• Data providers should publish Web Accessible Folders (WAF) or OGC Catalog Service (CS-W) sources containing routinely-updated ISO 19115-2 XML metadata describing all Data Access Services they publish.
  • The WAF or CS-W should be registered in the IOOS Data Catalog. As many WAFs or CS-W services can be registered in the Catalog as necessary - there is no limit on either source for an individual data provider.

Available Resources:

IOOS Data Catalog 
IOOS data providers can request an account in the IOOS Data Catalog to manage metadata harvests for their organization. This enables them to configure WAF or CS-W harvest sources, view harvest job error reports, and view ISO XML metadata validation errors for individual metadata records harvested by the Catalog to resolve any metadata errors in their records, if necessary. Full documentation for the IOOS Data Catalog is available at the IOOS Catalog Documentation Site.

Compliance Checker
The IOOS Compliance Checker is a command line Python tool to check local/remote datasets against a variety of compliance standards, including community standards such as netCDF-CF, ACDD, and the IOOS Metadata Profile. For non-python users, there is also a Compliance Checker website where files can be individually run through the checker. 

Compliance Checker can be used to determine a dataset or data access service’s compliance with community standards such as CF or ACDD, and therefore any resulting issues with ISO XML metadata generated from those data sources via automated tools.  Missing or invalid metadata can result from datasets that do not follow standards properly.


The IOOS Catalog is the master inventory of publicly-available DMAC datasets and data access services, powered by the CKAN open data portal, is available at The IOOS Data Catalog is the primary interface for the public to discover and access IOOS data products. It offers both a web-based user interface and an API for machine-to-machine query. The Harvest Registry is an internal tool that is used by IOOS data providers to manage dataset metadata sources for the Catalog to harvest and to validate metadata compliance with ISO standards.

The IOOS Catalog also serves as an inventory for populating other IOOS national products, in particular the IOOS Sensor Map ( The Sensor Map queries the IOOS Catalog to identify datasets that meet the IOOS Metadata Profile 1.2 standard required for inclusion in the Sensor Map and then ingests data directly from the IOOS data provider data access service(s). IOOS data provider observations are then aggregated network-wide in both the Sensor Map website and associated ERDDAP server (