GeoCat has been involved in many significant projects delivering Spatial Data Infrastructure solutions worldwide based on GeoNetwork opensource software. We provide consultancy services to agencies like the United Nations, CGIAR, Rijkswaterstaat, multiple National Mapping Agencies, Environment Canada and the European Environment Agency (EEA). The following projects are examples of work we do at GeoCat.
Development update Bridge for QGIS

Development update Bridge for QGIS

At GeoCat we are wrapping up our release candidate of the new Bridge plug-in for QGIS this week. We are grateful to all who installed the experimental plugin and provided feedback.

This update is an opportunity to highlight some of the work the GeoCat Bridge team has been doing. Their goal was to improve both the technology and the product ahead of our release.

Highlights of QGIS plug-in

  • Fine-tuning cartography 

Developing a QGIS Plugin for GeoCat Bridge has been a great chance to take a look at the different rendering engines used by QGIS, GeoServer, MapServer and MapBox.GL.

These sorts of visual comparisons reveal differences in how styling is defined. The example above helped discover how many different ways QGIS has to represent transparency.

  • Navigating platform differences

The development work on the QGIS plug-in revealed a few differences that are not so easily addressed.

Given an original map in QGIS Desktop, with rendering rules selected based on scale:

If we zoom to this same area with GeoServer, we end up with a different image!
Zooming closer we can see all the missing detail:
What is going on? This is a visual side-effect of QGIS and GeoServer working with different scale calculations:

  • QGIS is calculating scale based on measuring an approximate width of the current map.
  • GeoServer has a choice of scale methods, the default scaleMethod=ogc approach using a simplified scale calculation for interoperability, and scaleMethod=accurate taking into account the ellipsoidal shape of the earth.

We look forward to discussing these differences with the respective open source projects.

GeoCat Bridge QGIS plug-in availability

GeoCat Bridge provides a great one-click publishing story for Desktop GIS users. GeoCat Bridge publishes your geographic data, metadata and mapping to your choice of open source server platform.

We are pleased to offer GeoCat Bridge to our customers as both an ArcMap extension and, shortly, as a QGIS plug-in. To obtain GeoCat Bridge please see our product page. A trial evaluation is also available.

Part of a vibrant Open Source community

GeoCat is pleased to be a member of the open source community. We would like to acknowledge everyone’s support with answering questions, reviewing pull-requests, and generally being amazing.

In line with our passion as an open source company, the technology behind our QGIS plug-in is GPL on GitHub, with Python MIT support libraries.


Do you want to know more about the Bridge developments and what they could bring you? Please contact Jody Garnett at

Release candidate of GeoCat Bridge for QGIS

Release candidate of GeoCat Bridge for QGIS

In the first quarter of 2020 we expect to present our new GeoCat Bridge for QGIS. This will be one of the most effective data publishing solutions for QGIS. The experimental plug-in is already available for download.

One-click publication workflow

GeoCat Bridge for QGIS provides a one-click publication workflow from desktop to web. GeoCat Bridge was previously known for helping ArcMap users publish data, metadata and importantly cartography to a GeoServer or MapServer stack. With GeoCat Bridge 4 we are pleased to bring this experience to QGIS Desktop.

First version of Bridge for QGIS

With great dedication our developers are working on our first version of Bridge for QGIS. At the FOSS4G conference in Bucharest in August we were proud to present a demo of Bridge for QGIS. In October we presented our release candidate at the QGIS Centric Meeting that was held on October 25th 2019 in Chattanooga (Tennessee, USA) at Chattanooga State Technical Community College.

Bridge for QGIS will be using QGIS layer identification information to register a published dataset in an online catalog. You can publish layers using GeoServer or MapServer; more options are being planned. Bridge for QGIS will have a great cartography support that adapts desktop styling to a wide range of formats. A new feature in the Bridge for QGIS (Bridge 4) are Mapbox vector tiles. Open Source Python Libraries are used to make it all happen.

Bridge for QGIS download

We expect to present the official version of Bridge 4 (for QGIS) in the first quarter of 2020. You then can buy GeoCat Bridge for QGIS (Bridge 4) and receive support or download the open source plug-in directly. The experimental plugin can already be downloaded at the or installed directly from the QGIS plug-in window.

GeoCat Bridge QGIS ArcGis

Bridge for ArcGIS Pro

In our roadmap of GeoCat Bridge 4 we have also included the development of GeoCat Bridge for ArcGIS Pro. We are still investigating whether or not to develop a Bridge 4 for ArcMap, as ESRI appears to have put its focus on Pro. If you’re interested in a Bridge 4 for ArcMap, please let us know. We will be running Bridge 3 and 4 in parallel.

Help us improve the GeoCat Bridge roadmap

We have set up a Bridge questionnaire to investigate which Bridge aspects users value and would like to see migrated or added to Bridge 4. We welcome you to fill out the questionnaire at


Getting curious? Want to know more about the features of this Bridge plug-in? Please contact Jody Garnett at

Nationaal GeoRegister (The Netherlands)

Nationaal GeoRegister (The Netherlands)

GeoCat was contracted to implement a metadata catalogue based on GeoNetwork opensource for the National GeoRegistry of The Netherlands. A main goal for the metadata catalogue was to develop a new user interface more usable and flexible, an easy to use metadata editor, Introduce GeoDCAT-ap and crawling capabilities by search engines.

Neftex Petroleum Consultants ltd

Neftex Petroleum Consultants ltd

GeoCat Bridge is a key part of our Neftex Earth Model publishing workflow, enabling us to easily replicate the geological symbols used to style our ArcGIS produced content said Alex Rushfort of Neftex Now we can deliver Web Map Services to our international oil industry clients through GeoServer, retaining the familiar appearance of our desktop GIS data products.

Flemish Geographical Information Agency – AGIV

Flemish Geographical Information Agency – AGIV

GeoCat has developed the metadata catalogue portal for the Flemish Geographical Information Agency (AGIV) in a consortium with GIM.

Several improvements and new functions have been added to the GeoNetwork opensource based catalog to further refine support for INSPIRE, improve the metadata publishing workflow and support horizontal scaling of multiple catalog instances.

German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy – BKG

German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy – BKG

GeoCat is contracted by the German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy, BKG, to implement several enhancements to GeoNetwork opensource for the German INSPIRE Spatial Data Infrastructure GDI.

One of the goals is to create a module for metadata content analysis to will allow metadata editors to determine the quality of the metadata in order to improve it.

Environment Canada

Environment Canada

GeoCat is contracted by Environment Canada to implement a metadata catalogue based on GeoNetwork opensource. A main goal for the metadata catalogue is to be compliant with web accessible rules.

In the context of the project many other features have been implemented. For example the support for the SensorML metadata profile, an enhanced workflow module that offers several levels of verification and approval before a metadata is published, enhanced filters with facets for the metadata search results, et cetera.


Ontario, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Ontario, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

GeoCat has implemented the metadata catalogue based on GeoNetwork opensource for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

The metadata catalogue contains new features like the integration of data files uploaded as online resources with an FME Server, a reporting module and a module to allow massive updates of metadata content.



GeoCat has contributed to the development of the SwissTopo geographic catalogue. is the metadata catalogue for Switzerland’s geodata. Federal, cantonal and municipal offices as well as private firms use to publish metadata for their own geodata.

GeoCat worked in a consortium with CamptoCamp (Swiss) and BRGM (France) on the implementation. GeoCat focussed on the support of complex metadata editing, including functionality to prevent public access to sensitive metadata fragments within the metadata, a custom Swiss catalogue interface, upgrade to a JS Widgets based user interface and general technical support to the project.

The portal can be found at

Nordic Open Source Initiative Network

Nordic Open Source Initiative Network

GeoCat is contracted by a consortium of the cadastre agencies of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Scotland to develop the core of their respective National geo-registries. GeoCat works on ensuring the compliance of the software with the INSPIRE directive for metadata. The security layer and web mapping interface are further developed as part of this project which is running since the start of 2010.


ESA ERGO project

ESA ERGO project

GeoCat has implemented the ebRIM registry interface with the basic and ISO extension packages for the European Space Agency project ERGO. The project fits within the broader Heterogeneous Mission Accessibility Test bed (HMA-T) that works towards harmonized access to all earth observation data collected by the ESA member states at the distributed ground segments. The registry is implemented as a component of the GeoNetwork open source project and transparently publishes metadata published in GeoNetwork through the registry. The ebRIM software source code can be found here

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