The IOOS Catalog is the master inventory of IOOS DMAC datasets and data access services. The Catalog consists of three inter-related components, with the Data Catalog component, available at, being the primary user interface for the public to discover and access IOOS data products.



Standards, Formats, and Protocols:

ISO 19115-2 XML Metadata: Metadata: Part 2: Extensions for Imagery and Gridded Data
CS-W: Catalog Service-Web
IOOS Metadata Profile for NetCDF
NetCDF-CF: Climate and Forecast conventions for NetCDF
ACDD: Attribute Conventions for Data Discovery

Implementation Methods/Practices:

Datasets and data access services must be described with ISO 19115-2-compliant XML metadata, and made available in a Web Accessible Folder (WAF) or CS-W service for registration in the IOOS Catalog.

Metadata generation:

For datasets published in THREDDS, the ncISO plugin can be used to generate ISO metadata. ERDDAP server includes an integrated ISO metadata service. Data providers using the i52N SOS server software should produce an ISO metadata record per individual sensor including links to the containing SOS service.  A resource to assist in this task is the sensorml2iso python module , which will read an SOS service endpoint and parse the GetCapabilities and DescribeSensor responses and output a directory of ISO XML files for each station contained in the service, suitable to be hosted on a web server as a WAF to provide for the Catalog.  

Datasets should be formatted according the appropriate IOOS guidelines, including proper attribution for discoverability, to enable optimal discovery and use of the data by users of the Catalog system. For more information can be found on our Common Data Formats page. IOOS recommends use of the NetCDF-CF and ACDD standards where appropriate.

Additionally, specific NetCDF guidelines are available in the IOOS Metadata Profile for NetCDF documentation.

Catalog Registration:

The entry point to the Catalog is the Harvest Registry system, which will read compliant ISO metadata and publish to the Data Catalog. The Harvest Registry is a web-based system that allows data providers to login and manage their WAF and CS-W metadata sources. More information on how to use the Harvest Registry and the Catalog as a whole can be found here .


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