The state of OpenSearch and the way forward for Discovery


The ESIP Discovery cluster has made significant contributions in the field of earth data discovery with their championing of Open Search and the provision of Best Practices and Validators for that protocol. Organizations like CEOS, CNES and OGC have taken note and provided compatible directions.

In this session we will do the following,

  1. Recap the state of Open Search with respect to ESIP
  2. Report on the state of our community outreach with Open Search implementations, where we assist organizations in making their APIs compliant and, consequently, more interoperable.
  3. Talk about where we will go next
    • Catalog Service for the Web (CSW) - although ESIP Discovery recommends using Open Search for discovery we understand that many organizations are tied to CSW. So let's get them working the best they can

If we are not successful in obtaining a plenary talk for 'Relevancy 101 and hackathon' then we will add it to this session if possible.

  • Presentations that are associated with this session are attached.
  • OPeNDAP guidelines have been returned to the Best Practices.
    • Suggestion:  Publishing the guidelines as a paper for review and feedback by the greater community.
  • OpenSearch Audit:
    • OpenSearch validator tool has been applied to 20 different organizations (see slides for the listing of the organizations).
    • Key success and problem areas are highlighted.
  • Outreach activities for the Best Practices are planned.
  • Comment: Based on recent experience with EarthCube, the knowledge of OpenSearch appears to be growing, which is encouraging.
  • Comment: In order to improve interoperability, it is important to promote the validator and the Best Practices to encourage adoption by the wider community.
    • Related comment: It is also crucial to demonstrate the value of the Best Practices and how it benefits those who might consider OpenSearch.


  • Catalog Service for the Web (CSW)
    • The definition of CSW is provided (also included in the presentation slides).
    • The rational for the use of CSW are also presented.
    • The API for CSW can be obtained from the following link:
    • Possible uses of CSW are:
      • Finding collections by using "GetRecords".
      • Describing parameters by using "GetDomain"
    • CSW supports:
      • ISO MENDS and CSW ISO standard as part of its output schemas.
      • Several query parameters.
    • The key benefits/characteristics of CSW are presented.
    • Additional features/capabilities, focusing on the granules, are planned.
      • The next revision will be 3.0.


  • CSW Best Practices
    • CSW is a widely used earth data discovery standard, but it could be verbose. As a result, the development of Best Practices could help with the understanding and adoption of the standard.
    • The following characteristics of CSW were discussed specifically:
      • GetCapabilities
      • GetRecords
      • GetRecordById
      • DescribeRecord
      • GetDomain


  • Validation of Services, Data and Metadata:
    • Link to presentation for "Validation of Service, Data, and Metadata":
    • It is important for us to validate services because it is vital to ensure the needs of the users could be met properly.
    • Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is responsible for more than 60 standards.
      • Includes several working groups that help facilitate collaboration among volunteer organizations and portal users.
    • Conformance is defined as "fulfillment of specified requirements", which is also defined as the same as "compliance".
    • Discussion of how implementations can get OGC certification is provided.
      • Proof of implementation certificate can also be made available.
      • Five steps: 
        • Test in the OGC free testing facility
        • Apply for certification online
        • pay for use of license
        • Product appears as compliant in the OGC database
        • Organizations promote their certification
    • There is a suite of tests that are available and can be test with OGC.  Additional tests are planned for 2016.
      • The types of tests available include encoding (ex: metadata in XML), servers (ex: SOS), and client (ex: WMS 1.3).
    • There are many channels for supporting the adoption of OGC standards including open source/community collaboration, dedicated tools, and public forum.
    • OGC is making efforts to ensure the testing process is as user friendly as possible, including the web-based testing interface and reporting format.
    • Testing with OGC is not only available in the US, but also in Europe.
    • Community Inventory of EarthCube Resources for Geosciences Interoperability (CINERGI) is a key collaborator with OGC.
      • Schema, Rules not enforced by schema, and community rules are the three levels of community inventories validations discussed.
    • A demo of the OGC Validator is provided (log in is required).
    • OGC Reference Implementation website is also shown (log in is required):
    • For additional information can be found under Luis' (presenter) blog:


Duerr, R.; Newman, D.; Bermudez, L.; The state of OpenSearch and the way forward for Discovery; 2016 ESIP Summer Meeting. ESIP Commons , March 2016