MapServer is a free Mapserver project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation ( OSGeo ), also known as a former project of the University of Minnesota ( UMN ) under the name UMN Mapserver or UMN MapServer.

The software provides geo-services according to the specifications of the Open Geospatial Consortium ( OGC ) are available, including Web Coverage Service ( WCS ), Web Feature Service (WFS ), Web Map Service ( WMS) and Sensor Observation Service ( SOS). MapServer is considered stable, scalable, and finds wide use.

  • 7.1 MapServer
  • 7.2 FOSSGIS


With MapServer, it is possible to consider geographic data. Hundreds file and database formats can be processed. It provides its output via the Web from (most frequent case) or via a programming interface ( Mapscript ) to another ( local or remote ) application. The queryable via the server data in relation not only from its local memory, but are also collected from a distributed system from other servers. Either he renders the data to visual representations ( in raster graphics format such as PNG or JPEG or vector data in SVG format ) and delivers it via WMS or it will be issued using the WFS 's inherent qualities in Geography Markup Language (GML ). The included WFS has no extension Transactional (WFS -T), as holding a database connection is generally not possible with a CGI program.

In connection with a client applications can be created, with which one can consider existing map data. MapServer can also be used in conjunction with a desktop GIS, the individual services are used as a data base. It can be queried from variables also return images for legends, scale bars, reference maps, and values.


The software is written in C and uses the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library ( GDAL ). MapServer is usually enabled as a CGI program, an HTTP server.

The configuration file, the map file defines the data sources, data access, the structure and the representation of a map. The path and name of a mapfile can " = map " the MapServer using the URL as Vendor-Specific Parameters are passed. This is an extension of the WMS standard. When a request is the map section brought the necessary output data based on the encoded URL parameters from the request and the rules contained in the map file created and delivered. About the Mapscript interface the mapfile can also be created and changed dynamically. Mapscript was realized with the help of SWIG. On the interface can be accessed using different languages ​​(PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, Perl, C # /. NET).


In the development of MapServer of adherence to open standards is great value given to enable interoperability with other applications. The software complies with the OGC specifications WMS 1.3.0, WFS 1.0. , WFS 1.1 and WCS 1.1.


The first versions of MapServer were developed in the mid 1990s in the project fornet from the University of Minnesota ( UMN ) together with the Minnesota DNR and NASA for Unix - like operating systems. The first release of the product was carried out in 1994. Thereafter MapServer was supported by the NASA -funded TerraSIP project in which the University of Minnesota collaborated with a consortium of land tenure and land development. 1999 of the UMN MapServer source code disclosed and released to the terms of the MIT License. Even today, the prefix " UMN " is commonly used to keep the program from other map servers distinguishable and the official project name simply " MapServer " is. The MapServer project is closely linked with the emergence of OSGeo, which oversees the development of MapServer today.

UMN MapServer Users Conference

The first German-language user conferences OSGeo found from 2003 to 2005 under the name " UMN MapServer Users Conference " took place.

At the conferences was not only talking about the UMN MapServer, but also about other free GIS projects, which is why from 2006 renamed the " FOSSGIS Conference" took place.