Geonode Quickstart

Open Source Geospatial Content Management System

GeoNode is a web-based application and platform for developing geospatial information systems (GIS) and for deploying spatial data infrastructures (SDI).

In this Quickstart guide you will learn the following:

  1. to register a new account to get started
  2. add a new layer
  3. create a map using your new layer
  4. share your map with others

To start GeoNode on your OSGeoLive DVD you have to choose Geospatial ‣ Browser Clients ‣ GeoNode ‣ Start GeoNode and after a few moments the GeoNode webpage will automatically open at http://geonode. The page will look like the image below.


1. Register a new account

From the interface shown above, one can view and modify existing spatial layers and maps, as well as find information on other GeoNode users. But, without being logged in, you are limited to read-only access of public layers. In order to create a map and add layers to it, you have to create an account first.

  1. From any page in the web interface, you will see a Sign in link. Click that link, and in the dialog that displays, click the Register now link. (if the Register Now link is missing try “admin” and “admin” for the Username and Password)

  2. On the next page, fill out the form. Enter a user name and password in the fields. Also, enter your email address for verification.

  3. You will be returned to the welcome page. An email will be sent confirming that you have signed up. While you are now logged in, you will need to confirm your account. Navigate to the link that was sent in the email.

  4. By clicking Confirm you will be returned to the homepage. Now you’ve registered an account, you are able to add layers to it as well as create maps and share those with other users.

2. Add a new layer

Layers are a published resource representing a raster or vector spatial data source. Layers also can be associated with metadata, ratings, and comments.

  1. To add a layer to your account, navigate to the welcome page. There the following toolbar can be seen:

  2. By clicking the Layers link you will be brought to the Layers menu where a new subtoolbar can be seen. This toolbar allows you to Explore, Search and Upload layers.

  3. Now click Upload Layers and you’ll see the upload form.

  4. You have two possibilities to add your files. You can either do that by using drag & drop or you choose to browse them. Be aware that you have to upload a complete set of files, consisting of a shp, a prj, a dbf and a shx file. If one of them is missing, GeoNode will warn you before you upload them.

  5. You shold now be able to see all the files you want to upload.

  6. GeoNode has the ability to restrict who can view, edit, and manage layers. On the right side of the page you can see the Permission section, where you can limit the access on your layer. Under Who can view and download this data, select Any registered user. This will ensure that anonymous view access is disabled. In the same area, under Who can edit this data, select your username. This will ensure that only you are able to edit the data in the layer.

  7. To upload data, click the Upload button at the bottom.

3. Create a new map

The next step for you is to create a map and add the newly created layers to this map.

  1. Click the Maps link on the top toolbar. This will bring up the list of maps.

  2. Currently, there aren’t any maps here. To add one click the Create a New Map button and a map composition interface will display.


    In this interface there is a toolbar, layer list, and map window. The map window contains the MapQuest OpenStreetMap layer by default. There are other service layers available here as well: Blue Marble, Bing Aerial With Labels, MapQuest, and OpenStreetMap.

  3. Click on the New Layers button and select Add Layers.

  4. Now you should be able to see all the availabel layers. In your case, this should only be the ones you’ve added before (San Andreas?).

  5. Select all of the layers by clicking the top entry and Shift-clicking the bottom one. Click Add Layers to add them all to the map.

  6. The layers will be added to the map. Click Done (right next to Add Layers at the bottom) to return to the main layers list.

  7. To save the map click on the Map button in the toolbar, and select Save Map.

  8. Enter a title and abstract for your map.

  9. Click Save. Notice that the link on the top right of the page changed to reflect the map’s name.


    This link contains a permalink to your map. If you open this link in a new window, your map will appear exactly as it was saved.

4. Share your map

Now let’s finish our map.

  1. Check the box next to the highway layer to activate it. If it is not below the POI layer in the list, click and drag it down.

  2. Make any final adjustments to the map composition as desired, including zoom and pan settings.

  3. Click the Map button in the toolbar, and then click Publish Map.

  4. The title and abstract as previously created should still be there. Make any adjustments as necessary, and click Save.

  5. A new dialog will appear with instructions on how to embed this map in a webpage, including a code snippet. You can adjust the parameters as necessary.


Your map can now be shared!

To be continued

Now you’ve gotten a quick insight in the possibilities of GeoNode. To learn more about GeoNode and its features, visit our webpage To install GeoNode on your own server, follow our Quick Installation Guide or the Complete Installation Guide. In order to get started with GeoNode our documentation might be useful.

If you need help or want to get some information about a specific topic please don’t hasitate to ask us! You can do this through the #geonode IRC channel using or by asking your question in our google group !

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