GIC has created an open source library called Geoserver-rest which addresses challenges commonly faced by online geospatial platforms: how to efficiently upload an extensive collection of geospatial data and generate dynamic styles for visualization within an online platform.  

With no options available to satisfy both of these requirements, GIC research associate Tek Kshetri developed the Geoserver library for representational state transfer, also known as Geoserver-Rest. Geoserver-Rest is an open source library that manages geospatial data in Geoserver and is capable of dynamic styling for geospatial data types.

Since its creation, Geoserver-Rest has enhanced GIC projects for disaster management and agricultural land management that feature data-rich online portals. For example, GIC’s ongoing project with Land Resources Information Management Systems utilized Geoserver-rest to upload and style nearly 6,000 map layers to Geoserver; this makes it possible to read raster and vector files, apply dynamic styles to them, and publish WMS maps.

Other open source libraries are available to support Geoserver data needs but fall short in key areas. A widely used, previously existing library called GS Config was developed by the Geonode community for the Python 2 scripting language. While GS Config also features compatibility with Python 3, it lacks documentation as well as dynamic styling. Geoserver Client PHP is another library available but with limited functionality. 

Geoserver-rest is filling a niche left open within the Geoserver online development community.  At the time of writing, the library has been downloaded more than 24,000 times from GIC’s Github page. Geoserver-rest  is open source under the MIT license and is freely available for download and collaboration. Click here for the Geoserver-Rest Github repository and here to access related documentation.

Geoserver-rest version 2.0.0 is scheduled to be released by the end of May 2021 with new features including styling originating from Geoserver-Rest (as opposed to coming from QGIS), as well as bug fixes.

For those interested in learning more about WebGIS, Tek has created a 6.5 hour online course offered through Udemy titled Geodjango: from Development to Deployment. The course takes participants through the basics of WebGIS to server deployment using Geoserver-Rest. It is currently ranked as a Udemy bestseller course with more than 130 students to date.

Please visit GIC’s Github page to stay up-to-date on the latest updates to Geoserver-Rest.