PHP MapScript Migration Guide


Alan Boudreault


aboudreault at


$Revision: 10033 $


$Date: 2010-03-30 15:58:30 -0400 (Tue, 30 Mar 2010) $


This document describes the changes that must be made to PHP MapScript applications when migrating from one MapServer version to another (i.e. backwards incompatibilities), as well as information on some of the new features.

Migrating 5.6 to 6.0

PHP Version Required

PHP 5.2.0 or more recent is required. The support for earlier versions has been dropped.

Error Reporting

PHP MapScript now uses exceptions for error reports. All errors are catchable. There are no more fatal errors reported via the standard uncatchable PHP system (Only Warnings).

Manipulating Objects

  • Object properties can be set like all other PHP objects.

$map->scaledenom = 25000;


The set/setProperty methods are still available.

  • Objects can be created with the PHP „new“ operator.

$myShape = ms_newShapeObj(MS_SHAPE_LINE); // or
$myShape = new shapeObj(MS_SHAPE_LINE);


All object constructors throw an exception on failure.


ms_newSymbolObj() and new symbolObj() are different

  • ms_newSymbolObj() returns the id of the new/existing symbol.

  • new symbolObj() returns the symbolObj. You don’t need to get it with getSymbolObjectById().

  • Cloneable objects should be cloned with the PHP clone keyword. There is no more clone methods.

Class Properties

Class properties that have been removed:

  • classObj: maxscale, minscale

  • layerObj: labelsizeitem, labelangleitem, labelmaxscale, labelminscale, maxscale, minscale, symbolscale, transparency

  • legendObj: interlace, transparent

  • mapObj: imagetype, imagequality, interlace, scale, transparent

  • scalebarObj: interlace, transparent

  • symbolObj: gap, stylelength

  • webObj: minscale, maxscale

Class Methods

Class methods that have been removed:

  • imageObj: free

  • layerObj: getFilter, getShape

  • lineObj: free

  • pointObj: free

  • projectionObj: free

  • rectObj: free

  • shapeObj: union_geos

  • symbolObj: getstylearray

  • classObj: clone

  • styleObj: clone

  • mapObj: clone

  • outputFormatObj: getformatoption, setformatoption


layerObj->clearProcessing() method now returns void.


mapObj->queryByIndex(): default behavior for the addToQuery parameter was not ok, now it is.


referenceMapObj has new properties: marker, markername, markersize, maxboxsize, minboxsize.


shapeFileObj is automatically closed/writed on destroy. (At the end of the script or with an explicit free(), unset())


To free the cache, you’ll have to call the method freeCache() rather than free().

Methods that now return MS_SUCCESS/MS_FAILURE

  • layerObj: setProcessing, addFeature, draw

  • mapObj: moveLayerUp, moveLayerDown, zoomRectangle, zoomScale, setProjection, setWKTProjection, setLayersDrawingOrder

  • outputFormatObj: validate

  • scalebarObj: setImageColor

  • symbolObj: setPoints, setPattern

Methods that now return NULL on failure

  • classObj: clone

  • mapObj: clone, draw, drawQuery getLayerByName, getProjection

  • layerObj: nextShape, getExtent

  • styleObj: clone

Methods that now return an empty array

  • layerObj: getItems, getProcessing, getGridIntersectionCoordinates

  • mapObj: getLayersIndexByGroup, getAllGroupNames, getLayersDrawingOrder, getAllLayerNames

  • symbolObj: getPatternArray