CSW Client for ESRI ArcGIS Desktop and ArcExplorer

Document Information
Document ID: 

ESRI offers CSW clients for ArcGIS Desktop and ArcExplorer as part of their free Geoportal add-ons.This client allows you to search various CSW metadata catalogs for dataset and service (WMS, WFS) metadata records within ArcGIS Desktop and ArcExplorer. The discovered services can then be added as a map layer to the GIS application.

The current down-loadable version may not work well with the USGIN metadata profile. Future versions of this add on will likely work out of the box. Meanwhile, we are working on a how-to document to make the client work with a USGIN CSW service.


How Does It Work?

ESRI has pulled through and given a lot of information about how to configure and use the CSW Client. Read through their help documentation completely and you should have a firm understanding of how the client works, and how to customize your own configuration. Their documentation is available HERE

CSW is a "loose" standard, in that it allows lots of flexibility as to how it is implemented. It is also regularly changed and updated. Some of these changes may make previous iterations inoperable. In order to try and work with the largest possible number of these variable services, the ArcGIS CSW Client allows you to define your own collection of Catalogs and Profiles. While this makes client configuration a little more difficult, it allows greater flexibility to work with different CSW implementations.

Install and Configure CSW Client for USGIN services


  1. Download and Install the CSW Client Application:
    1. Follow the instructions on ESRI's help site. Under the heading Installing CSW Clients for ArcGIS, follow directions in the Installation and Add the CSW Client to ArcMap bullets.
    2. Take note of the directory into which you install the application. You will need to know this for the next step.
  2. Download and Install the USGIN Profile Configuration Files:
    1. Download the files from resources.usgin.org.
    2. Unzip the archive. Place the four files into <the directory into which you installed the client>\Data. Overwrite the existing CSWProfiles.xml when prompted.
    3. Restart ArcMap (if it was open while you did this).
  3. Create a "Catalog" to Connect to in ArcMap:
    1. Open ArcMap and display the CSW Client
    2. Under the heading How to Configure Additional Catalogs back on the ESRI help site, follow the directions under the How to register a catalog service for use in the CSW Clients bullet. Select the "USGIN/Geonetwork" profile during step #4.
    3. If the "USGIN/Geonetwork" profile does not appear in the list, restart ArcMap and try again. If it is still not there, double-check that you have put the configuration files in the right place.
Note: If you have an old version of the CSW Client that you'd like to update. You'll need to first uninstall the old version from the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel. Also, while the <install director>/Data folder contains a CSWCatalogs.xml file, this is not the file that is accessed in ArcMap. If you wish you change the CSWCatalogs.xml directly, you'll need to find it in <Documents and Settings Director>\<user name>\Application Data\ESRI. The path is likely slightly different on Windows Vista and Windows 7.