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We have some polyline and point data in SHP format and would like to serve that data to an OpenLayers client.

First we thought about converting the data to GeoJSON and send it to the client as a whole package, but then we saw that the data is quite large (>500MB) and downloading such an amount as a whole is not a good idea.

So we came up with the idea to dynamically serve the data in a tiled format, using WMS.

We're not really experienced when it comes to do stuff like this, but at the same time, serving some SHPs as WMS shouldn't be too difficult, right?

So what is the easiest and smoothest way to do that? We've heard of GeoServer and MapServer, which one is easier to deploy (We're on CentOS 6). And is the caching of tiles included with serving WMS or does it have to be configured separately?

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possible duplicate of How to Start Web Mapping? – iant Dec 18 '12 at 12:44
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can use both MapServer and GeoServer. I prefer MapServer, but that is more because I know more functionalities of MapServer. Extensive information can be found for both.

MapServer does not include creating a tile cache. For that you can use for instance MapProxy

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Thanks for the hint at MapProxy – wnstnsmth Dec 18 '12 at 13:02
Actually, the MapServer project now includes a caching tool, MapCache. – DavidF Dec 18 '12 at 16:34
That I did not know! Thanks for the info. – Stefan Dec 18 '12 at 17:45
@wnstnsmth for completeness - GeoServer does ship with a tile cache tool (GeoWebCache). Also being pure Java will run on just about any platform. – tomfumb Dec 18 '12 at 18:21

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