I'm looking for open source alternatives to ArcCatalog. The software should run on both Win and Linux and support the usual file formats (shp, kml, gml, ...) and databases (especially PostGIS, additional SpatiaLite support would be great). I'd like to browse and search for datasets and probably rename (renaming all parts of a shapefile at once) and delete files.


6 Answers 6


For a basic viewer, I've been playing with WxGIS Catalog, which does the basics nicely but could use some fleshing out for more complex use cases. There's also RasterCatalog for QGIS, but as the name states, its only for rasters. On OS X, try GISlook, but none of these look to handle the spatial database engines directly.

  • That WxGIS looks interesting - thanks. Id assume that it would not be possible for any sort of OpenSource utility to hook into things like ArcGIS Server or Geodatabases
    – jakc
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 9:15
  • Thanks for the reference to WxGIS Catalog. Nice looking project that I haven't run into yet.
    – DavidF
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 13:49
  • WxGIS looks good. No need to first import the data, that's a big plus. But I couldn't find how to display the associated metadata.
    – underdark
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 15:52
  • 1
    gdal/ogr supports ESRI SDE connections, with some work, and ESRI personal geodatabases. See gdal.org/frmt_sde.html, gdal.org/ogr/drv_pgeo.html. So yes it is possible to add some ESRI formats to an open source spatial catalog browsing utility. Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 19:30

GeoApt Data Browser looks quite promising, but I haven't yet managed to make it run on Windows. The big advantage over wxGIS Catalog for me would be that you can access the dataset's metadata.

Update: As @dassouki mentioned above, there is also a new QGIS Browser which supports raster, vector and WMSS data. You can drag and drop layers to QGIS from there.

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QGIS browser works well: http://www.qgis.org/en/docs/user_manual/qgis_browser/qgis_browser.html

Not sure if you've check that out since this post was made...


Udig may have what you are looking for. Runs on Windows, Linux, and mac. Supports all the standard data formats, and able to browse/rename datasets.

  • Seems to me that uDig is a full sized GIS and not really a catalog. How would I browse my geodatasets? I don't want to load them all into a project. I could do that with any GIS.
    – underdark
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 13:45
  • 1
    When you run the software there is a pane that acts as a catalog browser. You do not have to load the geodata into a map project, you can just use the pane to browse data.
    – Zachary
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 14:38
  • I found the catalog. Is there some preview functionality? Also, is there a way to avoid having to import all files into the catalog first?
    – underdark
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 15:20


supports .shp and postgis

Has and API and supports Add-ons for extra tools (for .kml, spatiaLite etc)

It's NOT a GIS but a Interactive Geographic Data Viewer.

"Thuban is extensible and multi-platform (GNU/Linux, Windows, ...). It is Free Software under the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL)"

  • Nice viewer but not a catalog.
    – underdark
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 20:34
  • Did you get an ArcCatlog substitute yet ?
    – SNT
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 4:58

For Electricity,Water,Gas,Telecom and Renewal Energy Bsmart GIS is Enterprise Solution built on Open Source Solution Stack.


Solution is build specialty to cater the needs of Utility Asset management, Utility Network Tracing and all complex GIS operations.

  • commercial solution?
    – nr_aus
    Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 8:14
  • It is for enterprise , built on Open standards and open for any customization as per the requirements. Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 7:52
  • i think when the OP is asking for an 'Open Source' solution, they are really meaning 'Free to download'. i think the term 'Open Source' is sometimes used incorrectly with this regard.
    – nr_aus
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 8:27

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