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I apologies if this is a very open ended question but I need a point in the right direction. I've got GeoServer downloaded and running nicely on my Tomcat server. I want to do something quite simple and make a track from a number of GPS coordinates to show the path of satellite across the earth and save this into a png/gif/jpeg so it can be used by another application.

I thought you'd sort of upload your background image and then plot the tracks onto it. But I don't think thats correct. I need to have the map as a shape file to right?

So what I'd like to do is:

- Have a map of the world
- Read GPS data from mySQL database.
- Plot cooridnates onto map to generate track
- Output track and map as image file. 

Is there away to schedule this so it updates the track every few hours?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Geoserver is only an application that load your data and create a bunch of services so you can use the data in a web mapping application.

The simple options is to use OpenLayers javascript library and draw the data from Geoserver. So you could draw in OpenLayers any jpg/png image showing a world map, then you can get the location from the mySQL database (using php) at fixed periods of time, and refresh the map. In this scenario you do not need Geoserver at all.

If you want to use Geoserver, you must create a layer, in which to store all the positions from the mySQL database, and use OpenLayers to draw that layer. Then you could create a function in Javascript to simulate the moving of the satellite if this is what you need.

About the image you need to pass to other application, please detail on that.

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