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GeoNetwork Quickstart

GeoNetwork opensource is a standards based, distributed spatial information management system. It is designed to enable access to spatial data from a variety of data providers through descriptive metadata.

Apart from how to start GeoNetwork, this Quick Start describes:

  • some of the different ways you can search for spatial data
  • how to download and display data from the search results
  • the system of privileges, roles and user groups that GeoNetwork uses.

Detailed documentation can be found in http://localhost:8880/geonetwork/docs/eng/users/index.html or by clicking on the ‘Help’ link on the GeoNetwork home page.

Start GeoNetwork

  • Select the “Start GeoNetwork” icon.
  • The application will take a few moments to start up
  • Go to the GeoNetwork home page at http://localhost:8880/geonetwork. Your first view of GeoNetwork should look like the screenshot below.
  • To get to know GeoNetwork we are going to load the sample metadata. Log in to GeoNetwork using the username admin and password admin in the dedicated fields on the top right corner, then click the login button.
  • You should now see an Administration link in the banner. Click on it.
  • When the Administration page appears, scroll to the bottom of the page and load the sample data by clicking on the ‘Add sample metadata’ button.
  • Return to the ‘Home’ page after the sample metadata has been loaded to continue the rest of the quick start guide. When you return to the homepage your screen should look something like the one shown below.


There are many different ways to search the catalogue for maps and other geographic data. This guide will introduce you to the most popular search methods: default, advanced and by category. Whichever search you choose, remember that you will see results based on your privileges and assigned work group (more on this later).


The term data refers to datasets, maps, tables, documents, etc, in fact anything that can be linked to the metadata record that describes it.

Searching by Categories

An additional way to search data within the GeoNetwork database, from the home page, is searching by Category. A list of categories is provided to the user to identify data at a more generic level: Applications, Audio/Video, Case study and best practises, Conference proceedings, Datasets, Directories, Interactive resources, Maps and graphics, Other information resources, Photo.

To search only for maps, click on Maps and Graphics. A list of maps will be displayed from which you may view details of every single map; just clicking on the Metadata button of the map you wish to review.


Search by Category

Search Results

The output of a search provides you a list of the metadata records that should fit your request. For each record, the result page shows the title, an abstract and the keywords. According to the privileges that have been set for each metadata, a maximum of four sections can be consulted, as shown below.


Search results

  1. Metadata: The metadata section describes the dataset (e.g.: citation, data owner, temporal/spatial/methodological information) and could contain links to other web sites that could provide further information about the dataset.
  2. Download: Depending on the privileges that have been set for each record, when this button is present, the dataset is available and downloadable. The process for retrieving data is simple and quick by just clicking the download button or by using the proper link in the specific metadata section for distribution info in the full metadata view.

A single search result


Available services related to the resource

  1. Interactive Map: The map service is also optional. When this button is shown, an interactive map for this layer is available and, by default, it will be displayed on the map screen of the simple search. To better visualise the map through the map viewer, click on Show Map on the top of search results panel.

The interactive map viewer

  1. Graphic Overviews: There are small and large overviews of the map used to properly evaluate usefulness of the data, especially if the interactive map is not available. Simply click on the small figure to enlarge it.

Large figure (graphic overview)

Privileges, roles and user groups

GeoNetwork uses a system of Privileges, Roles and User groups.

There are no restrictions for users to search and access public information in a GeoNetwork opensource based catalogue. To get access to restricted information or advanced functionality, an account to log in is required. This should be provided by the GeoNetwork administrator.

To log in, simply go to the home page and enter your username and password in the dedicated fields on the top right corner, then click the login button.



Privileges. Depending on the privileges set on a metadata record and on your role as an authenticated user, you will be able to read about a resource and download or interactively browse data related to that resource.

Roles. Users with an Editor role can create, import and edit metadata records. They can also upload data and configure links to interactive map services.

User groups. Every authenticated user is assigned to a particular work group and is able to view data within that work group.

More information

Click on the ‘Help’ link in the banner of the GeoNetwork home page or go there directly by clicking on this link: http://localhost:8880/geonetwork/docs/eng/users/index.html

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