Has anyone had success in transferring metadata created in ArcGIS 10.2 into GeoNetwork? Currently I am creating metadata with ArcGIS using the Item Description menu item in ArcCatalog. I would like to store and publish that metadata in GeoNetwork but I have not been able to get this to work. I have tried to import that xml into GeoNetwork using a variety of formats and style sheets but I either get a validation error or incomplete information.

  • 1
    What version of ArcGIS for Desktop are you using to create your metadata? I think it will be important to edit your question to include that detail because ArcGIS Metadata was overhauled at 10.0. Also, can you provide the exact steps that you have used already to try to do this?
    – PolyGeo
    Nov 29, 2013 at 9:16

3 Answers 3


After some trial and error I have had some success that I'm including here in case any one else runs into this problem. I was able to move the Metadata using two slightly different approaches, I'm sure there are others that would work as well.

If you're not familiar you can change the default Metadata Style ArcGIS uses by clicking on the Customize menu, choosing the ArcMap Options item and clicking on the Metadata tab of the Options dialog (see screen cap below)

ArcMap Options Dialog

Using ArcGIS Item Description Style

This method works if you are using the default ArcGIS Metadata Style

  1. Edit Metadata for your layer. The easiest way to do this is by right clicking on the layer in Catalog and choosing Item Description from the context menu.
  2. Use the Esri Metadata Translator tool to export the Metadata using the ARCGIS2FGDC.xml translator. XML Translator Dialog
  3. Open up the output file in a text editor, select all of the xml and copy it to the clipboard.
  4. Log on to GeoNetwork as Admin and click on the Metadata Insert link on the Administration page.
  5. Choose the Copy/Paste option and paste the xml into the Metadata text box. Make sure that none is the selected StyleSheet and click the Insert button.
  6. The Metadata should be loaded and available.

Using FGDC CSDGM Metadata

This is a similar approach that you can use if you choose to use the FGDC Metadata style. The only difference is that instead of exporting the Metadata you open the XML file that ArcGIS creates, copy the contents to the clipboard, and then paste the XML into the GeoNetwork Insert Metadata page as above.


There's a fork of Geonetwork 2.8.0 that has an SDE Metadata harvester. I don't know if it's been merged in, but it was built off of earlier work by a Dutch outfit B3Partners.

Here is a post from the mailing list discussing it.

And here is the fork off of github. The Geonetwork 3.0 roadmap includes harvester improvements. Geocat (mentioned above) works well with Geonetwork.


You can also try with https://www.geocat.net/bridge/

You can connect ArcGIS to geoNetwork and some free map servers like geoServer. It is very easy and straight forward to use.

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