Publishing a PostGIS Table

This tutorial walks through the steps of publishing a PostGIS table with GeoServer.


This tutorial assumes that GeoServer is running at http://localhost:8080/geoserver.


This tutorial assumes PostGIS has been previously installed on the system.

Getting Started

  1. Download the zip file It contains a PostGIS dump of a dataset of buildings from New York City that will be used during in this tutorial.

  2. Create a PostGIS database called “nyc”. This can be done with the following command line:

    createdb -T template_postgis nyc

    If the PostGIS install is not set up with the “postgis_template” then the following sequence of commands will perform the equivalent:

  3. Unzip to some location on the file system. This will result in the file nyc_buildings.sql.

  4. Import nyc_buildings.sql into the nyc database:

    psql -f nyc_buildings.sql nyc

Create a Data Store

The first step is to create a data store for the PostGIS database “nyc”. The data store tells GeoServer how to connect to the database.

  1. In a web browser navigate to http://localhost:8080/geoserver.

  2. Navigate to Data‣Stores.


    Adding a New Data Source

  3. Create a new data store by clicking the PostGIS NG link.

  4. Enter the Basic Store Info. Keep the default Workspace, and enter the Data Source Name as nyc_buildings and a brief Description.


    Basic Store Info

  5. Specify the PostGIS database Connection Parameters

    dbtype postgisng
    host localhost
    post 5432
    database nyc
    schema public
    user postgres
    passwd enter postgres password
    validate connections enable with check box


    The username and password parameters are specific to the user who created the postgis database. Depending on how PostgreSQL is configured the password parameter may be unnecessary.


    Connection Parameters

  6. Click Save.

Create a Layer

  1. Navigate to Data‣Layers.

  2. Click Add a new resource.

  3. From the New Layer chooser drop-down menu, select cite:nyc_buidings.


    New Layer drop down selection

  4. On the resulting layer row, select the layer name nyc_buildings.


    New Layer row

  5. The Edit Layer page defines the Data and Publishing parameters for a layer. Enter a short Title and an Abstract for the nyc_buildings layer.


    Basic Resource Info

  6. Generate the layer’s bounding boxes by clicking the Compute from data and then Compute from Native bounds.


    Generate Bounding Boxes

  7. Set the layer’s style by switching to the Publishing tab.

  8. Select the polygon style from the Default Style drop down list.


    Select Default Style

  9. Finalize the layer configuration by scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking Save.

Preview the Layer

  1. In order to verify that the nyc_buildings layer is published correctly you can preview the layer. Navigate to the Layer Preview screen and find the cite:nyc_buildings layer.


    Layer Preview

  2. Click on the OpenLayers link in the Common Formats column.

  3. Success! An OpenLayers map loads in a new page and displays the layer data with the default polygon style. You can use the Preview Map to zoom and pan around the dataset, as well as display the attributes of features.


    Preview map of nyc_buildings