Fossgis: mapproxy workshop - Dominik Helle and Oliver TonnhoferΒΆ

Tags: fossgis, python

After the actuall conference was over, I attended another workshop: about mapproxy. At my work, we have done nothing regarding map caching and proxying and tiling (we have done a lot on regular web caching, though). We’re “just” generating complete images on demand via WMS as lots of our data is pretty dynamic. But there is mostly-static data. And by setting up our software differently, tiling and proxying and caching becomes possible. At the moment I can only dream about what that’ll do to the speed of our web applications... :-) So that’s why I attended this workshop: getting to know at least one of the available map proxy tools.

Ok, what’s mapproxy?

  • Started in 2008.
  • Made with python, so platform-independent. (It is harder to install on windows than on osx/linux, though, probably because of some dependencies).
  • It is more or less a proxy, a cache, between a WMS server and clients. It speeds it up.
  • The advantage of mapproxy compared to most other proxies is that it supports all of WMS, so desktop clients also work fine with it.

A core piece of functionality of mapproxy is that it tiles the map. In order to cache a map, it subdivides it into parts.

What are the possible input data types?

  • WMS
  • WMS-C
  • TMS
  • Tiles (like google maps, openstreetmap).

And what can come out? (Note that this means that you can theoretically take google tiles and turn them into a WMS service!)

  • WMS
  • WMS-C
  • TMS (Tile Map Service, so google-tile-like, only sepecified properly)
  • KML

Some comments from the hands-on-keyboard part of the workshop:

  • MapProxy is just an pip install MapProxy away. Well packaged!
  • You can create an example configuration with paster. This made a good impression on me, as it means it is really a well-packaged python product.
  • Whoever designed those German keyboard layouts should be shot. Twice. Darn, I kept mis-typing all the time.
  • Hey, a nice .ini python paste file to run the server with. Integration with standard python wsgi tools and so easy integration into web servers. Looks good.
  • Some instructions are at http://workshop.omniscale.net/workshop.html

In the end, I found it a very good workshop. Glad I attended. And the mapproxy software left a very good impression on me: I’m looking forward to using it.

Regional train in Mannheim (where I transfered to the ICE to Amsterdam)
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My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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