The GeoServer team is pleased to announce the latest release in the stable 1.5.x series. It’s great to see GeoServer settling to be a really mature project, as most of the changes done for 1.5.1 were actually improvements instead of bug fixes. The big change is that we’re shipping with OpenLayers as our default preview and demo application. And we took a bit of extra time to get GeoServer producing tiles with nice labels by borrowing ‘metaTile’ ideas from TileCache, creating them on the fly and in memory. This summer we’ve got a Google Summer of Code project to work on Tile Caching, so soon those tiles will be cached to disk (and distributed about) as well.
The other fun OpenLayers improvement we’ve got is making it available as an output format. So instead of
You can do
and you’ll get an interactive OpenLayers map instead of a mere png image. Just put Format=application/openlayers on any WMS request and we’ll make an OpenLayers map with it, changing the default parameters as you pass them in.
And if putting in all those WMS values in is too much for you, we’ve now got a WMS reflector that makes some guesses as to reasonable defaults. So you can do:
The defaults aren’t ideal yet, we’re hoping to improve them for the next release to be able to derive more defaults, like take in to account the bbox of the dataset.
Past OpenLayers we’ve got a lot of nice KML improvements. First up we’ve got templates, see the new tutorial on this great feature. We’ve leveraged the great FreeMarker templating library to give users incredibly powerful control over the output of KML pop-ups. Soon we’ll also make this available to GetFeatureInfo and GeoRSS as well. Our old pop-ups would just dump attribute information, now users can make use of KML’s html features and link in content using the information stored in their geospatial data.
Other KML improvements include our first crack at SuperOverlays, which are easily one of the most powerful features in Google Earth. We’ve taken most all the complexity out of them, allowing users to just configure their layers in GeoServer and we’ll automatically do the super overlay. Right now GeoServer generates all data on the fly, but soon we should have a few caching options. We also have a few other small improvements for KML, like picking up point icons from SLD, a param to add a Legend to Google Earth, and cleaning our output up so it works with Google Maps better.
We’ve also had some great contributions this release. Saul Farber of MassGIS has his ArcSDE raster support in pretty good shape, and is looking for users to test it out and give feedback. If anyone gets it going with Google Earth Superoverlays do let us know. More details will be on this blog soon. The other nice contributions were translations of the web admin console to Chinese and Portuguese, adding to Spanish, German, Japanese, and French.
Please give us feedback on this release, especially on documentation and the KML improvements. We’re looking to do a big press release for the next release to highlight the recent work, and hopefully pick up some new users, so want to be sure everything is really tight.
As many may know GeoServer is one of the many open source projects involved in this years Google Summer of Code initiative. We are very pleased to announce that two GeoServer based projects were accepted and would like to congratulate those students who submitted proposals on a job well done.
Christopher Whitney will be working on a Java port of the popular TileCache library written in Python. This is an exciting project for GeoServer as the topic of tile caching has become a very hot one these days. A port of TileCache to Java will allow for tight integration of a tile cache directly into GeoServer so tile caching can be acheived out of the box without the need to set up an external tiling server.
Anthony Manfredi will be creating a style editor for GeoServer which will allow users to directly edit SLD documents from the GeoServer web interface. A styling component directly integrated into the web ui is something everyone has wanted for quite some time and will a long way in terms of usability.
So a warm welcome to the community for both Christopher and Anthony, we look forward to having you with us this summer!
Geoserver 1.5.1-rc1 has been released, and can be downloaded from SourceForge.
This release contains a number of interesting new features such as:
OpenLayers map preview (replaces the MapBuider previews)
KML legend support
KML superoverlay / region support
Multiple base map layers can now be configured
Support for CRS with units other than meters is back
And as always numerous bug fixes. The entire issue log can be found here on our Jira issue tracker.
We’d like to release this one as stable soon. Please test it, and let us know if you spot any significant regression.
Just wanted to share some international developments in the community - the energy in Brazil around GeoServer seems to have crystallized in some great ways. Fernando Quadro has informed us that he gave an introductory course to GeoServer at III ENUM. Afterwards participants were interesting in sustaining communication, so they started a new GeoServer Portuguese mailing list. After he let us know about this we put out a call for Portuguese translations to the web administration tool, which someone from his lab completed, and is now in our repositories for release in 1.5.1 (coming very soon). Also on the Brazilian front, Puneet Kishor recently went on a fruitful trip to Brazil, and has got us in touch with Lúbia Vinhas, the Development Manager of the TerraLib project. I learned about TerraLib when I lived in Brazil for six months, and it’s a very impressive piece of work. We’re hoping to talk more about how to integrate OGC standards and the OSGeo stack with their great work, to share more collaborative effort. It may not end up being GeoTools/GeoServer directly, since their work is C++, but we’ll at least be able to talk across interfaces with a bit of work.
We love to hear about local efforts to spread GeoServer, and are always happy to publicize on the main blog and mailing lists. A great first step is a translation of the web administration tool, we also recently got a Chinese translation, to add to the existing French, Spanish, German and Japanese. After that there is documentation and local language forums/mailing lists, which are a great way for non-English speakers to get up to speed, so keep us posted if you’re doing anything along those lines.
Just a quick note, we’ve recently gone live with our new homepage, at geoserver.org. Yes, we know it looks almost just like the old one. The one big new ‘feature’ is that we’ve incorporated a little OpenLayers demo, that serves up data from GeoServer. And it also has a better display of this blog.
The ‘back end’ reason we’ve moved, however, is so that http://geoserver.org becomes the main GeoServer address. We’ve been posting it as our address as much as possible, but since it’s just a redirect it doesn’t necessarily show up in search engines or bookmarks. Eventually we may want to move off of codehaus (though they’ve been great, and we thank them for all their support, we just sometimes want a bit more control), and setting the new homepage now will make that process much easier when the time comes. So please update your bookmarks and any links that you have to use geoserver.org as our main homepage. Thanks!