I've got a layer with a lot of polygons. These polygons features data which I'm trying to present on my GIS viewer as a background map. Using GeoServer, making a WMS and presetting it on my viewer. But since there are a lot of polygons in the layer, things tend to load quite slowly.

Naturally this can be explained by the speed of the server. But, since I've no direct impact on the speed of the server, is there a way to make this layer faster using GeoServer?

In other words, is a WMS faster than a WMTS or TMS? Is there a other way to make a fast background map without increasing the speed of the server?

Ps. The source of the layer is a table in an PostGis db.


Using a tiled web service allows you to pre-render the tiles. This will make accessing them later on very fast. It works best if the data does not change but if, then GeoServer would simply re-render them appropriately.

GeoServer comes with GeoWebCache which makes this easy to setup and initialise.


As Bugmenot says WMTS or TMS will be faster than WMS as you only have to draw each tile once instead of the whole map each time.

Other things to consider (since they will speed up tile rendering too):

  • Rendering polygons at specific zoom levels (resolutions) is good, but what if you always want them visible? In that case, take it one step further and pre-simplify the polygons as separate table. Then use that table for the "zoomed out" levels. – Kevin Apr 12 '17 at 15:14

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