Spatial Harvesters

Overview and Configuration

The spatial extension provides some harvesters for importing ISO19139-based metadata into CKAN, as well as providing a base class for writing new ones. The harvesters use the interface provided by ckanext-harvest, so you will need to install and set it up first.

Once ckanext-harvest is installed, you can add the following plugins to your ini file to enable the different harvesters (If you are upgrading from a previous version to CKAN 2.0 see legacy_harvesters):

  • csw_harvester - CSW server

  • waf_harvester - WAF (Web Accessible Folder): An online accessible index page with links to metadata documents

  • doc_harvester - A single online accessible metadata document.

Have a look at the ckanext-harvest documentation if you want to have an overview of how the CKAN harvesters work, but basically there are three separate stages:

  • gather_stage - Aggregates all the remote identifiers for a particular source (eg identifiers for a CSW server, files for a WAF).

  • fetch_stage - Fetches all the remote documents and stores them on the database.

  • import_stage - Performs all the processing for transforming the remote content into a CKAN dataset: validates the document, parses it, converts it to a CKAN dataset dict and saves it in the database.

The extension provides different XSD and schematron based validators, and you can also write your own (see Writing custom validators). You can specify which validators to use for the remote documents with the following configuration option:

ckan.spatial.validator.profiles = iso19193eden

By default, the import stage will stop if the validation of the harvested document fails. This can be modified setting the ckanext.spatial.harvest.continue_on_validation_errors to True. The setting can also be applied at the source level setting to True the continue_on_validation_errors key on the source configuration object.

By default the harvesting actions (eg creating or updating datasets) will be performed by the internal site admin user. This is the recommended setting, but if necessary, it can be overridden with the ckanext.spatial.harvest.user_name config option, eg to support the old hardcoded ‘harvest’ user:

ckanext.spatial.harvest.user_name = harvest

When a document has not been updated remotely, the previous harvest object is replaced by the current one rather than keeping it, to avoid cluttering the harvest_object table. This means that the harvest_object_id reference on the linked dataset needs to be updated, by reindexing it. This will happen by default, but if you want to turn it off (eg if you are doing separate reindexing) it can be turn off with the following option:

ckanext.spatial.harvest.reindex_unchanged = False

You can configure the single harvesters using a JSON object in the configuration form field. The currently supported configuration options are:

  • default_tags: A list of tags that will be added to all harvested datasets. Tags don’t need to previously exist. This field takes a list of strings.

  • default_extras: A dictionary of key value pairs that will be added to extras of the harvested datasets.

  • override_extras: Assign default extras even if they already exist in the remote dataset. Default is False (only non existing extras are added).

  • clean_tags: By default, tags are not stripped of accent characters, spaces and capital letters for display. If this option is set to True, accent characters will be replaced by their ascii equivalents, capital letters replaced by lower-case ones, and spaces replaced with dashes. Setting this option to False gives the same effect as leaving it unset.

  • validator_profiles: A list of string that specifies a list of validators that will be applied to the current harvester, overriding the global ones defined by the ‘ckan.spatial.validator.profiles’ option.

Customizing the harvesters

The default harvesters provided in this extension can be extended from extensions implementing the ISpatialHarvester interface.

Probably the most useful extension point is get_package_dict, which allows to tweak the dataset fields before creating or updating it:

import ckan.plugins as p
from ckanext.spatial.interfaces import ISpatialHarvester

class MyPlugin(p.SingletonPlugin):

    p.implements(ISpatialHarvester, inherit=True)

    def get_package_dict(self, context, data_dict):

        # Check the reference below to see all that's included on data_dict

        package_dict = data_dict['package_dict']
        iso_values = data_dict['iso_values']

            {'key': 'topic-category', 'value': iso_values.get('topic-category')}

            {'key': 'my-custom-extra', 'value': 'my-custom-value'}

        return package_dict

get_validators allows to register custom validation classes that can be applied to the harvested documents. Check the Writing custom validators section to know more about how to write your custom validators:

import ckan.plugins as p
from ckanext.spatial.interfaces import ISpatialHarvester
from ckanext.spatial.validation.validation import BaseValidator

class MyPlugin(p.SingletonPlugin):

    p.implements(ISpatialHarvester, inherit=True)

    def get_validators(self):
        return [MyValidator]

class MyValidator(BaseValidator):

    name = 'my-validator'

    title= 'My very own validator'

    def is_valid(cls, xml):

        return True, []

transform_to_iso allows to hook into transformation mechanisms to transform other formats into ISO1939, the only one directly supported by the spatial harvesters.

Here is the full reference for the provided extension points:

If you need to further customize the default behaviour of the harvesters, you can either extend CswHarvester, WAFfHarverster or the main SpatialHarvester class., for instance to override the whole import_stage if the default logic does not suit your needs.

The ckanext-geodatagov extension contains live examples on how to extend the default spatial harvesters and create new ones for other spatial services like ArcGIS REST APIs.

Writing custom validators

Validator classes extend the BaseValidator class:

Helper classes are provided for XSD and schematron based validation, and completely custom logic can be also implemented. Here are some examples of the most common types:

  • XSD based validators:

    class ISO19139NGDCSchema(XsdValidator):
        XSD based validation for ISO 19139 documents.
        Uses XSD schema from the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center:
        name = 'iso19139ngdc'
        title = 'ISO19139 XSD Schema (NGDC)'
        def is_valid(cls, xml):
            xsd_path = 'xml/iso19139ngdc'
            xsd_filepath = os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__),
                                            xsd_path, 'schema.xsd')
            return cls._is_valid(xml, xsd_filepath, 'NGDC Schema (schema.xsd)')
  • Schematron validators:

    class Gemini2Schematron(SchematronValidator):
        name = 'gemini2'
        title = 'GEMINI 2.1 Schematron 1.2'
        def get_schematrons(cls):
            with resource_stream("ckanext.spatial",
                                 "validation/xml/gemini2/gemini2-schematron-20110906-v1.2.sch") as schema:
                return [cls.schematron(schema)]
  • Custom validators:

    class MinimalFGDCValidator(BaseValidator):
        name = 'fgdc_minimal'
        title = 'FGDC Minimal Validation'
        _elements = [
            ('Identification Citation Title', '/metadata/idinfo/citation/citeinfo/title'),
            ('Identification Citation Originator', '/metadata/idinfo/citation/citeinfo/origin'),
            ('Identification Citation Publication Date', '/metadata/idinfo/citation/citeinfo/pubdate'),
            ('Identification Description Abstract', '/metadata/idinfo/descript/abstract'),
            ('Identification Spatial Domain West Bounding Coordinate', '/metadata/idinfo/spdom/bounding/westbc'),
            ('Identification Spatial Domain East Bounding Coordinate', '/metadata/idinfo/spdom/bounding/eastbc'),
            ('Identification Spatial Domain North Bounding Coordinate', '/metadata/idinfo/spdom/bounding/northbc'),
            ('Identification Spatial Domain South Bounding Coordinate', '/metadata/idinfo/spdom/bounding/southbc'),
            ('Metadata Reference Information Contact Address Type', '/metadata/metainfo/metc/cntinfo/cntaddr/addrtype'),
            ('Metadata Reference Information Contact Address State', '/metadata/metainfo/metc/cntinfo/cntaddr/state'),
        def is_valid(cls, xml):
            errors = []
            for title, xpath in cls._elements:
                element = xml.xpath(xpath)
                if len(element) == 0 or not element[0].text:
                    errors.append(('Element not found: {0}'.format(title), None))
            if len(errors):
                return False, errors
            return True, []

The file included in the ckanext-spatial extension contains more examples of the different types.

Remember that after registering your own validators you must specify them on the following configuration option:

ckan.spatial.validator.profiles = iso19193eden,my-validator

Harvest Metadata API

This plugin allows to access the actual harvested document via API requests. It is enabled with the following plugin:

ckan.plugins = spatial_harvest_metadata_api

(It was previously known as inspire_api)

To view the harvest objects (containing the harvested metadata) in the web interface, these controller locations are added:

  • raw XML document: /harvest/object/{id}

  • HTML representation: /harvest/object/{id}/html


The old URLs are now deprecated and redirect to the previously mentioned:

  • /api/2/rest/harvestobject/<id>/xml

  • /api/2/rest/harvestobject/<id>/html

For those harvest objects that have an original document (which was transformed to ISO), this can be accessed via:

  • raw XML document: /harvest/object/{id}/original

  • HTML representation: /harvest/object/{id}/html/original

The HTML representation is created via an XSLT transformation. The extension provides an XSLT file that should work on ISO 19139 based documents, but if you want to use your own on your extension, you can override it using the following configuration options:

ckanext.spatial.harvest.xslt_html_content = ckanext.myext:templates/xslt/custom.xslt
ckanext.spatial.harvest.xslt_html_content_original = ckanext.myext:templates/xslt/custom2.xslt

If your project does not transform different metadata types you can ignore the second option.

Legacy harvesters

Prior to CKAN 2.0, the spatial harvesters available on this extension were based on the GEMINI2 format, an ISO19139 profile used by the UK Location Programme, and the logic for creating or updating datasets and the resulting fields were somehow adapted to the needs for this particular project. The harvesters were still generic enough and should work fine with other ISO19139 based sources, but extra care has been put to make the new harvesters more generic and robust, so these ones should only be used on existing instances:

  • gemini_csw_harvester

  • gemini_waf_harvester

  • gemini_doc_harvester

If you are using these harvesters please consider upgrading to the new versions described on the previous section.