What is GeoNetwork?

GeoNetwork is a server side application that allows you to maintain a geographic referenced metadata catalogue. This means: a search portal that allows to view metadata combined with maps.

GeoNetwork logo
The yoga man

Based on Free and Open Source Software, it strictly follows different standards for metadata, from Inspire to OGC. It implements the CSW interface to be able to interact with generic clients looking for data. It also has built-in harvesters to connect to other servers and populate data.

This has allowed GeoNetwork to expand to a lot of organizations. For example: the swiss geoportal or the brasilian one, not forgetting the New zealander. GeoNetwork is the most used open sourced spatial catalog in the world. You can find it in most of the public administrations that use free and open source software.

The catalogue deploys on a java application container (like tomcat or jetty). It works over the Jeeves framework. Jeeves is based on XSLT transformation server library. This allows a powerful development of interfaces, for humans (HTML) or machines (XML). Therefore, it makes metadata from GeoNetwork to be easily accessible by different platforms.

Recently half-refactored to Spring and AngularJS, GeoNetwork has a REST API and an event hook system to make extensions and customizations easier.

From Emergya to GeoCat

These past few weeks have been chaotic and as an exercise to seat and to drop anchor, I would like to make a brief summary of my job change.


Metagato: gato que describe a un gato.

My main motivation to stop working on Emergya, despite the huge human and technical quality has been:

  • The current situation in Spain doesn’t allow us to perform interesting projects, forcing companies to focus only on survival, with all the friction and discomfort that this generates.
  • The challenge . And this, I think, is the main motivation. The enormous challenge of context switching to a new company, with a way of working so similar and yet so different. I need to see the world, learn, drink from other sources. Five years in Emergya have been wonderful, but I began to feel that it was becoming too small for me. Big fish on small pond or small fish on the ocean?
  • GeoCat(s) . Can somebody refuse the possibility of becoming a geo-cat? Could there be a step beyond this? Can anyone not want to work with metacats(metadata, impossible to translate)?

Of course, it has not been an easy decision. To me, Emergya is, and always will be, the company that received me openly and helped me take my first steps working, strengthening my belief that open source is the right path. Like it or not, Emergya is part of me and the title of “ex-emergyana” cannot be taken away from me.

Next stop

But it was a step that I had to take. So I jumped into the pool, and after a week of making contact, I have no doubt that it was the right decision. GeoCat has an impressive welcoming team and its development roadmap is really fascinating. So I guess from now on I will talk less about route calculation and more about metadata and interoperability (which doesn’t mean I will abandon routing).

Next stop: GeoNetwork.