What is Geoserver?
GeoServer is a Java-based software server that allows users to view and edit geospatial data. Using open standards set forth by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), GeoServer allows for great flexibility in map creation and data sharing.
Open and Share Your Spatial Data
GeoServer allows you to display your spatial information to the world. Implementing the Web Map Service (WMS) standard, GeoServer can create maps in a variety of output formats. OpenLayers, a free mapping library, is integrated into GeoServer, making map generation quick and easy. GeoServer is built on GeoTools, an open source Java GIS toolkit.
There is much more to GeoServer than nicely styled maps. GeoServer conforms to the Web Feature Service (WFS) standard, and Web Coverage Service (WCS) standard which permits the sharing and editing of the data that is used to generate the maps. GeoServer also uses the Web Map Tile Service standard to split your published maps into tiles for ease of use by web mapping and mobile applications.GeoServer is a modular application with additional functionality added via extensions. An extensions for Web Processing Service open up a wealth of processing options, you can even write your own!
Enable others to incorporate your data into their websites and applications, freeing your data and permitting greater transparency.
Use Free and Open Source Software
GeoServer is free software. This significantly lowers the financial barrier to entry when compared to proprietary GIS products. In addition, not only is GeoServer available free of charge, it is also open source. Bug fixes and feature improvements in open source software occur in a transparent manner, often at an accelerated pace compared to closed software solutions. Leveraging GeoServer in your organization also prevents software lock-in, saving costly support contracts down the road.
Integrate With Mapping APIs
GeoServer can also display data on any of the popular mapping applications such as Google Maps, Google Earth, Microsoft Bing Maps, and MapBox. In addition, GeoServer can connect with traditional GIS architectures such as ESRI ArcGIS.
Join the Community
GeoServer has a large and vibrant community consisting of users and developers from all over the world. Support is available through a variety of sources, such as email lists. A fixed release cycle and public issue tracker provides transparency and reliable updates. In addition, commercial support is available from a variety of providers. With GeoServer, you are always in good company.