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CSW Overview

Catalogue Service for the Web (CSW) (sometimes written Catalogue Service - Web), is an OGC standard for exposing a catalogue of geospatial records in XML on the Internet (over HTTP). The catalogue is made up of records that describe geospatial data (e.g. KML), geospatial services (e.g. WMS), and related resources.

Operations defined by the CSW standard include:

GetCapabilitiesallows CSW clients to retrieve service metadata from a server
DescribeRecordallows a client to discover the information model supported by a target catalogue or service.
GetRecordssearch for records, returning record IDs
GetRecordByIdretrieves the default representation of catalogue records using their identifier
GetDomain (optional)obtain information about the range of values of a metadata record or request parameter
Harvest (optional)create/update metadata by asking the server to 'pull' metadata from somewhere
Transaction (optional)create/edit metadata by 'pushing' the metadata to the server

Requests can encode the parameters in three different ways:

Parameter encodingSupported
GET with URL parametersYes
POST with form-encoded payloadNo
POST with XML payloadNo

Responses are in XML.