A resource node is a world object which can be utilized by one with the proper gathering profession. Currently, these are limited to herbs and mining points. Some players may consider dead beasts to be resource nodes for skinners; the main difference is that there is no tracking option for a dead beast.
Two of the gathering professions, herbalism and mining, receive special abilities automatically to help them find resources - Find Minerals and Find Herbs. When activated, these abilities become the active tracking ability, replacing any of those available to Hunters or other classes. On the minimap, nearby nodes will be displayed as small, yellow dots. Hovering the mouse cursor over these dots will show a small tooltip telling what kind of node it is, making it possible to selectively choose which nodes to harvest without actually traveling to them all.
Resource gathering gets more productive as a player levels up and gets access to mounts to help them travel. Flying mounts particularly assist with this. Note that the range of node tracking is not unlimited, and seems to rely only on horizontal distance, not vertical.
The obvious first step to gathering any node is to have the necessary professions. To gather from a node, all that needs to be done is to right click on it. (Miners must have a Mining Pick; skinners require a Skinning Knife.) If the player's skill level is high enough, they will attempt to gather the node. It is only possible to fail a gather if the node's tooltip appears orange, or if the player moves or is struck in combat while gathering. In the event of a failed gather, there is no negative effect; the node remains and can be attempted again.
Mining nodes can be harvested multiple times, the exact number depending on the type of node and luck. Herbs and dead beasts can be gathered only a single time. Note that it is possible to execute a gather to increase your skill, but leave the items in the loot box for someone else to harvest. However, subsequent gathers will not result in a skill point.