TILESEEDER; A NEW TILE MANAGEMENT TOOL
Since 2006 tiling has taken the (Open Source) GIS world by storm. At foss4g 2006 the debate was still on creating a tiling standard. Nowadays there are several server & client programs which support various tiling standards and approaches. These programs are used to serve more and more geodata as tiles.
This enables the users to get fast (and scalable) access to geodata. However with the speed benefit of tiling comes a cost; tile-rendering, tile-storage and tile-management.
To be able to serve tiles at a fast pace, they need to be pre-rendered, where one tile doesn't take a lot of time, millions of tiles do. These pre-rendered tiles need to be stored for fast access, again millions of tiles add up. Finally if data is added, updated or removed, you need to add, update or remove (manage) the tiles containing that data.
In the case of one tiled dataset, this is a reasonable straightforward task. However if you have hundreds of different datasets, which all need to be served in several different tileschemas, this starts to be difficult. Unless you are Google, you most likely don't have the bruteforce-power to pre-render all your data, nor the space to store everything. You probably want to use a smarter approach where only the most viewed areas/zoomlevels are pre-rendered and everything else is done on the fly.
TileSeeder is a new open source tool to manage tileservices in a smarter way. It is designed to assist people in an intuitive way to pre-render entire tilesets or subsets by drawing the required area on a map. It is fully cross-platform and compatible with any TMS service (eg. TileCache and GeoWebCache). The rules to pre-render a subset can be applied to other tilesets, to quickly populate multiple tilesets in the same area.
Steven Ottens - Geodan