A quick note to all those who recently downloaded GeoServer 1.7.3. The release has been patched to address a bug with the user interface. The patched release can be found on the download page. The bug prevents a user from editing a feature type directly after it has been added. For those not wanting to upgrade the work around is to first add the feature type, then save, then reload the configuration. After a reload the feature type will be editable. Apologies for the inconvenience.
When the GeoServer Team announced GeoServer 1.7.3 last Wednesday, the response was quite impressive. GeoServer received the largest amount of downloads in a single day on Thursday, March 12th, at over 1,500 (normally the number is less than half that). Our website hit a new record of visits as well.
While we’re all delighted, I wonder whether it was a new feature, a bug fix, or just new people coming on board that led to the spike. As always, I’d like to know what we’re doing well and what we could be doing better.
The GeoServer team is proud to announce the release of GeoServer 1.7.3. The team has been busy in the six weeks since the previous release, with a code sprint in New York last month and a whopping 63 bugs and new features fixed and implemented (respectively, of course).
This release brings improved support for ArcSDE rasters. Previously GeoServer only supported a limited number of SDE rasters, namely 3 and 4 band UCHAR with no color map support. GeoServer now supports all sample types up to an arbitrary number of bands, with color map support. Special thanks goes out to MassGIS who provided the funding for this work, and Gabriel for his hard work implementing this feature.
In a first step towards a “multiple configurations” feature, GeoServer now allows you to filter any capabilities request based on namespace. A client can now ask for a particular subset of layers instead of having to receive all of them, which can greatly increase client performance if serving lots of layers. (This works the same way for all services, although the above link is for WCS.)
There are quite a few new extensions for GeoServer, including:
**REST** - GeoServer now allows for [configuration via REST](http://geoserver.org/display/GEOSDOC/RESTful+Configuration+API) ([REpresentational State Transfer](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representational_State_Transfer)). This opens up a whole new world for interfacing with GeoServer, whether it's [a simple metadata update, a batch configuring of layers, or a one step shapefile upload](http://geoserver.org/display/GEOSDOC/RESTFul+Configuration+API+Use+Cases).
**JDBC Image Mosaic** - This extension allows a coverage to be stored along with its pyramids in a [JDBC database](http://geoserver.org/display/GEOSDOC/Using+the+ImageMosaic+JDBC+Plugin). Special thanks to Christian Müller, who contributed this work!
**Excel** - Adding to the list of [WFS output formats](http://geoserver.org/display/GEOSDOC/WFS+output+formats), feature data can now be output in Microsoft Excel (.XLS) format. If you want tabular output, but don't need the full power of Excel, you can output comma-separated values (.CSV). CSV output is available as part of the GeoServer's core, with no extension needed.
**Directory datastore** - In addition to the REST interface, there is now an even easier way to add lots of shapefiles to your catalog. With the [directory datastore](http://geoserver.org/display/GEOSDOC/Directory+datastore), you can point GeoServer to a directory full of shapefiles and just hit go (well, Submit, Apply, and Save) and all of the shapefiles will be loaded in as datastores.
Also, don’t forget that GeoWebCache is now built in to GeoServer (it was previously an extension), so GeoServer can immediately cache WMS tiles, which can vastly improve the speed of rendering.
Just wanted to give a shout out to a great event for those in Africa or interested in the application of geospatial technologies in Africa. WhereCampAfrica is an unconference, in the style of BarCamp and WhereCamp, where anyone can show up and present and discuss the (spatial) ideas that excite them. It should be a great group of people, it runs right after the CGIAR-CSI meeting which I had a good time at least year. Anyone using GeoServer who can make it out there should definitely attend. It’s a totally free event.
The most common question I hear from GeoServer users is: “Who else is using GeoServer?” So when I find a great example of GeoServer in the wild, I like to pass it along.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado has a large collection of freely downloadable data, and they are serving this data with KML for viewing in virtual globe environments such as Google Earth. Buried in their Google Earth Technical Experiments page, they have the World Glacier Inventory, the location and attributes of thousands of glaciers throughout the world.
The NSIDC uses GeoServer to serve this data and to export KML files. Lisa Ballagh of the NSIDC recently gave a talk at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, where she described why and how her organization uses GeoServer. This short talk is interesting and well worth a watch, and the images of glaciers as they have changed over time are truly striking.
Check out the NSIDC site, download the WGI data, and view it in Google Earth. And look for the World Glacier Inventory to be available on Google Maps soon, as part of GeoServer’s integration with Google’s Geo Search.