I'm new in this community. In my job, I started working on a CSW 3.0 catalog implementation (read-only). CSW (Catalogue Service Web) is an API allowing users to request content (geo in my case) with filtering, pagination, etc... The most common CSW version is the 2.0, but as this is a new project, I decided to start working on the latest (3.0)

I didn't find any useful resources about the difference between CSW 2 and 3. All I found is that:

If I understood correctly, the ows 2.0 adds support for some additional parameters, while keeping the backward compatibility. But is this the only difference ?

I'm sorry I can't be more specific, because the subject is already foggy.

  • 1
    Requesting that an article, even a short one, be written is too broad for focussed Q&A. Ideally, questions should be answerable within a few paragraphs.
    – PolyGeo
    Apr 5, 2017 at 9:29
  • The most common CSW is probably 2.0.2 opengeospatial.org/standards/cat CSW 2.0.2 references schemas.opengis.net/csw/2.0.2/CSW-publication.xsd which tells us This schema defines the request and response messages for the CSW-Publication operations specified in clause 10 of OGC-07-066. so I'm not sure that everything you found out is 100% correct
    – nmtoken
    Apr 5, 2017 at 11:17
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    Did you read the standards? In docs.opengeospatial.org/is/12-168r6/12-168r6.html I can read This version of the Catalogue Standard has been significantly improved, largely based on change requests submitted by both Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) members and the public. The changes made in this version relative to version 2.0.2 (OGC document 07-006r1) are summarized in Annex B.
    – user30184
    Apr 5, 2017 at 12:11
  • @user30184 That was it, I was lost in all those documents (12-168r6, 12-176r7, 06-121r9, 14-014r1, 09-026r2...)
    – GwydionFR
    Apr 6, 2017 at 9:07

1 Answer 1


From http://pycsw.org/development/rfc/rfc-4.html :

CSW 3.0 provides major features and improvements over CSW 2.0.2 as part of the evolution of OGC Catalogue Services, including Open Search Geo and Time Extensions, OpenSearch 1.1, and the Atom Syndication Format. Other enhancements include:

  • features advertised as conformance classes simpler KVP API
  • enhanced distributed searching functionality
  • raw metadata response for GetRecordById
  • proper use of HTTP status codes
  • proper use of HTTP request/response headers *UnHarvest operation
  • use of temporal predicates for query and presentation

Hope this helps.


P.S. there are out of the box CSW server implementations out there already like pycsw and GeoNetwork OpenSource which you may want to consider leveraging.

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