MetaSearch is a QGIS plugin to interact with metadata catalogue services, supporting the OGC Catalogue Service for the Web (CSW) standard.
MetaSearch provides an easy and intuitive approach and user-friendly interface to searching metadata catalogues within QGIS.
MetaSearch is included by default with QGIS 2.0 and higher. All dependencies are included within MetaSearch.
Install MetaSearch from the QGIS plugin manager, or manually from http://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/MetaSearch.
CSW (Catalogue Service for the Web) is an OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) specification, that defines common interfaces to discover, browse, and query metadata about data, services, and other potential resources.
To start MetaSearch, click the MetaSearch icon or select Web / MetaSearch / MetaSearch via the QGIS main menu. The MetaSearch dialog will appear. The main GUI consists of two tabs: ‘Services’ and ‘Search’.
The ‘Services’ tab allows the user to manage all available catalogue services. MetaSearch provides a default list of Catalogue Services, which can be added by pressing ‘Add default services’ button.
To all listed Catalogue Service entries, click the dropdown select box.
To add a Catalogue Service entry, click the ‘New’ button, and enter a Name for the service, as well as the URL/endpoint. Note that only the base URL is required (not a full GetCapabilities URL). Clicking ok will add the service to the list of entries.
To edit an existing Catalogue Service entry, select the entry you would like to edit and click the ‘Edit’ button, and modify the Name or URL values, then click ok.
To delete a Catalogue Service entry, select the entry you would like to delete and click the ‘Delete’ button. You will be asked to confirm deleting the entry.
MetaSearch allows for loading and saving connections to an XML file. This is useful when you need to share settings between applications. Below is an example of the XML file format.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <qgsCSWConnections version="1.0"> <csw name="Data.gov CSW" url="http://catalog.data.gov/csw-all"/> <csw name="Geonorge - National CSW service for Norway" url="http://www.geonorge.no/geonetwork/srv/eng/csw"/> <csw name="Geoportale Nazionale - Servizio di ricerca Italiano" url="http://www.pcn.minambiente.it/geoportal/csw"/> <csw name="LINZ Data Service" url="http://data.linz.govt.nz/feeds/csw"/> <csw name="Nationaal Georegister (Nederland)" url="http://www.nationaalgeoregister.nl/geonetwork/srv/eng/csw"/> <csw name="RNDT - Repertorio Nazionale dei Dati Territoriali - Servizio di ricerca" url="http://www.rndt.gov.it/RNDT/CSW"/> <csw name="UK Location Catalogue Publishing Service" url="http://csw.data.gov.uk/geonetwork/srv/en/csw"/> <csw name="UNEP/GRID-Geneva Metadata Catalog" url="http://metadata.grid.unep.ch:8080/geonetwork/srv/eng/csw"/> </qgsCSWConnections>
To load a list of entries, click the ‘Load’ button. A new window will appear; click the ‘Browse’ button and navigate to the XML file of entries you wish to load and click ‘Open’. The list of entries will be displayed. Select the entries you wish to add from the list and click ‘Load’.
The ‘Service info’ button displays information about the selected Catalogue Service such as service identification, service provider and contact information. If you would like to view the raw XML response, click the ‘GetCapabilities response’ button. A separate window will open displaying Capabilities XML.
The ‘Search’ tab allows the user to query Catalogue Services for data and services, set various search parameters and view results.
The following search parameters are available:
Clicking the ‘Search’ button will search the selected Metadata Catalogue. Search results are displayed in a list and are sortable by clicking on the column title. You can navigate through search results with the directional buttons below the search results. Clicking the ‘View search results as XML’ button opens a window with the service response in raw XML format.
Clicking a result will show the record’s abstract in the ‘Abstract’ window and provides the following options:
You can fine tune MetaSearch with the following settings: