MapServer Application: Remote security and monitoring system

Paul G. Allen pgallen at
Thu Nov 2 04:59:25 EST 2000

Even though it's not quite ready for Prime Time yet, I thought I would share my project with the
list. The main things that prompted me to do this is 1) I'm itching for a little feedback, 2) Some
questions about MapServer have arose on the list that I think my application answers, 3) I am (or
will be) in need of additional functionality for my application (such as geo-coding and a method
of providing directions between two points or addresses on the map). Without going into detail
that you can find on the web site, I'll simply tell you it's a security and monitoring device that
works from GPS and LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites. The "What is BlackJack?" link will give you
many more details.

The URL is: (running on my cable modem through a Linux firewall)

The web server and map server are a single Alpha 433MHz machine running Red Hat Linux 6.0
(patched), Apache 1.3.12, Perl 5.6, and MapServer 3.001 (yes, I am behind, but I've been REAL busy
with my "real" job :). MapServer was compiled with Proj 4 and Compaq's math library. I currently
have 12GB of map data available, but have only converted a couple of states into the correct
format for MapServer.

I am also using IBM's DB2 for point data and all information relating to the point data (there are
currently 3600 records in the database from 6 months of testing a prototype unit). DB2 is running
on an AMD K6-180MHz machine (also RH Linux) and uses a proxy I wrote in Perl to exchange data with
the web/map server.

Use the "What is BlackJack?" and "Demo BlackJack" links to see what it does. There are many
features you can not see in the demo because they are either being re-designed or they are simply
not shown because the project is not quite public yet. All web pages are created dynamically by
Perl Scripts, as are the map images, and every page/image combo has a unique name so the server
does not confuse one browser request with another.

One note: Don't enable freeways or MapServer will choke. I don't know why, nor will I worry about
it until I upgrade to the latest version. Since this does not pay my bills, I can only work on it
when I have the free time to do so. At times the proxy has issues as well, but if it dies, a cron
job will restart it.



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