I am trying to serve a large (1GB+) GeoTiff file using GeoServer and ImageMosaic.

iant have written a simple guide for this, which he proposed as an answer for a previous and similar question.

I have used his gdal_retile example and this gave me a folder with lots of tiff files and 8 subfolders (1-8, level 1 having the most zoomed tiles and level 8 a small overview tile).

I created an ImageMosaic store in GeoServer 2.1.3 and pointed my URL to the folder containing the tiff files and the 8 subfolders. GeoServer then put 8 files in the same folder.

I published my ImageMosaic store as a layer and when doing a preview inside GeoServer, Java just starts working and I don't know if it will ever finish.

What am I doing wrong here?

  • 1
    Try an image pyramid datastore instead of an image mosaic
    – Ian Turton
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 12:48
  • iant: Write an answer telling me to properly read your guide, and I will accept the answer ;) ImagePyramid seems to work very well and I guess I read ImageMosaic everywhere instead of ImagePyramid :s
    – Chau
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 12:59

1 Answer 1


You need to understand the difference between an image mosaic and an image pyramid.

  • A mosaic is for stitching together a number of images of the same resolution.
  • A pyramid is a series of increasing resolution tile sets that speed up the display of large images.

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