I am wanting to build a web mapping application and am trying to gather all the pieces that I'll need. Is it possible to build REST services with opensource Geoserver from an ArcMap document and tools built in ESRI like I would using Arc Server Manager?

Basically what I would like to do is build a website with a Flex Mapping application with geoprocessing widgets from my Arc Map document, build the rest services for it with Geoserver, and host it on something like Amazon Ec2. Is this possible?

-Thanks Adam

2 Answers 2


There are several aspects to this question - unfortunately I don't think there is a straightforward answer. I'll try and break it down into chunks and answer each one.

Using an ArcMap Document

I don't think it will be possible to use the ArcMap document directly, however you could use the data sources contained within it. Geoserver will support the use of shapefiles or ArcSDE and of course will support numerous raster formats. Styling wise you are going to need to convert the styling of your layers to SLD and hen import these into Geoserver. There are some extensions you can get that will create an sld file from a layer - Arc2Earth being one example.

REST Services

You can't use Esri style REST services from Geoserver because there is no support, however Esri has published the specification so it would be possible to roll your own extension.

Geoprocessing Widgets

Again, I don't think you can use the ArcMap document directly so instead you would need to look at using the WPS extension of Geoserver and then wrapping it in an Esri REST service using the specification.

If you can achieve this then you can use Esri's Flex API to build the client and connect it to Geoserver to provide the REST services.

Good luck!

  • I really appreciate the help. I figured there wasn't going to be a straight forward way, but you have given me a few places to start. Thank you!
    – Adam
    Nov 3, 2012 at 14:25

Just an opinion, but I think you're approaching this question from the wrong angle, you're giving a stack of technologies and asking for help putting them together, I think you would get more helpful answers if you presented us with your requirements, as in what does this web map need to do.

I don't know your requirements, but nine times out of ten, the answer would be to avoid spending a lot of time rolling your own and to use either MapBox, CartoDB or MangoMap.

MapBox: If you need really fine grained control of the cartography and scale

CartoDB: If the app needs to do any geospatial queries or heavy lifting

MangoMap: If you want to get up and running quickly and offer a rich interface with lots of features search, embedding, queries, print etc.

  • You are probably right Chris. I am most familiar with ESRI products, and was looking for a way to build a web mapping application with geoprocessing capabilities, that wasn't going to cost me and arm in a leg to host it. So far it seems if I want to use any ESRI products it will cost. I will be checking out the links you provided. I appreciate the help and input.
    – Adam
    Nov 6, 2012 at 17:57

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