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I am trying to show ECW ortophoto as base layer in openlayers.
So i found this thread on GIS SE:

    Geoserver 2.1.1 with ECW (v3.3) support

1. Download Geoserver 2.1.1 from http://downloads.sourceforge.net/geoserver/geoserver-2.1.1-bin.zip 1a. extract to c:\bin\geoserver

2. Download imageio 1.1.1 installer from http://java.net/projects/imageio-ext/downloads/download/Releases/ImageIO-Ext/1.1.x/1.1.1/windowsInstaller/windows32-imageio-ext-installer-gdal-mrsid-ecw-1.1.1.zip 2b. Install it to c:\imageio 2c. Remove c:\bin\geoserver\webapps\geoserver\WEB-INF\lib\imageio-ext-1.0.8 2d. Copy c:\imageio\lib*.* to c:\bin\geoserver\webapps\geoserver\WEB-INF\lib (imageio installer will also copy gdal dll, ecw sdk dll to your java\bin directory)

3.Add Environment variables for GDAL_DATA c:\imageio\gdaldata GDAL_DRIVER_PATH c:\imageio\gdalplugin

4.Start geoserver

I did all this steps except number 3, what its means to Add Environment variables?
How I do that?

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Normaly adding/removing paths is handled by the installer of a program. But sometimes that is not the case.

If you add the path to the enviroment, the parser (e.g. CMD) will be able to find and execute the programs stored there.

see also the wikipedia thread about environment paths:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environment_variable#Microsoft_Windows

If you want to learn how to add enviroment variables you can check the following tutorial:

http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000549.htm#0

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