GeoServer Blog

GeoServer community happenings

One thing we’ve wanted to do with this blog is use it as a forum to allow people to follow what’s going on in the world of GeoServer without having to dive in to hundreds of messages per month on the lists. I’ve been blogging long enough to know that I should never make promises about how often posts will come, but I will say that more of these will come in the future.

The most exciting things to me are a few new contributions that are becoming community modules, with their authors joining the community. The first one to bubble up has been adding support for GeoServer to create an html image map, there were several discussions on the lists, with a couple different approaches developed simultaneously. The result is that Mauro Bartolomeoli is in the process of putting his code in to a community module, there is a wiki page describing it, and the code is currently attached to the jira issue tracking it. We hope to get the code in svn and get a plugin release relatively soon. This feature enables users to make a map with tooltips and pop-ups and the like, having it directly composed by GeoServer. Since it is html that is returned this can scale a lot better than returning features and having pure javascript display them.

The other contribution in the works is some great stuff by the Ominiverde team, focusing on styling and a RESTful service for SLD. No wiki page or code yet, but they sent an email to the list describing the work, with a link to a test live service. This should be the basis of a nice thematic mapping gui based on openlayers. The cool thing is it will leverage code from uDig, to enable all the nice work they’ve done there, but in a web environment.

The other thing I’ll mention here, that I think hasn’t spread very widely, is that the latest version of GeoNetwork includes an embedded GeoServer. This is being used as a base map on top of which other layers can be added. The integration is still pretty minimal, GeoServer is basically just providing a nicer base map. But there is some work coming soon to do a tighter integration, so that users will be able to upload a shapefile or geotiff through GeoNetwork and have it automatically available through GeoServer as WMS and WFS or WCS, picking up all the service metadata properly. Andrea Aime is currently in Rome, discussing this with developers and users at the GeoNetwork conference this week, where he also gave a workshop on GeoServer.

There’s much more happening, on a variety of fronts, but we’ll save it for another post.

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Overdue FOSS4G report

So it’s been way too long since we posted anything on this blog other than release announcements.  Which is not as it should be, since there’s been a ton happening in the GeoServer community.  I’m going to try to catch up with a lot of the various news in the next week or two, but wanted to just mention things here, which should force us to actually blog about them in more depth soon.

The first big category is the FOSS4G conference.  The conference team did an amazing job, so first just want to thank them for all their hard work.  From the GeoServer perspective it was easily our best conference yet, with a number of talks from developers and users.  In coming posts I’ll highlight the talks more, with links to check them all out.  The conference is definitely the highlight of the year for those of us working on the project, because we get to meet so many excited users.  Both those that we’ve seen on the lists before, and people who have just been happily making use of GeoServer and had no reason to get in touch with us.  We also get invaluable feedback on the features users actually care about.

After the conference we had a successful ‘code sprint’ - most projects sprinted on Friday, but the hard-core GeoTools team followed up working through the weekend.  Thanks goes out to Refractions for hosting us, giving us space to work away.  We worked on the biggest elephant in subversion - the new feature model that allows us to deal with complex types.  Its had many years of effort, many failed branches, and just became a scary task that seemed like it might never be done.  But Justin worked for months preparing for the sprint, where we moved almost everything to use the new way.  Initially uDig will see the results of the work first, but it was some nice implications for GeoServer - serving up set schemas from arbitrary data - when someone comes up with a bit of additional funding/time.

In other news we’ve been getting some great contributions of late, which I’ll write about soon.  The Open Planning Project, the primary maintainer of GeoServer, is also working on some exciting stuff, including mapping integration with the other main project - OpenPlans.  The end result should be a really nice user interface for groups to make annotated maps, with full wiki-like editing, about the issues they care about.

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GeoServer 1.5.4 Released

The GeoServer team is pleased to announce the availability of the latest stable release, 1.5.4.

This release mostly cleans up stuff for Google Earth and Maps.  Generated maps now line up perfectly on Google Maps, with a fix to the projection code.  This allows us to replace the Google Maps overlay demo with OpenLayers, so it works with GMaps, Yahoo! Maps and Virtual Earth.  Google Earth will now zoom to the exact location of the dataset, and has further support for ‘time’ elements.

There are additionally a few improvements for Oracle users, including proper Shapefile output, and the ability to run in an Oracle Application Server.  Also new is Arabic rendering support and fixes for serving additional content through GeoServer.

Full changelog is located here.

This release is based off the brand new GeoTools 2.3.5 stable release.

Thanks to all the users and contributors who helped out with testing and feature suggestions, this project would not be possible without all of you.

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GeoServer 1.6-beta4 released

The GeoServer team is pleased to announce what should be the last beta release in the 1.6 series.  So please download, help us test, test, test, and RC1 should come out soon.

Beta4 has a number of great improvements, all across the board.  The versioning support has had a number of improvements and bug fixes, soon we should have some easy to use tutorials and stable examples, but for the impatient you can try to figure things out from an early example and the foss4g tutorial.  Google Earth support has some nice improvements, with better sizes for icons and the addition of the KML ‘LookAt’ tag, which zooms you straight to where your data is, plus a number of bug fixes.

GeoJSON support has been updated to the latest spec, and the ‘www’ portion of the data directory is now working properly, allowing anyone to ship demos to be served by GeoServer.  For the next release we will show some examples of how to do this.  Also new is support for ‘component WMS’, which allows GeoServer to do on the fly rendering of layers that reside on other servers.  In the WMS request you just specify the SLD and the location of the WFS and GeoServer gives you the rest.  There is also support for Arabic labels.  GeoServer is also now working properly in Oracle Application server.

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GeoServer Tutorials from FOSS4G

Just quick note, the GeoServer team just put on a new workshop at FOSS4G.  The conference is just getting started, but after we finish up here we’ll work in the coming weeks to make those materials more generic and available to all.  For those who want a preview, or those in the workshop who want to follow up on what they’ve done, the materials are available in the docs at FOSS4G 2007 Workshop.  In time these should result in some nice new high quality documentation.  Thanks to everyone who attended and provided feedback on the software and the workshop.

If you’re at the conference and are using GeoServer do swing by The Open Planning Project’s booth in section A, a number of us should be there at most times.  There are also a number of talks, and we’ve now got the times for them:

We also encourage you to check out Tim Schaub’s OpenLayers - Agile Geography in a Browser talk, which will include an application built with GeoServer’s versioning capabilities.  After his talk we’ll post it live for people to preview, so see it there first.

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