The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has announced that the OpenGIS Catalog Services Specification 2.0 has been adopted by the OGC membership. This specification documents industry consensus on an open, standard interface that enables diverse but conformant applications to perform discovery, browse and query operations against distributed and potentially heterogeneous catalog servers. It includes a number of improvements over the preceding version, version 1.1.1. Industry agreement on a common interface for publishing metadata and supporting discovery of geospatial data and services is an important step toward giving Web users and applications access to all types of geographic information and services. The specification is available at http://portal.opengis.org/files/?artifact_id=5929.
Catalog services are required to support the discovery of registered network accessible resources within and between collaborating communities that seek to share information and processing resources efficiently. “Resources” includes not only data but also services,
schemas, symbology libraries and other elements of Web based geoprocessing. “Communities” in the OGC context refer to communities who use similar formal vocabularies for geospatial features and phenomena such as roads, wetlands, land use zones, population density, etc.