Anti-Grain Geometry A high quality graphics rendering engine that MapServer 5.0+ can use. It supports sub-pixel anti-aliasing, as well as many more features.
Wikipedia provides excellent coverage of CGI.

EPSG codes are numeric codes associated with coordinate system definitions. For instance, EPSG:4326 is geographic WGS84, and EPSG:32611 is “UTM zone 11 North, WGS84”. The WMS protocol uses EPSG codes to describe coordinate systems. EPSG codes are published by the OGP Surveying and Positioning Committee. A list of PROJ.4 definitions corresponding to the EPSG codes can be found in the file /usr/local/share/proj/epsg. PROJECTION describes how to use these in your Mapfile.

See also for a listing of spatial references and an interface to search for spatial references.

Filter Encoding

Filter Encoding is an OGC standard which defines an XML encoding for filter expressions to allow for spatial and attribute querying.

FreeType is a font engine that MapServer uses for accessing and rendering TrueType fonts.

GD is a graphics library for dynamic generation of images. It was the first graphics renderer that was available for MapServer, and was required by MapServer to operate.


GD support was removed in MapServer 7.0.

GDAL (Geospatial Data Abstraction Library) is a multi-format raster reading and writing library. It is used as the primary mechanism for reading raster data in MapServer. It is hosted at
Geometry Engine Open Source is a C/C++ port of the Java Topology Suite. It is used for geometric algebra operations like determining if a polygon is contained in another polygon or determining the resultant intersection of two or more polygons. MapServer optionally uses GEOS for geometric algebra operations.

Geography Markup Language is an OGC standard which defines an abstract model for geographic features

See also

WFS Server

GPS eXchange Format is an XML Schema for describing GPS data. OGR can be used to transform and render this data with MapServer.
Map Scale
A treatise of mapping scale can be found on
Mapfile is the declarative language that MapServer uses to define data connections, map styling, templating, and server directives. Its format is xml-like and hierarchical, with closing END tags, but the format is not xml.
MapScript is an alternative the the CGI application of mapserv that allows you to program the MapServer object API in many languages.
Wikipedia provides excellent coverage of the Mercator projection.

The Open Geospatial Consortium is a standards organization body in the GIS domain. MapServer supports numerous OGC standards.


OGR is the vector data access portion of the GDAL library. It provides access to a multitude of data formats.

See also



Observations and Measurements is an OGC standard which defines an abstract model for sensor based data.

See also

SOS Server

OpenLayers is a JavaScript library for developing draggable, “slippy map” web applications.
PROJ.4 is a library for projecting map data. It is used by MapServer and GDAL and a multitude of other Open Source GIS libraries.
A map projection is a mathematical transformation of the surface of a sphere (3D) onto a 2D plane. Due to the laws of the universe, each type of projection must make tradeoffs on how and what features it distorts.
A raster is a rectangular grid of pixels. Essentially an image. Rasters are supported in MapServer with a layer type of RASTER, and a variety of formats are supported including GeoTIFF, JPEG, and PNG.

Shapefiles are simple GIS vector files containing points, lines or areas. The format was designed and published by ESRI and is widely supported in the GIS world. It is effectively the native and highest performance format for MapServer.

See also



SLD is an OGC standard which allows for custom symbolization for portrayal of data.

See also



SOS is an OGC standard which provides an API for managing deployed sensors and retrieving sensor and observation data.

See also

SOS Server

Spherical Mercator
Spherical Mercator is a term used to describe the PROJECTION used by many commercial API providers.

Scalable Vector Graphics is an XML format that MapServer can output. It is frequently used in browser and mobile devices.

See also



Shockwave Flash format that MapServer can generate for output.

See also

Flash Output

Simplified Wrapper Interface Generator is the library that MapServer uses for generating the language bindings for all languages other than C/C++ and PHP. MapScript describes these bindings.

A tileindex is a Shapefile or other Vector data source that contains footprints of Raster data coverage. MapServer can use a tileindex to render a directory of raster data. The tileindex allows MapServer to only read the data that intersects the requested map extent, rather than reading all of the data.

See also

Tile Indexes

Geographic features described by geometries (point, line, polygon) on a (typically) cartesian plane.

WCS is an OGC standard that describes how to systematically produce structured Raster cartographic data from a service and return them to a client

See also

WCS Server and WCS Use Cases


WFS is an OGC standard that describes how to systematically produce structured Vector cartographic data from a service and return them to a client.

See also

WFS Server and WFS Client


Web Map Context is an OGC standard which allows for sharing of map views of WMS layers in multiple applications.

See also

Map Context


WMS is an OGC standard that describes how to systematically produce rendered map images from a service and return them to a client.

See also

WMS Server and WMS Client