I have an issue with viewing GeoServer 2.13-generated tile cache layers in QGIS 2.18.18 on Windows 10. The tile cache layers in GeoServer are being viewed in QGIS via an Add WMS/WMTS Connection, with a WMS connection URL of http://localhost:8080/geoserver/wms?tiled=true. GeoServer is configured with the Direct WMS Integration option selected, which allows WMS requests served through GeoServer to be cached as if they were received and processed by GeoWebCache. When viewing tiled layers from GeoServer with a URL like http://localhost:8080/geoserver/geospace/wms?tiled=true&service=WMS&version=1.1.0&request=GetMap&layers=geospace:Boulder_3857&styles=&bbox=-1.1722528E7,4858919.5,-1.1704111E7,4880837.0&width=1024&height=900&srs=EPSG:3857&format=application/openlayers, the performance is near-instantaneous, as you would expect. However, in QGIS, after adding a GeoServer tiled layer per the WMS connection URL of http://localhost:8080/geoserver/wms?tiled=true, a zoom to layer command takes way too long (~10 seconds for ~230K polygons) to bring up the initial view. After that zoomin/out commands are speedy, but whenever reverting back to the overall layer view the same delay is encountered.

Is this a function of how QGIS handles WMS tile layers? Is there a workaround to speed up the initial view?

2 Answers 2


You can go straight to the GeoWebCache URL, and that will be faster.

What might be happening is that you're requesting a non-tiled WMS rather than WMTS. GWC only has the tiled one, so it's more fool proof.

The URL is something like: http://localhost:8080/geoserver/gwc/service/wmts? and this should work in QGIS just fine.

  • thanks for your suggestion. I had tried a direct connection to the GeoWebCache, and was presented with a menu listing my tile layers. I thought, "this is great", but nothing gets displayed for this type of layer. That is, it gets added to the Layers Panel, but nothing ever displays. A Zoom to Layer right-click takes the view frame to 0,0 (lat-long, even though the CRS is EPSG:3857) at a scale of 1:1. Weird behavior. I was going to detail what was happening with a direct GeoWebCache connection, but this was a new question which I was going to post later. Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 16:00
  • You can add different CRSs to GWC's configuration. That might be it?
    – Alex Leith
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 22:25
  • 1
    Alex, thanks for persisting on this. The PostGIS data layer is in fact EPSG:3857, which matches the tile cache gridset of 900913. However, maybe I should explicitly state the CRS is 900913 in the tile layer Data tab's 'Declared SRS' rather than 3857. You've given me some good things to track down! Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 1:29

After much trial and error, I’ve got a reliable, albeit limited, workflow. As Alex Leith suggested, using a direct GeoWebCache connection URL of http://localhost:8080/geoserver/gwc/service/wmts? in QGIS does work and eliminates the initial zoom to extents lag that I get when using a WMS connect like http://localhost:8080/geoserver/geospace/wms?tiled=true. However, the GeoWebCache URL works only with data that is stored and GeoServer-styled/cached in an EPSG:4326 CRS. I can’t get any other CRS to work at this point.

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