[OSGeo-Discuss] MapServer Vs GeoServer

Chris Holmes cholmes at openplans.org
Fri Feb 9 07:54:18 PST 2007

Tim Bowden wrote:
> On Fri, 2007-02-09 at 13:20 +0100, Bart van den Eijnden (OSGIS) wrote:
>> IMHO in general Mapserver is better at WMS, Geoserver is better at WFS. 
>> Although I must admit I haven't checked Geoserver's WMS capabilities in 
>> a while.
>> One big difference is that Geoserver supports WFS-T, i.e. transactional 
>> WFS, and Mapserver does not.
> +1
>> Mapserver is not very efficient against database sources for WFS (uses 1 
>> SQL statement per feature retrieved), Geoserver does much better in that 
>> area. This is especially true for attribute queries in WFS.
> Mapserver is a stable, mature project that has one of the highest
> performing wms servers around.  I'll probably get shot at for this, but
> my own view of geoserver is that while it is very capable, it is still a
> rapidly evolving project that has only just recently started to become
> stable while under very heavy load.

Definitely won't shoot you for that, as it's basically true, on the WMS 
side of the fence.  Pure WMS speed has never been the highest priority, 
since MapServer does it so well.  And indeed we held off on doing any 
WMS for a long while.  GeoServer has focused more on nice looking 
production of complex styles (with anti-aliasing, ect.).  And more 
recently we've focused on making tiles, for use with OpenLayers, 
leveraging TileCache to make the end result work faster, even if the 
dynamic generation is slower.  See http://sigma.openplans.org for an 
example.  Though it still needs to be re-cached with our latest tiling 
improvements - am waiting for 1.5.0 when we can do the raster background 
on GeoServer as well (the demo is currently using MapServer behind 
TileCache for the Blue Marble background).

Putting up this demo server has exposed a few scalability problems, all 
of which have been fixed.  There are likely a few more lurking - we're 
planning on doing some serious load testing ourselves, but with 1.4.0 
we've eliminated all that we could testing with the resources we have. 
But we're hoping to test with some more serious systems relatively soon 
to work out the last remaining kinks.

best regards,


> Just my $0.02
> Regards,
> Tim Bowden
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Chris Holmes
The Open Planning Project
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