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We've been successfully using GeoServer for a few years to serve raster tiles of objects contained in a database. In order to improve the user experience and performance, I'm looking into switching to a vector format. That would allow us to delegate a few things on the client side, like hit detection (for selection) or displaying basic object info without having to call a WFS service.

Because there would be too much objects on the screen on low zoom levels, we use SLD styling to filter out less important objects when the camera is too far from the ground. It's important to me that this filtering is still applied with the vector output, so that we don't have to download 100.000+ objects. And ideally, do that without having to change or add anything to the already existing styles.

So to recap, the requirements for my ideal output format would be :

  • Vectorial
  • Can embed features metadata (or at least a unique ID)
  • Is filtered by SLD style rules (I don't mind applying the rest of the style on the client or server)

Now, I've already had a look at the options available in GeoServer. A promising option was the SVG output, but I didn't see any way to include the objects IDs into the output. KML seems to include medatada and styling, but in my initial tests it did not seemed filtered.

I'm not an expert in GeoServer or GIS formats.

Do you have any pointer on a good solution that I might be missing?

A switch to another server might be an option, but we're hoping we can avoid re-writing all the styling.

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Looks like the "vector tiles" module is what you're looking for (assuming that by "metadata" you actually mean feature attributes):

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