Project Title: Tools for distribution of geospatial information: Creation of webmap services with use of environment MapServer – model locality “Bánovce nad Bebravou“
Type and title of project: Project of research and development: Tools for integration and distributed use of geospatial information
Project coordinator: Ass. prof. Eva Mičietová, PhD.
Geographical project: Mgr. Ľuboš Balážovič
Web Project Editor: Mgr. Roman Boroš
Data Source GKÚ v Bratislave
Application URL adress http://gis.fns.uniba.sk/cgi-bin/mapserv?map=/home/lubos/public_html/banovce.map
Attendance document WMS services in environment MapServer (in the case FB GIS “Bánovce nad Bebravou“)

Introduction

MapServer is development environment for building geographic data (spatially-enabled) internet applications. MapServer is not completed GIS product. Its main function is drawing of spatial bounded data in the form of maps, rasters and vector objects. Besides that it contain also the possibility to create interactive maps, which content is connected with other data.

<þ>MapServer is licenced by licence in accordance with definition of free softver. It means practically, that together with product it is free available also the source code without necessity to pay for its usage. Many operating systems (WINDOWS, Linux, OS X, Solaris etc.) and processors (x86, x64, …) can run MapServer successfully because its open source code.

History

MapServer was originally developed by the University of Minnesota (UMN) ForNet project in cooperation with NASA and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR). Presently, the MapServer project is hosted by the TerraSIP project, a NASA sponsored project between the UMN and consortium of land management interests.

The software (source code) is maintained by a growing number of developers (nearing 20) from around the world and is supported by a diverse group of organizations that fund enhancements and maintenance.

Features

MapServer is able to generate:

  • maps with possibility of scale dependent feature drawing and application execution
  • maps with feature labeling including label collision mediation
  • map element automation (scalebar, reference map, and legend)
  • thematic maps using logical- or regular expression-based classes.

Maps can generate with use of different TrueType fonts and complete output can be generated by own templates.

There are two ways how the MapServer can be used. The simplest way is to run MapServer as CGI script on the base of client response (on server side the web server sends the client response to CGI script, the output from script is sent back to client). CGI script can be handled by any web server (e.g. Apache, IIS,...). Another way of MapServer usage is to call MapServer’s functions directly from users custom application written in any supported programming language (supported programming languages are PHP, Python, PERL, Ruby, Java, C#).

MapServer supports the following data formats:

MapServer can work also with different map projections (more than 1000 projections in library PROJ4) and is able to make transformations between projections.

MapServer application

There are 3 steps to create web map servise (using MapServer): data preparing for distribution, to create MAP file, used for description of layer‘s properties, z-ordering, symbology, appereance of classes, projection and additional graphic elements (legend, overview map, scalebare). The final step is to generate HTML document used as template for generating output HTML document for client.

Fig. 1a: Diagram of Mapserver workflow as CGI script

Fig. 1b: Diagram of Mapserver workflow as WMS/WFS/WCS services

Fig. 1c: Diagram of Mapserver workflow as library for script in PHP/Python/Java/Tcl/C#

The goal was to create simple interactive web application with following features: zoom, pan, queries, turn on/off layers, custom user web interface. The application works also as web map service.

Testing data for application were ZM 10 (map sheet “Bánovce nad Bebravou“).

Final application is possible to test in random web browsers (e.g. MS Explorer, Mozilla-Firefox, Opera) on the address http://our.server.name/cgi-bin/mapserv?map=/absulute/path/our_project.map. Functionality of WMS service is possible to test e.g. in GAIA, uDig, or Quantum GIS on the same address.

Web application (created on the layers of the map sheet “Bánovce n. Bebravou“) is available on address:
http://gis.fns.uniba.sk/cgi-bin/mapserv?map=/home/lubos/public_html/banovce.map.

References

  1. Oficial page of MapServer project http://mapserver.gis.umn.edu
  2. Mitchel, T.: Web Mapping Illustrated, O'Reilly, 2005
  3. Wikipedia (online) http://en.wikipedia.org
  4. Documents OGC In. (online) http://www.opengis.org