How to retrieve data from a GeoServer?

Sry Handini Puteri
Oct 16 · 3 min read

Below is the compilation of information from various sources, mostly ArcGIS help. Wisely speaking, this one is not very well structured. There are many questions that juggling here and there. So I try to grab only essential information. This only serves the questions that pop up in my mind. So here we go :

What is Geoserver?

GeoServer is a Java-based software server that allows users to view and edit geospatial data. GeoServer is massively used for the purpose of map creation and data sharing. Simply put, you can share, edit, connect and visualize your data to a global virtual data-server such as Google Earth, Nasa World Wind, Open Layers, and many more.

Big amount of data can be shared easily without hassle. No need to download the data one by one. Of course, when you’re competing with time, GeoServer can be a very efficient option. Especially when you’re working with a team from different parts of the world.

What is the Service Directory?

The Services Directory allows you to browse the contents of an ArcGIS Server and obtain information that can be useful when developing applications. The Services Directory is a view of the ArcGIS Server REST API in HTML format.

With the Services Directory, you can do the following:

  1. Browse the contents of the GIS Server and get service-level metadata
  2. Navigate a series of links to view information about the services on your GIS Server. The links also allow you to preview how your service looks in ArcGIS Desktop, a Web browser, ArcGIS Earth, and so on.
  3. Get information to help you develop applications.

When you develop applications with the JavaScript APIs, you must provide URLs to services and the layers and functionality they expose. The Services Directory provides an interactive way for you to construct those URLs.

How to User Service Directory?

When you open Services Directory, you first see the home page, which lists all services in the root directory along with any folders containing additional services. In addition to the name of the service, you can see what the service type is such as MapServer or GeocodeServer.

Note: The server administrator determines the folder structure. You cannot control this through Services Directory.

What is ArcGIS REST API?

The Services Directory works using REST. REST is an architectural style that allows ArcGIS Server to reveal a hierarchy of information about itself through endpoints or URLs. When you use the Services Directory, you navigate through a series of links to discover information about the server. Each time you click a link, you see a new page that reveals additional information about what’s available on the server. The information that you see on the page is retrieved through REST using the page’s URL.

These are examples of Service Directory:

The example of REST Services Directory that is used by BNPB (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana)
The example of REST Services Directory that is used by BNPB (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana)
The example of REST Services Directory that is used by BNPB (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana) to share the geospatial information during the emergency phase of disaster.
Sample Service Directory by ESRI

How to Connect Geoserver to your QGIS?

  1. On the left panel, right-click on ArcGisFeatureServer. Then click “New Connection”
On you QGIS Left Window, click on ArcGis Feature Server
The new window will pop up
When it’s connected, it will look like this
All the data will be automatically retrieved in your QGIS

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