GeoSolutions helps GeoServer WPS going mainstream

GeoSolutions is funding Andrea Aime’s time to bring the GeoServer Web Processing Service (WPS) module to become an officially supported extension. A proposal has been submitted and is being voted on by the Project Steering Committe; you can track the progress here.

For those who have no idea of what WPS means I can cite part of the description I have found in wikipedia, which is very informative:
“The (WPS) is designed to standardize the way that GIS calculations are made available to the Internet. WPS can describe any calculation (i.e. process) including all of its inputs and outputs, and trigger its execution as a Web Service. WPS supports simultaneous exposure of processes via HTTP GET, HTTP POST, and SOAP, thus allowing the client to choose the most appropriate interface mechanism. The specific processes served up by a WPS implementation are defined by the owner of that implementation. Although WPS was designed to work with spatially referenced data, it can be used with any kind of data.
WPS makes it possible to publish, find, and bind to processes in a standardized and thus interoperable fashion. Theoretically it is transport/platform neutral (like SOAP), but in practice it has only been specified for HTTP.
WPS defines three operations:

  1. GetCapabilities returns service-level metadata
  2. DescribeProcess returns a description of a process including its inputs and outputs
  3. Execute returns the output(s) of a process”
GeoSolutions plans for the WPS module in GeoServer extend beyond simply making it an official extension; in the short term we intend to publish a set of processes that we have developed for FAO which will add support for sophisticated statistics on both raster and vector data as well as other more specific processes (raster crop by polygon to name one).
In the longer term our goals include the following items:
  • Exposing GDAL utilities (e.g. gdalinfo) as WPS processes
  • Exposing Octave functions as WPS processes
  • Exposing IDL routines as WPS processes
  • Raster Algebra support via JAI-Tools
  • Improving support for grid processing
  • Improving support for clustered processing for superior scalability
Stay tuned for more information and, if you want to know more, you can always contact us directly!
The GeoSolutions team.