GeoNode Release 4 is out
We are pleased to announce the new release 4 of GeoNode. A live demo is available for anyone to try and preview the new features. Up-to-date documentation is also available to dig into the full list of features and options. This is the first official release since we started the re-design of GeoNode to make it even more straightforward to use, secure and scalable. A lot of enhancements have been introduced since the beginning of this process.
GeoNode 4 is the continuation of a long story that started around 2009. The idea to create an open-source web-based application and platform for developing geospatial information systems (GIS) and for deploying spatial data infrastructures (SDI) evolved over the years into a complete GIS platform, as it provides data and metadata management as well as rapid mapping capabilities to go from raw data to maps, dashboard and geostories, with no development.
This release is a major rewriting of several components. However, data models and REST API back-compatibility is still granted.
New client application
A brand-new client application, based on React and MapStore2, has been developed. Its design enhances the UI/UX significantly, with a less cluttered interface and a much easier-to-understand flow of operations for the upload, the management, and the visualization of resources.
It’s a hybrid client, partly SPA and partly server-rendered. Effectiveness, efficiency, and flexibility were the factors taken into account during the design. The result was an architecture where most of the information and the most useful actions are in reach within the same page and context. At the same time, the ability to extend and customize the UI has been maintained and improved, with several extension points on both the client and the server side.
Some of the most relevant features of the new interface are:
- Single page catalog of resources, with multiple view modes and filtering option
- Inline live preview of resources
- New viewers and editors for each type of resource, with a clear set of contextual actions
- Extended set of styling tools for building thematic maps
- New features for the editing of dashboards and geostories (thanks to the most recent version of MapStore)
- Share options simplify fine-grained control of security and permissions
- Simplified upload service, both for spatial datasets and documents/media
- Enhanced and simplified theming and branding
Every GeoNode resource, be it a raw dataset and document or a dashboard, can be enriched with metadata information conforming to the Dublin Core and ISO 19115 metadata standards. This is enough for most of the use cases but there are many contexts where additional metadata attributes are required for compliance with specific standards. One example among many, we were requested to implement a specific set of fields and thesauri for the Italian National Catalog for Spatial Data (RNDT). This requirement was an opportunity to extend the core metadata model in GeoNode to introduce a mechanism to extend and customize resource metadata and make the extended metadata set also available through the core CSW (Catalog Service for the Web) interface.
This topic will be enhanced even further in the future, with the goal of making the management and publishing of resources according to the FAIR principles even more straightforward with GeoNode.
Remote resources and Harvesters
Harvesters are a new concept introduced with GeoNode 4 which improves and extends the already existing Remote services functionality. Harvesters offer the option to retrieve, manage and publish resources from remote services (OGC WMS, GeoNode instances, ArcGIS MapServer). Thanks to the brand-new asynchronous engine behind them, every operation can be scheduled to execute repeatedly for each configured harvester. Options to control the update of previously harvested resources are available and also health-checks services offer an effective way to monitor the status of the remote services. Another new feature of the harvester is the ability, where applicable, to retrieve the actual data from the remote service and publish it as a local resource, i.e. cloning the remote resource locally.
The number of the supported remote source is not meant to cover the many services interfaces that we might need to deal with,p For this reason the Harvester service has been designed to let developers build new custom harvesters that integrate with Harvester’s core service functionality. Add-ons could be built for other OGC services, CKAN, PostgREST APIs (as we did on our own), etc.
An expanded set of secure REST API endpoints
This block of development was started in GeoNode 3 and has expanded into GeoNode 4, where the REST API plays a central role in the architecture of GeoNode. The new client functionality is based for the most part on the public GeoNode API, which is available to any third-party application for the full management of resources, including their metadata and security.
The security layer in GeoNode has been reviewed and strengthened to enforce authentication and authorization of any exposed interface.
Updated backends & integrations
With GeoNode 4 several services of the stack that compose the application itself will be updated. The major upgrades are:
We are already ironing out new exciting features for the next releases. One for all, a brand new upload system and API, with increased performances and robustness, and the support for GeoPackage files. Stay tuned!
Last but not least, you can check below a free webinar we hosted recently covering the most interesting features for GeoNode 4 and the FOSS4G 2022 State of GeoNode presentation.
If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you achieve your needs with MapStore, GeoServer, GeoNode and GeoNetwork through our Enterprise Support Services, Professional Training Services and Subscription Services, please contact us!
The GeoSolutions team,