• Blog posts


    by David Crowther



    Using GeoServer is it possible to group individual Points into Stacked Point Objects?


    Yes, utilsiing the power of Style Layer Descriptors (SLDs) you can publish individual Point Geometry as Stacked Points where a textual value denotes the number of point objects clustered.


    Firstly, in GeoServer you will need to setup a DATA SOURCE connection to your source data and then publish that as a WMS layer. Here I am publishing a Crime Table from my PostGIS database and applying the generic Point STYLE.


    By applying a THEMATIC type Style to the WMS layer I can then colour each feature based on the Crime Type.


    This is a high impact WMS layer, however as there are so many Point objects the map doesn’t help us to identify where Crimes are Clustering.

    After doing a little research I found a link on Stack Exchange with the sample SLD code that would create Stacked Points where individual Points are clustered together - https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/98536/geoserver-point-stacker-does-identify-work-on-non-clustered-points

    In my GeoServer Instance I then created a New Style FileLiverpool Crime Cluster


    .. and copied in the sample SLD code from the Stack Exchange link.


    Once I applied the new SLD file to my WMS layer, I was then able to show Stacked/Clustered Points for my Crime data.


    This was a great start!.... but like any good Thematic Styled map I wanted to then apply colours to make it more obvious where there were a high, medium and low number of Stacked Point objects.

    Checking the SLD it was clear that there were individual RULES for clustering Points at different Zoom/Scales, where each Rule applied:

    • A Point Symbolizer – to set the Colour and Size of each Stacked Point.


    • A Text Symbolizer – to define the size, colour and font of the label being used at each Zoom/Scale.


    In the original SLD there were 2 Rules which defined how the Point Stacker would style the WMS between two different Scales. However, to make this SLD even more useful I wanted to apply different Sizes to the Point Symbolizer, not based on Zoom/Scale but based on the number of Points being Stacked – thus hopefully making the High Numbers have a Larger Symbol.

    With some further research I found another Stack Exchange link that provided an SLD where the Stacked Point Objects now changed size according to the number of Points being Stacked - https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/261711/point-stacker-in-combination-with-other-filter

    Here each Stacked Point has a COUNT value associated to it, and this SLD applied a different sized brown Circle based on the numeric Count value.


    Here is an example of the SLD, using a PropertyIsBetween Rule to define the Size of the Point Symbol using the COUNT value for each object.


    Almost there!... but I now wanted to apply individual Colours against each Count range so that we could show High Clusters with a Red colour and Low Clusters with a Blue Colour – with my ranges looking something like this:


    To do this, I edited the SLD by:

    • Creating 6 Rules – using the PropertyIsBetween syntax to create the ranges as above
    • Edited the Point Symbolizer – to change their Size and Colour based on the Count value
    • Edited the Text Symbolizer – to apply the same Colour as the Point Symbolizer

    Once I then applied this updated SLD the WMS looked like this:


    Finally, I used the new Crime Cluster WMS within my client webGIS – MapThat – to create a high impact Crime Cluster map…


    .. and because MapThat can show attributes from WMS Layers, I created an Info Bubble that allows User to interrogate the Crime Count values across the map.