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Catalog Services for the Web (CSW)

Definition: wikipedia. A specification for finding and talking about data. Actual data retrieval occurs through other means, such as WCS, WFS, or OPeNDAP. Specifies the request response protocol for requesting metadata records from a server and how the server should respond. Details of searching and filtering returned metadata rely on the schema or format of data being served by the CSW. As a result of this and other details, various implementations may not be interoperable. 

Specification Maintainer: The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)
Available Implementations: GeoNetwork GeoPortal GI-Cat eXcat

Example Installations