I've got a wicked GeoNode instance running, loaded with some basic vector data. I want to be able to serve our local-County aerial imagery as a basemap within GeoNode. I am thoroughly overwhelmed with where to begin...so I'm going to lay out some of my details:

  • Countywide aerial imagery consists of 7 MrSID files, about 1+GB each, in California State Plane Coordinates.

From the basic research I've done, here's the strategy I was roughly thinking:

  • gdalbuildvrt to mosaic .sid's

  • gdal2tiles - would i only create one layer of tiles here in order for ImageMosaic plugin (GeoServer) to consume?

  • gdalwarp - I'll need to warp tiles into Web Mercator sometime, right?

Like I said, I'm a little overwhelmed. Should I use the WMS of GeoServer or go with an independent WMS e.g. TileCache/TileStache or MapBox/TileMill? What kind of workaround will I need to do with my aerials and their native projection? Am I missing a step with gdal_retile and creation of a image pyramid? Thanks for reading, I hope this is a good question for the community ~Joe.

  • If you have a minute, I'd be very interested in hearing what you ended up doing... I'm working on similar situation right now. Cheers!
    – mr.adam
    Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 22:43

2 Answers 2


I wrote a simple tutorial on how to build a pyramid data store in GeoServer (http://www.ianturton.com/tutorials/bluemarble.html), it works with png imagery but providing you have a MrSid licence I believe all the tools work the same way. Once you have the data in GeoServer you can set up GeoWebCache in front of it (in version 2.1) you don't even need to install anything extra. By default GeoWebCache will cache in 4326 and 900913 so there is no need to reproject your data if you don't want to.


Bring in your MrSID images into QGIS Desktop and install the QGIS Plug QMetaTiles https://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/QMetaTiles/ then make folder of tiles or sqlite database mbtiles

You don't need python gdal2tiles.py anymore gdal natively supports writing mbtiles and gkpg tiles (geopackage). However, if you want to run python then use gdal2tiles_parallel.py https://github.com/GitHubRGI/geopackage-python

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