I am new to GIS area and am having trouble understanding what GeoServer is. Even after reading their site and the wiki page I am struggling to understand its usage. What does it mean by -- "allows users to share, process and edit geospatial data". Who am I sharing with? What am I sharing? Am I opening up a rest interface to query Geospatial data? If so why not call it a web server? Also if that is the case can I think of this GeoServer as an app server? What are some practical use cases for this?
closed as too broad by PolyGeo♦, Devdatta Tengshe, AndreJ, Ian Turton♦ Aug 11 '14 at 9:15
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Essentially it publishes mapping web services from a spatial store. So you're kind of right, in that it's a web server, but one which is specifically designed for spatial data and spatial services - such as WMS.
From there you can include these services in applications you build or in desktop applications where supported (pretty much all of the good ones).
For more learning this is a really good question: