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.

Major GeoNetwork Enterprise Update (201905.1)

On the 7th of May, GeoCat released a new, major update of GeoNetwork Enterprise. It is focused on accessibility and has a more neutral look. It is optimised for generic use and has an improved editor usability. With version number 201905.1 we also introduce a new versioning logic.

New layout

GeoNetwork Enterprise 201905.1 adopts a Minimal skin as default style and layout. Default and Dutch skins are still available with the same features. It is very easy to customize the style through a settings panel and it is therefore unnecessary to make changes to the source code to customize your settings.

New features

Of course, also amazing new developments from the GeoNetwork opensource (community version) are integrated in GeoNetwork Enterprise 201905.1! For example:

  • Web accessibility standards and guidelines improvements
  • Improved user interface and new design for the recent/popular records on the homepage as well as improvements to the admin console
  • Records history and Tasks
  • Support for the Dutch metadata profile for datasets v2
  • Social media bar configuration via settings
  • Map viewer improvements (e.g. projection switcher, better WFS2 support, TMS support, HTTPS redirect support, WPS support, external viewer support, legend panel)
  • Digital Object Identifier creation
  • ISO19139 / DataCite output format
  • Various editor improvements
  • Thesaurus – Better Registry support and GEMET update to version 4.1.2
  • Formatter – Added support for JSON output
  • Harvesting – Added support for WPS2
  • Harvesting – WFS features improvements (e.g. asynchronous indexing for better performance, precision model configuration, CDATA support, Elasticsearch 6.4.x support)
  • Performance improvements on indexing and JS & LESS compilation
  • Better HTTPS support
  • Security fixes and library updates
  • Various bug fixes

More details of this major update can be found in the Change Log.

About GeoNetwork Enterprise

GeoCat’s GeoNetwork Enterprise is an outstanding, world leading geospatial catalog system to run in production systems and manage information. It is based on open, international standards and has a focus on geospatial content. Thus, GeoNetwork Enterprise is a feature rich tool that supports metadata editing and management, has advanced publishing and search options as well as an intuitive and highly customizable user interface. The GeoNetwork Enterprise web application is sold in two flavours (Standard and Premium), adapted to your needs and to those of your organisation and is also available as a hosted service.

New versioning logic

The version number of GeoCat’s GeoNetwork Enterprise uses a format composed of the release date (year and month). The number after the dot indicates the current patch. LTS or ‘Long Term Support’ releases are published every two years in May. LTS releases are the ‘enterprise grade’ releases of GeoNetwork Enterprise. Every six months between LTS versions, GeoCat publishes an interim release of GeoNetwork Enterprise. The new versioning logic helps to avoid confusion with the GeoNetwork opensource release numbering and makes it instantly clear to clients what the Long Term Support is that they can expect form GeoCat.

Implementing the update

GeoNetwork Enterprise 201905.1 was officially released on the 7th of May. Clients (or their system administrators) can download the new version from the GeoCat Nexus repository and install the update on their applications servers through a very easy and straightforward procedure for their technical support team. For more information on the advantages of GeoNetwork Enterprise licenses for your organization, please get in touch with Antonion Cerciello, Antonio.Cerciello@geocat.net.

Photo above: Jamie Street on Unsplash

Developments in GeoPackage and WFS 3.0

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is currently running Testbed-15. As a member of the OGC, GeoCat closely follows the developments in GeoPackage and WFS 3.0. 

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) develops high quality open standards and constantly picks up important topics for improvement and innovation. As GeoCat works on metadata and geospatial systems, GeoCat wants to be involved in the development of standards and have a voice in it. This also increases the service level for our clients.

OGC Testbed-15

Recently, OGC started to run Testbed-15, with the aim to explore new levels of interoperable geospatial data processing with a focus on data-centric security, federated clouds, service and application discovery, portrayal, machine learning, and delta updates. A lot of theoretical work has been done on these subjects. Now it is necessary to prove things in practice. The Testbed delivers reports of what does and does not work. It is like sitting amidst Lego and trying new things.

GeoPackage with styles encodings

Among the deliverables of Testbed-15 are two topics of special attention to GeoCat. First, GeoPackage with styles encodings. GeoPackage is a new data file format, that will replace shapefiles as the default vector file format. The current question is how to implement style standard formats in the table structure of GeoPackage. In this Testbed, solutions will be tested.

WFS 3.0 with (and without) Styles API

A second topic of interest is WFS 3.0 with Styles API. GeoCat is interested in styles as GeoCat Bridge migrates styles from ArcMap software to the cloud serving them in WFS (Web Feature Service) services. Any changes in style standards and application is important for us and our product users.

The new WFS 3.0 protocol is under active development with its official OGC release coming soon. In this Testbed the usability of WFS 3.0 will be tested in specific cases. For example in the exchange of encrypted data.

Contribution to the development WFS 3.0

GeoCat expert Paul van Genuchten contributed to the development of WFS 3.0 during some left over work hours and spare time. Last year, his colleague Jorge Mendes de Jesus visited an OGC WFS 3.0 hackathon in Fort Collins, USA. ‘It was most interesting to see how the new standard was dynamically being created and development as an agile process,’ Jorge states.

By the end of 2019, WFS 3.0 might already be finished and approved by OGC. Jorge expects a rapid acceptance and implementation of WFS 3.0 since it is more oriented to the World Wide Web. ‘In five to ten years, WFS 3.0 will replace WFS 2.0 as the worldwide standard vector data exchange and will be used by thousands of organisations.’

Testbed results

In the Testbed process, GeoCat is an observer. We follow the OGC webinars where developers publish their preliminary results and progress and discussions on both topics take place, and deliver input if necessary.

In April, OGC published the results of the Testbed-14 Innovation Initiative.

Contact: Paul van Genuchten, paul.vangenuchten@geocat.net

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

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

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

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

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.

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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.

SwissTopo geocat.ch

GeoCat has contributed to the development of the SwissTopo geographic catalogue. geocat.ch is the metadata catalogue for Switzerland’s geodata. Federal, cantonal and municipal offices as well as private firms use geocat.ch 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 geocat.ch portal can be found at http://www.geocat.ch

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.

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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

Rijkswaterstaat

GeoCat Bridge is the long awaited product that promises to fill the gap between our open – and closed source hybrid geospatial frameworks said Thijs van Menen from Rijkswaterstaat (The Netherlands) Specific knowledge on how to make services is no longer needed. Finally we can fulfill the needs of our staff by providing them with a tool to make services by themselves in an easy way

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