Developer’s Corner: Customizable arrow in GeoServer


Dear Reader,

Today we want to share a recent development in  GeoServer: an arrow mark whose proportions can be customized to get the type of arrow you’re looking for.
The general syntax for this arrow mark is the following:
All parameters are ratios, and they are all optional. By default the arrow is the usual 1 by 1 mark, whose actual size you can control in SLD via the Mark size attribute. In particular, the parameters and their default values are:
  • t: thickness of the arrow base, between 0 and 1, default is 0.2
  • hr: height over width ratio, a positive number, default is 2
  • ab: arrow head base ratio, between 0 and 1, default is 0.5
The values can be modified to change the proportions of the arrow, for example, varying t between 0 and 1 results in the following arrows:
Changing the height to width ratio will generate arrows that are wider or thinner:
Finally, changing the arrow head base will move the position where the head of the arrow starts:
Playing with all the three parameters will allow you to get the arrow of the desired proportions. Now, what if your desired characteristic is just having a long arrow? Since size is controlled by the mark size attribute, you’ll have to make a big arrow whose height ratio makes for a thin one, and maybe push up a bit the arrow base, like in this example:
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”ISO-8859-1″?>
<StyledLayerDescriptor version=”1.0.0″
 xsi:schemaLocation=” StyledLayerDescriptor.xsd”
      <Title>Thin long arrow</Title>
                    <CssParameter name=”fill”>#000000</CssParameter>
Which will result in the following arrows:


We would like to thanks the GEOS Fugro for funding this work under a GeoSolutions Enterprise Services support contract.

The GeoSolutions team,


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