESRI
®ArcMap (ArcView, ArcEditor or ArcInfo).
- Publish metadata for each data layer in ISO format (a.o. for INSPIRE) on the GeoNetwork opensource catalog to publish as OGC CSW et cetera.
More information at http://geocat.net
During FOSS4G2010 in Barcelona I had the opportunity to present an exciting new extension for ArcGIS Desktop we have developed at GeoCat.
We named it GeoCat Bridge, since it bridges the gap between managing your data on your desktop and publishing it on the Internet.
Bridge makes the process of publishing geospatial data as easy as hitting the Publish button. When you have your map open in ESRI ArcGIS Desktop, you are one click away from publishing your data and metadata on GeoServer and GeoNetwork.
We're proud to announce the release of GeoNetwork opensource v2.6.0. This is a major release for the project that provides great new functionality, helping all those that need to publish their geographic data and services with standardized metadata.
You can find the software at https://sourceforge.net/projects/geonetwork/
This release includes the following new or improved functionality:
- Performance improvements on search and indexing
- INSPIRE Search panel and metadata view
- New embedded Web Map Viewer based on OpenLayers
- Multilingual metadata display and editing support for the ISO19115/19119/19110 metadata standards (encoding based on ISO19139)
- Keywords and Coordinate Reference System selection panels
- Advanced data and metadata export
- Metadata relations management (Parent/child metadata, related service metadata, related feature catalogues)
- Advanced schema and schematron validation of metadata with reporting improvements
- Visual warnings in the metadata editor
and many more...
This entry is an attempt to get more structure in my head and get more feedback and insight from others that hopefully leads to a solution worthwhile implementing.
Sean Gillies left a comment (eaten by the moderation filter) on the first entry and more directions in his blog entry.
I read some of the documents on the ORE site and did not find a solution there yet.
There are a couple of aspects that I need to write down to explain the problem faced when working on a general solution for linking OGC services in news feeds.
OGC Services in practice
OGC services allow clients (users or better, applications) to construct a URL with some variables and get something in return; A map graphic for instance from a Web Map Service. The workflow on such service has been designed so that the client first does a GetCapabilities, parses that document and starts interacting with the service to actually get something done. Drawing a map for instance, identify an object, interrogate a catalog and so on and so forth. I will stick to Web Map Services in this blog and may thus miss the ball when it comes to other OGC services ;)
Today I finished some work on the RSS output of GeoNetwork opensource that should allow people to search a metadata catalog for OGC web map services, KML, data for download and whatever else someone decided to publish in ISO19115 formatted metadata.
Providing a search interface with an RSS output allows a user to store his query as a newsfeed and automatically see when there's new content matching his query. Adding the custom links allows some clever clients to exploit the services described in the metadata.
The idea is not new, and we've had a lot of discussions on IRC, email and face to face meetings within the GeoNetwork and OSGeo communities. What I implemented in the end is a common output format in the form of an RSS feed with links that point to the W*S content type and a URL to the service. The service URL should provide enough info for clients to parse it and decide what approach to take: just continue using GetMap, or take the base URL and do a GetCapabilities request first.