GeoServer Blog

Translators Apply Here

As we get closer and closer to GeoServer 1.5.0 it is time to make sure that our translations are up to date. Currently GeoServer maintains translations for the French, German, Spanish, and Japanese languages. We have been able to so with kind contributions from our users. And we are always looking to expand in order to support new languages.

So… are you a GeoServer user whose native tongue is not English or one the languages listed above? Are you looking to get more involved in the GeoServer project? Well what better way to so then to become a translation maintainer. Heck, its the easiest way to obtain commit status without writing any code :).

If interested please do not hesitate to post a message to the users list and let us know. The Translation Guide details the process of maintaining a translation and what you will be getting yourself into. Any contributions will be much appreciated by all of us in the GeoServer community.

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Help us test 1.5.0-RC3!

The GeoServer team has been working away trying to get things ready for our completely stable 1.5.0 release. We’re crossing our fingers that this is the final release candidate, but we want to make sure it’s incredibly solid. So you can help us out a ton by downloading the release and reporting any and all problems. Even small ones, even documentation being a bit off. As we really want to get this out the door we promise that most any real new bug reported will be dealt with incredibly fast.

There have been a number of fixes for this release, we greatly improved error reporting in the GUI with regards to setting up files (shapefiles and rasters), and added a ‘directory datastore’ for easier management.  The two of these greatly improve the work flow for the most common data adding operations.  We’ll try to get the documentation on using this new feature up to date soon, but it should be pretty obvious from the gui. A bug with rotation in image files was fixed, along with multi geometries in in-line features. PostGIS also now has an option to use ‘estimated extents’, for those with huge datasets. And a ‘reflector’ was added to allow defaults for WMS requests, more docs on that soon as well. Also improved were SLD parsing, date handling and logging. If you want to get to the nitty gritty of the bug fixes, the full change log is available.

I personally am really excited about this coming 1.5.0 release, it feels really solid, has a lot of great new code, and really represents a (first) culmination of all the hard work that the Geo-Solutions guys have put in. It’s great to see GeoServer grow in to an even more diverse community. It’s a challenge to deal with all the incoming code at once, but one of those ‘good’ challenges that means there are just lots of big new features coming our way. Look for an Ingestion Engine, WFS versioning, 4d+ Coverages, Complex Features, better Google Earth support, a new UI, and WFS 1.1 all coming online pretty soon. It’s an exciting time.  Shoot, that reminds me, I probably should update the road map again.  I just can’t keep up with all this great work.

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The 37 gigabyte GML file

As GeoServer matures one of the main focuses becomes the ability to scale - dealing with both large amounts of data and large amounts of users. I got a bit of time to play with GeoServer a week or so ago, and wanted to test out a bit of the large data side of things. On our geoserver demo site, we’ve got about 19 gigabytes of data that we’re serving up. It’s all available through the WMS with OpenLayers on the front end, but the data is never exposed all at once. One of GeoServer’s strengths is the WFS, which provides access to the raw vector data, so I wanted to try to download the whole dataset.

GeoServer has some great fundamental design, as its built in such a way that data is never really held in memory, it streams from the database in to GeoTools java objects and then out to the appropriate output format. So in theory we should be able to stream GML from databases of any size. So that’s what I did, and there were absolutely no memory errors or other problems. Due to the verbose nature of GML the file GeoServer produced was about 37 gigabytes - containing road, landmark, and water data for the whole US, and country boundaries and place names for the world. The data was came down at 4.97 MB/s, which I don’t think is too bad for transforming it to GML on the fly. One interesting thing I noticed that with larger datasets there’s a noticeable pause before the data starts returning. With small datasets the streaming nature of GeoServer tends to produce results right away. So we’ll have to do some investigation to see what’s taking that time - hopefully it’s something we have control over and not buried in PostGIS or some such. I do believe that GeoServer can handle databases of any size, and would love to hear reports from people out there working with even bigger sets of data.

In the next couple weeks we’re also going to have Justin set up a better testing suite for scalability, using JMeter. A number of people have done testing against GeoServer with it before, but in a more ad hoc way. This will build the tests in to the source distribution, so that we are sure it gets run with every release, so we don’t have any regressions. There have been many speed improvements of late, and many more to come, so we want to be sure that other changes in the code don’t accidentally affect things. One more tidbit of scalability news, Gabriel reported that he attended a meeting where someone reported some GeoServer benchmarks, successfully supporting 1000 requests.

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GeoServer 1.5.0-RC2 released

The GeoServer team is proud to announce the second release candidate for the 1.5 series. This release brings us closer to the stable 1.5.0 release of GeoServer that contains the new and exciting coverage support (WCS). To compliment the release we have created more documentation and tutorials, along with some tools to help you process your raster images.

You can download the latest version here.

Changes in this version include:

  • Bug fixes
  • Kml returns proper PNG files
  • Kml strips out illegal characters now
  • Improved error messages
  • UI improvements
  • Inline features are back
  • Links to old homepage updated
  • Performance optimization

The full changelog for this release can be found here.

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Call For Workshops

Several deadlines are approaching to turn in proposals for conferences and events, most notably FOSS4G and Google’s Summer of Code, and we are currently working out what we would like to present. This is a great time to get input from the community to see what you would like us to talk about, demo, teach, and share with everyone. So lets talk briefly about the two events and what we have planned so far:

FOSS4G: This year it is being held in Victoria BC, Canada, and is a great conference to learn about everything geospatial that is open source. Last year we presented a three hour workshop to teach people the basics of setting up and using GeoServer. To plan for this year we would like to start by getting input now on what you would like us to cover. So far we have proposed doing more than one workshop: a basic one and a more advanced one. The basic workshop would cover: installing GeoServer, simple WMS queries, simple WFS queries, and some work with SLD. The advanced workshop, if we have one, could contain a number of topics from advanced WFS-T to creating your own GeoServer plugins in Java. If you have any ideas on what you would like to have us talk about, please let us know. We want to make sure you get the most out of the conference.

Google Summer of Code: This provides a unique opportunity to get your hands dirty with some open source code and get paid at the same time! We are thinking about an entry or two and have started a discussion page. Jot some ideas down on the wiki page or talk about it in this blog post. We are open for any ideas. Current ideas we have are: an SLD editor, GPS to shapefile tool, a server use/availability Google desktop widget.

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