GeoNode is a unique, open source, geospatial software which targets the experience of the users. It provides spatial data upload and sharing, a dynamic user experience, and standardized metadata creation. GeoNode has a stronger focus on the user experience than any other geospatial software. Collaboration and user profiles provide a way to comment on the quality of the data files being shared. It provides standard services such as map creation and sharing, while adding a collaborative component which allows for commentary on the quality and content of the data files. It boasts a global community of users with an impressive focus on data associated with developing nations.
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GeoNode was developed by OpenGeo for clients like the World Bank. The bank was trying to find solutions for developing nations which did not have the funds to afford commercial software packages. These communities needed to plan for various scenarios in a way which would be affordable and sustainable. They partnered with OpenGeo to create a free software which would focus on the sharing of data and community collaboration. The tool is cost-effective, based on an easily modified platform and continues to be developed by developing nations.
GeoNode was built using Django, GeoServer and GeoExt to create a dynamic mapping and data experience. However, the most effective technology being use by this software is collaboration. Social data endorsement by both users and organization, user profiles (and the associated reputation of the user) and the goals of unification of data management, get users motivated to become more involved. Metadata is generated using user profile data, guaranteeing a certain level of standards are maintained.
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This software promotes the use of open data. Because the mission addresses the common quality concerns of organizations regarding the use of open source data; including reputation, safety and quality, many data users have felt optimistic about using GeoNode. Organizations around the globe have committed to shifting towards unified data management systems. Metadata is generated using user profile data, guaranteeing a certain level of standards are maintained. Available data is given ratings by users so that the quality of content, and any issues can be known to future users of the data.
This software has been especially popular amongst organizations in developing nations which work on real-world issues. Organizations which would not be able to afford commercial GIS options, nor would be able to afford to pay for data. These places depend on good quality, free data.
The software is also popular among academic based organizations that are interested in standardized data and metadata standards to strengthen open source communities and move towards best practices.
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