I spent many sleepless and desperate hours trying to solve my problem. All links in google are now purple, no blue unread links. You guys are my last hope in solving my seems to be a simple problem.
Okay, I have an online app which is a customised module of Drupal 7. When a user types any address in the text-field the module converts address into long/lat and then performs multiple json calls to various servers and databases to collect various data. Basically, the user gets a PDF-report with something like:
- the nearest school is located about 1km away from this house
- crime rate in this area is low
- property prices here are high
- bla bla bla
- public transport is good
- ...and this is an aerial view of your house.
This is where the problem starts. I am trying to place a JPG file provided by our government ArcGIS server into my report. The government server is a bit slow. Sometimes it produces JPG view fast, but about 20% of requests are being ignored. Even if I open that URL in 4 browser windows and hit ENTER 3 of 4 images come nice, but 4th will fail. Or not fail today, but will fail tomorrow. It is just unpredictable and unreliable.
So, I decided not to depend on our government server and to get a copy of all imagery on my server. I am interested in about 50x50km block of land (1 big city).
After searching around I came across GeoServer as a suitable platform to host imagery and provide my app with map export capabilities. I was also considering MapServer and Mapnik. So, not yet sure that GeoServer is the best choice for me.
Okay, I am running my site on AWS EC2 server (Ubuntu).
Now, the question is how can I extract lowest layer of Imagery from government ArcGIS server and import it into my GeoServer? Can I request it all if geo tiff? Should I design some sort of script to simulate fly-over and saving its imagery on the fly?
The government ArcGIS server offers REST / SOAP / WMS interfaces. I can run query EXPORT to say capture 2000x2000px image of any BBOX and save it, but there are too many blocks. I could script a loop with about 500m step to walk through the map up and down, but I believe there should be a better way of doing that.
I have a qGIS which is able to connect to the server via WMS and even save some tiff of the current view. But I couldn't the way to save a whole layer into geo-tiff or something.
There are some vector layers also available (borders of properties, roads, parks, etc) so I'd love to save these to my GeoServer too.
As for licensing, the imagery is provided on Creative Commons base.