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Introduction to CanWIN's GeoNode

GeoNode is an open source, content management system (CMS) for creating, publishing, managing, visualizing, and sharing geospatial data for all user levels. This web-based application can publicly or privately share data and aid in the use, management, and quality control of data.

CanWIN has paired up with GeoNode to display and allow for easier access of geospatial data from various geospatial data sources, with the focus on water quality in Nelson River Watershed and the Arctic.

For detailed information on GeoNode and how to use it, please see the GeoNode Documentation, particularly the GeoNode User Guide. This page focuses on key aspects used in CanWIN's implementation of GeoNode.

Go To CanWIN's GeoNode

Getting Started with GeoNode

Registration and permissions

To use CanWIN GeoNode, a user must have an account. All new users must create an account under the Register tab. If a user already has an account or is a University of Manitoba (UM) Staff or Student, enter credentials in pop-up window under the Sign In tab. UM Staff and Students must use their UMNetID and password to sign in, even for the first-time.

Most data should be publicly available however, if you are experiencing access restrictions for a particular group, contact us at

Finding, adding and sharing data

Finding data layers

There are a few ways to get to the data layers list or find a specific layer. From the CanWIN GeoNode homepage:

  • From the main menu: DataLayers
  • Scroll down to the Layer button (see Image 1 below)
  • Use the search bar at the top-right hand of the page to find a specific layer

Geonode Buttons

Image 1 - The different buttons on the CanWIN GeoNode home page

Uploading & Managing layers

For complete instructions on uploading and managing layers, see GeoNode Users Guide Managing Datasets.

Valid raster and vector formats

Data type Appropriate formats
Raster Satellite data and other raster type data in the form of a GeoTIFF (.tif)
Vector Various vector files can be uploaded, including ESRI shapefiles, json, csv, KML and KMZ.
ERSI shapefiles must include .shp, .shx, .dbf, and .prj.

Uploading layers

  • From the main menu: DataLayersUpload layers
  • On the home page, scroll down to the Layers button, below which is an Add layers button (see Image 1 above).

Once the layer has been uploaded, click the layer name (it becomes clickable) and you will be taken to the new layer page.


UTF-8 is the default charset or encoding. Ensure this field is changed if the layer being uploaded has a different encoding (e.g., ISO-8859-1). If you are not sure of the encoding in the layer, use QGIS and check the layer properties for the encoding under the Information tab.

Uploading & Managing Documents

For complete instructions on uploading and managing documents, see the GeoNode User Guide for Managing Documents.

Valid document types

Data type Appropriate formats
Document .txt, .log, .doc, .docx, .ods, .odt, .sld, .qml, .xls, .xlsx, .xml, .bm, .bmp, .dwg, .dxf, .fif, .gif, .jpg, .jpe, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff, .pbm, .odp, .ppt, .pptx, .pdf, .tar, .tgz, .rar, .gz, .7z, .zip, .aif, .aifc, .aiff, .au, .mp3, .mpga, .wav, .afl, .avi, .avs, .fli, .mp2, .mp4, .mpg, .ogg, .webm, .3gp, .flv, .vdo

Uploading documents

  • From the main menu: DataDocumentsUpload documents
  • On the home page, scroll down to the Documents button, below which is an Add documents button (see Image 1 above).

If the file is uploaded correctly, GeoNode will automatically direct you to the document page.

Adding metadata

Layer metadata

For a full description on how to edit and uplaod layer metadata, see the GeoNode Layers metadata documentation.

Editing Layer Metadata

  • On a layer page, click Editing Tools from the right-hand panel. A box with 3 methods will pop up: Wizard, Advanced Edit and Upload Metadata.

    Note: This option is only available if you have permissions to edit the layer.

Uploading Layer Metadata

In order to upload metadata for a layer, the file must be an XML document (ISO, FGDC, ebRIM, or Dublin Core format).

  • Click Upload Metadata from the box described above. Either drop file in drop box area or choose file from folder.

Document metadata


There is no option to upload metadata for documents.

For a full description of how to manage document metadata, see the GeoNode Document metadata documentation.

Editing Document Metadata

Manual editing of document metadata is allowable using the Wizard and Advanced Edit options mentioned above.

  • On a document page, click Edit Document from the right-hand panel. A box with these 2 methods will pop up.

Metadata field dictionary

See the Metadata Field Dictionary for definitions on each metadata field found in the Wizard and Advanced Edit.

Creating layers and maps


Although GIS layers can be created on GeoNode, having ArcGIS (paid program) or QGIS (free open-source program) can be beneficial for creation and modification of layers outside of GeoNode.

Most of the layers added to CanWIN GeoNode have been created outside of GeoNode, however, layers can be created from scratch on GeoNode.