GeoNetwork opensource Internationally Standardized Distributed Spatial Information Management

Jeroen Ticheler, Jelle U. Hielkema


GeoNetwork "opensource" is a standardized and
decentralized Geospatial Information Management
System, based on the concept of distributed data
and information ownership and is designed to enable
access to geo-referenced data and cartographic
products through descriptive metadata. Collections
maintained at different organizations are accessible
through a single entry point. This approach of geographic
information management enhances easy
and timely access to existing spatial data for a wide
community of users, supporting informed decisionmaking
in a variety of application fields. Web 2.0
techniques have been adopted to allow more interactive
and intuitive use of the system and to offer
building blocks for future web service offerings.
The main goal of the GeoNetwork opensource
project is to provide free and open source software
that improves accessibility to a wide variety of
geospatial data and information products at different
scales and from distributed sources. The collections
are organized, documented and published in
a standardized, consistent way both at the metadata
and data level following international standards. As
such the tool has become a popular and widely accepted
geospatial Information Management System
within the UN system, forming a central and basic
element in the development of a United Nations Spatial
Data Infrastructure (UNSDI). In other national
and international organizations and initiatives such
as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR), the European Space Agency
(ESA), the US Federal Geographic Data Committee
(FGDC), in countries implementing National Spatial
Data Infrastructures (NSDI), in Europe in the context
of The INfrastructure for SPatial InfoRmation
in Europe (INSPIRE), as contribution to the Group
on Earth Observations (GEO) and others, GeoNetwork
opensource has also seen a remarkable uptake.

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