GeoServer Blog

GeoServer User's Map

Since I have been the intern at The Open Planning Project for a couple of months, I think that its about time I introduce myself and what I have been up to. First the introductions. I am Ivan Willig, an undergrad at College of the Atlantic and currently studying urban planning. Now to my work. As some of you might know (if you read this blog) Tim Coulter and Sebastian Benthall have doing some excellent work with GeoServer, Versioning WFS and OpenLayers. The software uses versioning to allow shared editing and viewing history of edits. I have taken their work and applied it to make a new GeoServer user’s map. You may remember the old map, kind of slow and hard to use. I hope that ease of use of the new GeoServer user’s map will encourage all you GeoServer people to post. You will find the GeoServer user’s map at It should be fairly self-explanatory, however if you have any questions let me know at iwillig [at]

You might also notice that user’s map is using nicer styles for the Tiger dataset on Sigma. Tiger is the US Census data set that has high quality data for the whole United States, road, water-bodies… etc. This was the other part of my work at TOPP, redoing the styles for the Tiger dataset. I am building off the work done by Arne Kepp and Portland’s TriMet.

To find out more about integrating GeoServer and Tiger information please visit the GeoServer wiki

Vmap is a similar dataset, produced by the Department of Defense, but covering the whole world. Check out this tutorial out for more info. .

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Announcing GeoWebCache 0.6.0

GeoWebCache is finally out in the open and announced on and other pages. This should really have happened a long time ago, and there are many reasons for why it didn’t, but I am very excited about the current momentum.

GeoWebCache, is a tile cache, meaning it acts as a proxy between the client and the WMS server (GeoServer) and stores the image. If another client requests the tile it can respond in milliseconds, regardless of the complexity of the tile. It is different from a regular HTTP proxy, such as Squid, in that it interprets the parameters and matches them to the best tile supported by the configuration.

It is currently not as mature as say Tile Cache, but has the advantage that you do not need a webserver with Python support. It can either be run in Tomcat, alongside GeoServer, or as a standalone server using Jetty (no binaries are available yet, but we will make them soon).

We have not been sitting still since releasing 0.6.0 either. Based on a customer request we have already added native support for Microsoft Virtual Earth’s quadkey scheme. This is currently available in the repository, and we’ll probably push it out in a new version soon, after looking into whether we can do the same for the Google Maps API.

Looking to version 0.7.0 and beyond we will start working on integrating GeoWebCache more tightly with GeoServer. Some key features are

  • Automatic configuration based on what layers are available . This will obviously have some limitations, since there are important parameters that the user will have to make some decisions on.

  • Update events, so that when the data changes on the backend GeoWebCache will automatically purge the affected tiles and (optionally) reseed them.

  • A nice RESTful API that we can program an easy to use JavaScript client against.

There are some internal structures that should still be simplified, and now that the basic structure has solidified we’ll gradually start adding tests.

Want to see it in action? has been using GeoWebCache for over two months (and uncovered some bugs in the process). We look forward to upgrading the site with something that is really pretty to look at, probably soon.

Please sign up to the mailing lists if you are interested, we’d love to hear back from you so that we can fix bugs, improve the documentation and stake out the general course.

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GeoServer 1.6.0

The GeoServer team is excited to announce that GeoServer 1.6.0 has been released. There are a host of advances from 1.5.x, and many GeoServer users have been testing the release candidates and giving us great feedback, so this final release should be very stable. Foremost among the improvements is a huge performance increase in the rendering of maps (WMS), bringing GeoServer speed that matches the fastest mapping engines in the world. The other big focus has been on tightening everything up, as we’ve been getting more and more feedback from production deployments of GeoServer (which we’ll highlight soon in this blog).

The most cutting edge new feature is support for ‘versioning’ as extensions to WFS-T. This allows users to edit geographic data as if it was a wiki or in a version control system like svn. You can check out the preliminary demo, though we’re working on a more intuitive user interface. The start of that can be seen on our New York annotation demo, which also has a base map served by GeoServer. Right now only PostGIS can support versioning, but we’re hoping to find funding to hook it up to the native versioning in ArcSDE and Oracle Spatial.

There are also a number of other new features, including WFS 1.1 support, which adds reprojection when accessing raw data, as well as the ability for queries to return the number of results expected before getting the full results. We’ve also added a new integrated security subsystem, built on Acegi, to provide role-based access control to GeoServer resources. There is also improved connectivity to Google Maps/Virtual Earth/Yahoo! Maps, leveraging better integration with OpenLayers as well as bug fixes for our Google Earth support.

Also added is the WFS datastore, enabling GeoServer to serve as a Cascading WFS and a Component WMS (also known as a Feature Portrayal Service). Another cool improvement is our WMS reflector, which makes it a lot easier to experiment with map rendering through the browser. There are countless other improvements and fixes, in all over 400 issues were handled for the 1.6.0 release.

Stay tuned for the 1.6.1 release, we’ve already got a bunch of improvements lined up for it that we’ve held off on to get 1.6.0 absolutely stable. Thanks to everyone for all your hard work on this one, it’s a great step forward for this community, and the future is looking quite bright. And just to give the link one more time, the release can be downloaded from

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Another GeoServer Roadmap update

Though it’s a bit overdue, we finally got around to updating the GeoServer Roadmap.  There’s a lot of activity going on, and we generally have a good sense of what should be completed in the next three months, with more and more vague ideas on what may be further out.  I still want to work some more on the long term / dream section, as I’ve had some more fun thoughts recently.  But there should be a lot of great work in the next few months, which is exciting.  Highlights include online SLD editing, integrated tile caching, security improvements, a better ‘preview’ application, and more.  The thing I’m most excited about is the REST configuration service, which should make it much easier to add data programmatically, and is how we’re going to integrate with GeoNetwork Open Source.

The best part of updating the roadmap is looking back at what we hoped to accomplish and seeing what we succeeded in.  This time is a bit of a softball, since we are late on updating so the ‘short term’ ones were supposed to be finished several months ago.  But we aimed to do quite a bit, and most of it has come to pass.  GeoServer 1.6.x is just about to go to 1.6.0, with not only a new security framework, WFS 1.1 and versioning WFS, but also great increases in speed and reliability.  KML support has improved a lot, and is only getting better, as we have some more funded work to make it stream large datasets really well.  The new output formats - GeoRSS, 8bit PNGs, and GeoJSON are now all released and performing well.  And we’ve got a new security system and backend for geocollaboration.  The prototype for a GeoServer 2.0 was built, and feels ready to move on, though unfortunately it has not moved much past a prototype phase.   The only short term goal that was not completed was ECW, MrSID and JPEG2000 support, but those are actively being worked on right now, and we expect at least one pretty soon.  Thanks to everyone for all their hard work, things are really coming together in to a great product, and the future looks even brighter - we’re truly only just getting started.

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GeoServer 1.6.0-RC3 Released!

We are happy to announce the third release candidate for 1.6.0. You can grab it from SourceForge.

That coveted 1.6.0 release is getting closer and closer and we are almost there. The previous release candidate brought out some performance related issues. A memory leak issue and a problem with filter parsing leading to stack overflows. These have been fixed along with some other minor bugs addressed as well. For a complete list of all the good stuff check out the changelog.

Special thanks to everyone who tried out RC2 and reported issues. You can continue to help us get the official 1.6.0 release out by trying out this release candidate and reporting any issues in the bug tracker.

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