I have a large number - more than 60 thousand - of relatively small Geotiffs, usually from 2 to 12 Mb. I am currently serving them using Geoserver, but things are quite slow even inside our own network. I have a hunch that both Geoserver and these Geotiffs are not configured in the best way possible.

Here is the output from gdalinfo for a typical one:

Driver: GTiff/GeoTIFF
Files: se502c_R9_C1_3_T_2531_sec.rsl.tif
Size is 3396, 2271
Coordinate System is:
PROJCS["ETRS89 / LAEA Europe",
            SPHEROID["GRS 1980",6378137,298.2572221010002,
Origin = (4645325.000000000000000,3992425.000000000000000)
Pixel Size = (25.000000000000000,-25.000000000000000)
Image Structure Metadata:
Corner Coordinates:
Upper Left  ( 4645325.000, 3992425.000) ( 15d37'30.88"E, 58d55' 2.56"N)
Lower Left  ( 4645325.000, 3935650.000) ( 15d32'42.77"E, 58d24'30.92"N)
Upper Right ( 4730225.000, 3992425.000) ( 17d 5'21.12"E, 58d50'57.39"N)
Lower Right ( 4730225.000, 3935650.000) ( 16d59'19.12"E, 58d20'29.67"N)
Center      ( 4687775.000, 3964037.500) ( 16d18'44.44"E, 58d37'52.11"N)
Band 1 Block=512x512 Type=Float32, ColorInterp=Gray
  NoData Value=-9999

As you can see they are EPSG:3035. They should be internally tiled. In the Coordinate Reference Systems for Geoserver, it says that both Native SRSand Declared SRS are EPSG:3035, and that the handling should be to reproject native to declared.

My web client overlays these Geotiffs on a standard OpenStreetMap layer in Web Mercator. All the geotiffs we have tried appear correctly, so I guess reprojection is still happening at some stage.

Would I gain any speed changing the declared SRS to Web Mercator? Or reprojecting the original Geotiffs to Web Mercator? What other properties of the Geotiff could I tinker with?

Bonus question - if a Geotiff is changed, reprojecting or retiling or what have you, does the Geoserver layer associated with it also change automatically?

  • I guess that your service is rather fast at zoom level 13 and above, am I right?
    – user30184
    Mar 16, 2016 at 13:43
  • I ran a few experiments, and I can't really see a lot of difference, to be honest. Zooming close in will need to load a smaller part of the image before filling up the screen, certainly.
    – Btz
    Mar 16, 2016 at 16:38
  • I know absolutely nothing about GEOSERVER but I would say 12Mb is not a small file size! You don't say what these tiffs represent, so can you change the pixel type from float to integer, that should at least significantly reduce the file size?
    – Hornbydd
    Mar 16, 2016 at 17:39
  • 12 MB is not a small file size for a geospatial image, it is tiny.
    – user30184
    Mar 16, 2016 at 22:19
  • @Hornbydd Unfortunately the pixel type needs to remain a float. The Geotiffs represent depth in meters. Also Geoserver is very capable of handling Geotiffs that are Gigabytes in size, so measly 12 Mb should not cause it so much trouble.
    – Btz
    Mar 17, 2016 at 9:36

1 Answer 1


I have read somewhere that Geoserver puts a lot of overheads in dealing with too many files open when it comes to handle cached tiles. We had to build very big GB tiffs from a bunch of smaller ones and then create internal overviews of the monstruous one, and this, surprisingly, made things much faster... I guess if you do a search on that direction you might find new clues... good luck

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