5. Publish Layers

Supported Layers

GeoCat Bridge supports the following layer types:

  • Vector, featureclass from any source
  • Raster, raster from any source
  • Raster mosaic [1]
  • Annotation layers
  • Layer groups [2]

How to publish

Click on the Publish wizard icon images/publish_button.png on the Bridge toolbar to open the Publish Wizard dialog.


Before clicking on the Wizard button, please make sure that the map view contains supported feature layers and/or supported image layers. If there are no layers to be published, a warning dialog is shown:

No data to publish

No data to publish

Publish Wizard dialog

The Publish Wizard shows all the publishable layers in your project.

Publish Wizard dialog.

Publish Wizard dialog.

You can select the layers from the list to publish:

Select layers to publish

Select layers to publish

An icon images/published.png is shown in the corresponding column if the layer’s metadata and/or map data is published in the currently selected server(s).

Edit metadata and select attributes

In the Layer panel the user can for each layer:

  • Edit the metadata (see Metadata editing)
  • Select the attributes to publish as part of the map service. Attributes can only be selected for vector data.
Edit Metadata

Layer panel, with open metadata tab

Attributes to be published

Layer panel, with open data tab

An information icon images/info.png is shown in the first column if the metadata is incomplete. In this case the metadata can still be published, but is not valid according to the selected metadata profile. Hold the mouse on the cell of the Publish column for more information about the empty or invalid fields. In the image below, the Abstract field of layer sites is empty.

Layer metadata status

Layer metadata status

MapServer featureinfo template

When publishing to a MapServer server the tab Mapfile options will be visible in the Layer panel. Here you can configure for each layer if the WMS layer will support the getfeatureinfo request. Note, at the moment this feature is only available for MapServer.

Enable getfeatureinfo request on WMS layer

Enable getfeatureinfo request on WMS layer

Getfeatureinfo is enabled by default, when it is enabled Bridge will generate a getfeatureinfo template that includes all the attributes that have been selected to be published under Data tab of the Layer panel.

Customize default template

The default template can be customized by the user by editing the following files:

  • [BRIDGE INSTALLATION DIRECTORY]\templates\style.css
  • [BRIDGE INSTALLATION DIRECTORY]\templates\footer.html

The style.css will be included as stylesheet in the default template. The footer.html file will be included below the table element containing the attribute information.


When you finished configuring the properties for all map layers, click on the Publish button to start the publishing process. During this process, a progress bar is shown to indicate the status of the publication proces:

Progress dialog

Progress dialog

When the publication proces is finished, a summary of the result is shown:

Publish result summary

Publish result summary

View published layers on server(s)

The context menu in the layers list provides a quick access to view the published data on the server(s):

Context menu

Context menu

  • View metadata: If the metadata is already published in a catalogue server, this option opens a browser to show the metadata from the server.
Published metadata in the GeoNetwork Opensource catalog

Published metadata in the GeoNetwork Opensource catalog

  • View WMS layer: Opens up a layer preview page for the selected map server with the selected layer.
  • View all WMS layers: Opens up a layer preview page for the selected map server with all published layer in the map project (MXD).
Layer preview of all published layers in map project

Layer preview of all published layers in map project

The icon error-red is shown when a error occurs while connecting to the server. Hover over the icon with the mouse pointer to view the error message.

Failed to retrieve data from servers

Failed to retrieve data from servers

Unpublish data and metadata

Remove data and metadata all layers

images/remove.png removes both the metadata and map data of all selected layers from the publishing server(s).

Remove all layer button is located in right upper corner of the layer list panel

Remove all layer button is located in right upper corner of the layer list panel


When removing data from GeoServer, Bridge does not remove the spatial data files, such as Shapefile, GeoPackage and GeoTIFF. GeoServer does not allow to remove these files through the REST API. When publishing to GeoServer with PostGIS, Bridge will not remove the data tables from PostGIS.

Remove data and metadata individual layers

If you want to withdraw only metadata or map data for a specific layer, use the context menu in the layers list.

  • Unpublish metadata: remove the metadata from the selected catalogue server.
  • Unpublish data: remove the map data from the selected map server.
Context menu published layers

Context menu published layers

Export files

To export your files locally, use the offline export options in Bridge. The offline export makes it possible to export the metadata, data an symbology in the following formats:

  • GeoPacakage (data)
  • Shapefile (data)
  • SLD (symbology)
  • ISO19319-XML (metadata)

MapServer offline export is not included. To offline export MapFiles for MapServer configure MapServer to export to a local path, see MapServer connection.

Offline export

Offline export

By default, the files are created in the My Documents folder. To select another destination, click button images/folder.png.


Exports each layer in seperate GeoPackage file.


Exports each layer in seperate Shapefile file.


Exports each layer in seperate SLD file. Currently supported SLD versions are:

  • SLD version 1.0.0
  • SLD version 1.0.0 with GeoServer vendor extensions [3]

For cases where the symbology is dependent on a attribute value, you can configure the SLD export to truncate the attribute names to 10 characters, in case you plan to use the SLD with a Shapefile datasource [4].


Exports metadata of each layer in seperate ISO19139-XML metadata documents. Select profile:

  • Default: ISO19139
  • Dutch version 1.3.1
  • Inspire


[1]Only for GeoServer and requires the configuration file setting FileRasterByReference
[2]When publishing to GeoServer it is required to enable Managed Workspace
[3]For more information see the GeoServer docs
[4]The Shapefile file format can only handle attribute name (field names) with a length up to ten characters, for more information see Wikipedia