GeoServer Blog

GeoServer Benchmarks at FOSS4G 2008

There are some questions that are asked quite frequently by people who are using GeoServer, or who are thinking about doing so. And certain ones can’t be so easily answered as those in our FAQ. One of the most common I see is this:

_“GeoServer is nifty, but is it fast?” _

Clearly some benchmarks are needed. Testing was first done at a presentation at FOSS4G 2007 by Justin Deolivera (OpenGeo) and Brock Anderson (Refractions Research). They chose to compare performance of GeoServer against MapServer, another popular open-source GIS. The presentation was well-received and showed off the strengths and weaknesses in both servers.

This year, at FOSS4G 2008, Andrea Aime (also OpenGeo) took over the benchmarking process, this time with an updated test suite including thematic mapping, anti-aliasing, raster data, and tile caching. Since the previous year, MapServer had improved its shapefile rendering to be faster than GeoServer’s render time. But Andrea continues:

_“The hard part started when our results showed GeoServer being in the lead in both PostGIS and raster tests. I could buy the PostGIS results, but I did not believe the raster results. MapServer has had long-standing and well-reputed raster support, so how come the newcomer was doing better?” _

Andrea and Justin worked directly with Steve Lime, Paul Ramsey, and Frank Warmerdam to confirm and discuss the findings. But the results were clear: although MapServer was faster at shapefile rendering, GeoServer was faster at raster and PostGIS rendering.

Andrea continues:

_“When you look at our results, remember that the MapServer developers are already working hard to improve MapServer performance, just like they did one year ago with the shapefile results. GeoServer developers won’t be sleeping either, as we’re already working on some changes to get PostGIS support both more secure and faster. _

_For next year, we’re looking forward to doing a joint presentation that will allow each group to tune their respective servers to the best of their capabilities, and look into some extra tests. I’m looking forward to it; a bit of friendly competition is benefiting both servers and keeping the audience interested.” _

Sounds like a friendly throwdown to me.

But don’t just take his word for it.  Why don’t you download the test suite and report back your findings?

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1.7.0-RC4: Fourth Time Is The Charm?

Today we have a new release candidate of GeoServer 1.7.x for everyone’s testing pleasure.  We don’t wish to invoke Zeno’s Dichotomy Paradox, but we are in fact very close to the release.  In truth this release candidate only includes six new bug fixes (the most notable regarding projection persistence and Google Earth overlays).  If it seems like we’re going release candidate crazy, rest assured that it is only because we want to ensure that 1.7.0 will be a stable release and not a beta that was rushed out the door.  Give it a try!

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Adesso abbiamo una mailing list per voi

Here’s a quick announcement for all those who understand the above.  GeoServer now has an Italian language users mailing list!  Created and moderated by core GeoServer developer Andrea Aime, the mailing list is a resource for those who would like assistance in all things GeoServer, but prefer to discuss in Italian.  This marks the third language for which GeoServer has a mailing list (the second being Portugese).  Subscribe and say ciao!

From the description of the mailing list:

Il gruppo di discussione degli utenti italiani di GeoServer. Potete scrivere per discutere delle funzionalità di GeoServer e ricevere aiuto. Chi volesse partecipare attivamente nello sviluppo di GeoServer è invitato ad utilizzate la maililing list degli sviluppatori (in inglese).

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GeoServer Rebranded

For the past few months, the GeoServer team has been working behind the scenes on rebranding GeoServer.  Historically, GeoServer hasn’t had a very strong visual identity, but there has been significant interest as of late, especially as talk of the new GeoServer UI has entered alpha status.  So, ace stylers Andy Cochran and Chris Patterson worked their design magic and came up with a new icon, logo, and color scheme.  So now we officially unveil the new look of (and this blog)!  This was an iterative process, and the materials benefited from community involvement (specifically the icon, which now happily manages to squeeze in all continents).  Elements of this design will eventually be incorporated into GeoServer itself.  We also have a website which contains icons and logos available for download.  We hope you like the new look as much as we do.

If you’re reading this blog through an RSS feed, why don’t you check out the site itself?

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Cataloging Archaeological Sites, A MEGA Project

I just ran across this interesting post from a few weeks ago.  It seems that an alphabet soup of non-profit companies, The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), World Monuments Fund (WMF), and Jordan Department of Antiquities (DoA) are developing a geographic information system to manage archaeological sites in Jordan.

The Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities (MEGA) - Jordan will be a Web-based, bilingual (Arabic-English) system that will be used by inspectors, archaeologists, scholars, and government planners involved in cultural heritage management and research.To this end, the planners have embraced open source:

“…Software needs to be open source or low cost, because in Jordan a traditional GIS desktop license costs many times more than the annual salary of a highly trained technical employee.”And not just any open source GIS, too:

The open source software technologies will include PostGIS and GeoServer along with a public mapping front-end such as Google Maps.Not only that, it looks like that MEGA-Jordan is a prototype system set to be eventually deployed to other areas, such as Iraq.  In a part of the world with a rich cultural history and a surfeit of archeological sites, this is information well worth cataloging.

This is a great use of GeoServer in the wild, and I will be following its development closely.  Launch date is tentatively set for fall of 2009.

Read the full press release here.

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