We are planning to develop a spatial data infrastructure with some webGIS tools integrated. It would serve much vector and satellite data in numerous users. Until now, we are planning to create a project based on GeoNode because we are familiar with the platform and its components (Django, Geoserver, Postgresql, Pycsw etc). But during our research in large open data projects we realize that CKAN dominates as open data platform. Also last years it has been developed many extensions for geospatial world. So we are in a dilemma.

What are the differences between them and which is more suitable for large geospatial projects ?

At one hand we have a data management system (with spatial extensions)(CKAN) and on the other hand, a geospatial content management system (a complete package of geospatial components)(GeoNode).

I know that CKAN can harvest from GeoNode and we can use both but at first I'd like to learn about the differences between them.

1 Answer 1


We use CKAN as frontend for open geodata. As the backend we use Web GIS based on http://nextgis.com service.

The example of such integration was Primorsky Kray Open geodata portal (http://docs.nextgis.ru/docs_ogportal/source/user.html). Sorry the text is in Russian, but you can google translate it.

CKAN is great tool for open geodata but rather complicated user interface. To get spatial functionality (geodata preview on map or table) you need to install several extensions.

CKAN have nice API to share metadata with other catalogs and search systems. Also there is nice plugin in QGIS (https://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/CKANBrowser/).

  • Thank you for your response ! I have seen several geospatial projects based on CKAN with integrated extensions. But the point that I don't get is why to install geospatial extensions in CKAN since there are complete geospatial suites like GeoNode or OpenGeo Suite. Is it faster than others ? More flexible ? Easier to develop or integrate new software / apps ?
    – Capdi
    Jun 5, 2017 at 16:02
  • Spatial data is subset of other data. CKAN is software supported any kind of open data. It more flexible here and more popular. Also, as I noted, CKAN have API supported by a lot of various software. Jun 5, 2017 at 17:59

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