July 6, 2006

GeoServer 1.3.2: FOSS server for Google Earth

Chris Holmes writes "The GeoServer Project is pleased to announce the release of version 1.3.2.
We know it's not a very glamorous number - if our project members were
focused on marketing instead of building great software we'd probably
call it GeoServer XT, or perhaps GeoServer: Google Earth edition, to more
accurately reflect what we've been up to. But we think it's a pretty
great release.

GeoServer is an open source, standards-based server of geospatial
information, connecting spatial databases and files to the variety of
clients that make up the 'geospatial web', and allowing user contributed
editing through standard web-based interfaces. GeoServer can be
downloaded at geoserver.org

Improvements for this release include an upgrade to GeoTools
2.2.x, and some performance tuning on the toolkit, with users reporting
at least a 60-70% speed increase against PostGIS. There are also great
user contributed fixes to create PDF maps from WMS and to adjust headers
to allow caching, which can optimize GeoServer for tiling web mapping
clients like Google
Maps
or OpenLayers. The other
big set of improvements were supported by Google, in order to leverage
GeoServer's data reading and map producing capabilities to allow anyone
to make their existing data available on Google Earth. The bulk of the
work was to create KML/KMZ
output
from the open standard WMS protocol, which is compatible with
Google's network link. Also funded was a basic SLD creation wizard, so
that map styles can be created through the web administration GUI.

With the latest additions GeoServer becomes an ideal server for Google
Earth, especially for connecting with existing spatial databases.
GeoServer supports PostGIS, ArcSDE, MySQL, Oracle Spatial, DB2, and
Shapefiles and recent improvements with GeoTools 2.2.x pass the majority
of the spatial processing back to the database. There is also a KMScore
optimization, which has GeoServer render the features as a raster to be
used as a Ground Overlay, for situations when there are too many
features for Google Earth to efficiently portray. GeoServer is able to
handle millions of rows in a geospatial database, and will perform quite
nicely as long as the map is styled efficiently with the Styled Layer
Descriptors (SLD) specification from the OGC. GeoServer remains
'standard by default', so all layers configured for Google Earth will
also be available as standard WMS and WFS. GeoServer's transactional
capabilities also allow a community of users to update spatial data, and
have it available in a variety of formats.

About GeoServer
GeoServer is an Open Source server that connects your information to the
geospatial web. Its focus is ease of use and support for standards,
including serving as WFS 1.0 Reference Implementation (and soon to be
1.1 as well). The goal is to serve as 'glue' for the geospatial web,
connecting from legacy databases and formats to many diverse clients.
GeoServer includes easy to use installers, web administration tools, and
demos to get you going quickly. GeoServer's homepage is geoserver.org, and more information on
features can be found on the features page.
The latest release is found here. The
GeoServer Project is completely open source, in license and development
process, built by a diverse community of contributors,
whom you are encouraged to join. GeoServer is built on GeoTools, an
incubating project of the new Open Source
GeoSpatial Foundation
.

About The Open Planning Project (TOPP)
TOPP's mission is to build technology to enhance the role of the citizen
in democratic society. We believe that a more informed and empowered
populace will effect real change. TOPP draws inspiration from the ideas,
processes and success of the open source software movement. To that end
our tools enhance government transparency and provide opportunity for
citizen participation in shaping society.

TOPP provides funding and leadership for the development of GeoServer,
to help create a more open, interoperable infrastructure of geographic
information. TOPP's interest in this is urban planning, so that
geographic data is more available and open to enable citizen involvement
through the use of simulations and modeling that can be built on top of
the base data. But GeoServer is run in a true open source fashion, able
to meet a variety of needs, and developed by a number of organizations.
TOPP supports a diverse community of commercial providers, and does take
on work related to GeoServer when related to its core mission. Any
'profit' made from providing services on GeoServer is re-invested back
in to the project, building a sustainable open source project that many
can use and improve for their needs."

Link: docs.codehaus.org

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