On this page, you will learn...

  • a bit about GeoServer in general
  • how you can and should use GeoServer in connection with the MSP Challenge simulation platform

MSP Challenge & GeoServer

MSP Challenge uses GeoServer to store and serve the geodata layers used in the simulation platform. For each Edition of MSP Challenge, one configuration file defines which data layers (as well as models and restrictions) need to be used. The correct configuration file needs to be selected when creating a new session of MSP Challenge in the Server Manager (included in the full platform installer). The Server Manager will create the session and get the correct geodata layers from the GeoServer.

About GeoServer

GeoServer ( is free and open-source software and has, of course, its own documentation and manuals.

GeoServer is developed for interoperability and accepts several input formats; for MSP Challenge, we only use Shapefiles and raster files. The way we have set up our GeoServer instance does not allow viewing the layers nor to use WMS (Web Map Service) or WFS (Web Feature Service); it only serves layers to MSP Challenge.

In GeoServer, geodata layers are organised by hierarchy; workspaces are at the top, then the data stores, layer groups, and layers.

Setting up GeoServer to work with MSP Challenge

Workspaces work like folders; each workspace should be dedicated to a project. It's also how you can control access to different users. Each workplace can be an independent web server. The workspace name should be used as a prefix for each layer. For MSP Challenge, each Edition uses a different Workspace, with the abbreviation of the region's name, NS for the North Sea, BS for the Baltic Sea, etcetera.

Each data store has a different type of data, for instance, Shapefiles or GeoTIFF raster files.

Layers can be grouped by subject (layer groups), for instance, or to make base maps or thematic maps. In layers groups, the drawing order is the order in which the layers are added to the groups. You do not need to use the layer groups for the MSP Challenge; the order and visual definitions for each layer are implemented through the configuration file.

Details about adding layers to GeoServer for MSP Challenge use can be found here.