I've been doing some research over the past few days to learn just how I can bring my parcel, right of way, easement etc... GIS data out to the field with me on my Android mobile devices with real-time GPS capabilities. I'm not in a position to spend hundreds of dollars a month for an ArcGIS subscription, so I'm trying to learn OpenGeo Suite instead. I've very limited experience with web servers, linux, etc... so I know I've got a lot of reading ahead of me, but I'm hoping someone here can put me on the right path or let me know if I'm just too far out of my league to do this without a lot of prior experience.

I do have a website and host running cpanel with a bunch of things already installed including Apache 2.2.26. If I'm understanding the OpenGeo instructions correctly, I need to install Apache Tomcat (or something similar) onto my web server in order to install OpenGeo's production WAR bundle? I see they also have installers for Ubuntu and Red Hat, however I have no idea if this is for a web server or desktop computer or either. Am I on the right track with this line of thinking or way off?

3 Answers 3


Consider installing Tomcat along with your Apache installation. You can put Tomcat on the server to serve out the JSPs while Apache can be responsible for the HTTP requests. From this tutorial it does not seem too difficult to configure the two to play nicely together. Once that is done, you can go ahead and follow the instructions here without Boundless to install the suite.

Depending on what you are doing overall, you might be able to get away with just installing GeoServer by itself without needing to install the whole suite. Instructions for the WAR installation are here . If you are just looking to share the data online and display it in a simple application, you can just set up GeoServer, and then use OpenLayers to render the HTTP side of things. Running them both on the same server could run you into Cross-Domain issues so be prepared to troubleshoot that aspect.

When you talk about going out into the field with this data... If you are looking to do data collection/editing in the field, or if you are just looking to view it and follow yourself via GPS, you will need to build an application to do so. You can either build a web application using something like OpenLayers to consume your data and follow your GPS location, or you can build an Android application that will do the same.

This endeavor is daunting but totally doable with a lot of reading. Once you set up a server to share the data (you might also want to consider MapServer found here, too), you need to then consider how you are going to view and use the data.

For viewing and using the data, my company uses two options. On my side of things, I built an application in .NET that pulls the data, caches it, and lets you manipulate and update it remotely, but that development isn't free. The other side of my company does it through OpenLayers and a web interface, but they have run into problems caching larger data sets due to some limitations on the client side. That is a free development route though.

If you are worried about messing things up on your server trying to install GeoServer or another version, try it out on Amazon Web Services first. Boundless has an AMI there ready to go, but it isn't free. I used a free tier account to experiment and set up Boundless before trying it on a 'real' server. I did end up paying a bit for storage and a static IP, but it was only a dollar or two per month. Once you figure it out, repeat it on your server. You could just dive in on your server though.

I did it all with no programming or web background, but it took a lot of reading. Good luck with it!


The OpenGeo bundle is a self contained software and installs all its pre-requisites and dependencies. The software can be installed on both desktop and server OS. There is no separate installer for server specific os. Just install it according to the os specific ist instructions and you will be up and running.


I am looking and researching exactly the same thing but before taking decision (buying hosting package ) i need to be sure ... so far i concluded that for opengeo suite there are 2 cheap options to host 1. buy hosting services which provide a VPS and install the opengeo suite there 2. take a tomcat package build WAR and deploy it, but this is for advance developer i guess . Please correct me if i am wrong. and you you found something do let me know :) Also if i am thinking what if we can share the hosting plans, cost too ?

  • After searching a lot i came to conclusion that if you want to install opengeo suite on webserver (hosting), VPS is best option . If you can work with ubuntu then its added advantage as the ubuntu VPS are cheaper than windows VPS. Jun 8, 2014 at 9:12

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