Getting Started

What is the 2C GeoNode?

The 2C GeoNode is an online platform for sharing map data and resources generated by the Secondary Cities Initiative. Data and documents are uploaded to the 2C GeoNode by 2C partners across the globe. These data are generated from globally and locally available data sources, hands-on workshops, and other partner activities. (For general information on the GeoNode open source project, visit:

How is the data structured?

All data uploaded to the site are categorized into one of the Secondary Cities human geography themes. Each dataset follows a common metadata protocol based on the geographic information ISO metadata 19115 standard. This makes the datasets compatible and discoverable by other data-sharing platforms.

Licensing Information

Global, Local Downloaded, Local Authoritative Data on the GeoNode maintain all existing copyright or license information. Local Workshop Data follow the CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Apply the Public Domain (CC0 1.0) license when uploading 2C Local Workshop Data. This waives all copyright and related rights for the work worldwide, to allow the broadest use of the data for you and your community. Applies to Local Workshop Data and carries through to new data products.


There are a number of ways to search for data on the 2C GeoNode.

1. By City:

On the home page, click on a city photo to see all of the data layers and resources for that city.

2. Categories:

From any page, use the Category drop-down to select a particular theme. Every dataset in the 2C GeoNode is associated with one Human Geography Theme.

3. Browse All Data: The Explore Layers Page

From the Data drop-down, select Layers to browse all of the datasets currently loaded in the 2C GeoNode. This is the Explore Layers page.
  • Search by Text: The search box is found on the Layers page (or in the upper-right corner on any page.) Any words typed into this box will be searched for in the entire database (i.e., they are not restricted only to “Keywords”).
  • Select Data by Filter: From the Layers page, you can limit the results by using the filters along the left side.
    • NOTE: You must CLEAR the filter each time you search.
    • The “Keyword” filter counts how many datasets contain that word, but does not actually select those datasets. Use the “Search by text” box instead.
    • The “Category” filter counts how many datasets are in that category, but does not actually select those datasets. Use the “Category” drop-down instead.


In Explore Layers, a thumbnail (i.e. small image), the category, layer name, keywords, and a brief abstract for each layer are provided. For additional information and more comprehensive metadata about a layer, click on the name in the Layer list to view the “details” page.

A preview of the spatial data on a base map, a list of primary metadata, and an option to see “More info…” at the bottom of the page can be viewed on the “details” page. Data and metadata can be downloaded from this page.


In GeoNode, data and metadata are downloaded separately. Both are accessed on the details page of any data layer, along the upper-right side.

Vector Data (e.g. points, lines, polygons) can be downloaded in any of the file types listed below. The software employed by the user to open these data will determine which file types should be downloaded. The most commonly downloaded file type is a zipped shapefile.

Projection information: Unless otherwise stated in the metadata, the default download projection is WGS84.

Raster Data (e.g. continuous surface data such as elevation, hillshade, slope, etc.) can be downloaded as the following file types. The software employed by the user to open these data will determine which file types should be downloaded.


NOTE: 2C Best Practice -- Always include the metadata with the data! (However, if there is a problem with downloading the Metadata, it can always be accessible or viewed from the GeoNode.)

Metadata can be downloaded in the following metadata standards. Metadata includes lineage, data processing steps, date and projection information, etc.

The most commonly downloaded and easiest read formats are the Text format and HTML format. No additional software is needed to view metadata in text format. Internet connection is needed to view HTML format.


On the home page, under the Data dropdown is an option for Documents:

Click on Documents to access the Explore Documents page which lists all the documents that have been uploaded to the 2C GeoNode, including workshop materials, data products (i.e., Map Books) and GIS training materials.

Download documents: Click on the download document button to access the document as a pdf. Metadata on the document are also included.

An alternative location for finding these documents in an indexed and searchable format can be found on the Secondary Cities Resources Page.