I have a point shapefile of Persons (The point is located at the registered address of the person) and a polygon shapefile of parcels.

There is an owner_id attribute in the parcels shapefile, which links the owner in the persons shapefile to the the parcel ( For the sake of argument lets assume that one parcel can have only one owner, while one person can own multiple parcels)

If I was working with ArcGIS, I would have created a relationship class to link these two featureclasses in the Geo-database, and then Published the data using ArcGIS Server. I could then use Query Related Records (Operation) on the Rest End point in my Web App.

But I'm working with the Open source stack (Qgis+PostGIS+Geoserver+OpenLayers). What is the way of modelling these relationships in this stack?

Right now I have the primary-key foreign-key relationship set up in the PostGIS Database, and have published these two layers as two different services. Whenever I need to find related records, I have to manually run WFS requests on the other layer.

Is there a better, more standard compliant or best-practice way of doing this in the Open Source Stack?

1 Answer 1


You are describing what the OGC world calls a complex feature. GeoServer supports this through the App Schema plugin - see this tutorial for a (fairly) clear introduction to this.

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