CatMDEdit, an Open Source Project 10 year success

CatMDEdit is a project born in 2002 in the frame of R&D lines of the Advanced Information Systems R&D Group of the University of Zaragoza (IAAA,, focused on Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) applications, and that have become so far a reference in creation of geographic resources metadata.

In 2004 the first free version was published. Since then, application maintenance and updating has been carried out by IAAA with the technical support since 2007 of GeoSpatiumLab ( During this time, ten versions of CatMDEdit have been released, what means at least one new version of the application per year. The number of application downloads has reached 31.500 (a very relevant number for a so very specific software).

All this effort would not have produced any remarkable outcome without the support of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) and the National Centre of Geographic Information (CNIG), two institutions that have financed and promoted the use of CatMDEdit in different scopes (conferences, training courses, and so on), turning it in the reference application to create metadata of geographic data in Spain. Outside of Spain, CatMDEdit is introduced in several countries of European Union and Latin America and has got users even in non-Spanish speaking countries like United States or Canada.

This Java application stands out thanks to its compatibility with different operating systems and availability in six languages. It provides utilities that facilitate creation, processing and publication of technical descriptions of geographic information resources such as topographic maps (both digital and on paper), Web services, geographic information layers, spatial databases, orthophotographs, satellite images and terrain digital models, among others. CatMDEdit guarantees information cataloguing in accordance with the most accepted international standards: ISO19115, CSDGM, Dublin Core, or MARC21, as well as the most important metadata profiles such as that of INSPIRE Metadata Implementing Rules at European level or NEM (Núcleo Español de Metadatos) at Spanish level.

The 21th of June 2012, CatMDEdit version 4.6.6 was published. Its main novelty is a convert gateway between MARC21 and ISO19115 formats, outcome of the activity of GTI PC-IDE, an interdisciplinary work team about cartographic patrimony in Spatial Data Infrastructures that belongs to Spanish Spatial Data Infrastructure Team Work ( Technical specifications of this work can be found at this link:

This new version brings the world of geographic information and map historic archives closer to Internet spatial information systems that are the way generally used nowadays by enterprises, public administrations and civil society to manage this kind of information.

Profiting the experience and technology of CatMDEdit, two new Open Source projects have been launched by the same technical team: ThManager (2.006) and SpatiumCube (2.009)

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