Can the creation date of a SHP file be retrieved via a MAPSERVER call?

Steve Lime Steve.Lime at DNR.STATE.MN.US
Thu Aug 31 23:14:42 EDT 2006

These days the only data files mapserver hits directly are shapefiles so
this would be
a pretty specific addition (i.e. low priority). What about the
possibility of storing the
last modified in a seperate file and using INCLUDEs in 4.10 to get at
them via metadata?
Then you'd have access to that information via a template. I've not
tested that but it
might work.


Stephen Lime
Data & Applications Manager

Minnesota DNR
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155
>>> Bob Basques <bob.basques at CI.STPAUL.MN.US> 08/31/06 12:53 PM >>>
I discounted this approach because I would need a separate list of the 
SHP files ahead of time to pass them in to the CGI request.

Right now, the MAP files is the only location where the SHP file is 
referenced.  That's why I was looking for a way to read the change date 
from MapServer.

Each of our layer are set up with their own MAP file rather than one 
large one.  So getting the info From Mapserver seems like the best 
approach in the long run


P Kishor wrote:
> This document last modified <!--#flastmod file="my_shapefile.shp" -->
> On 8/31/06, Bob Basques <bob.basques at> wrote:
>> Frank Warmerdam wrote:
>>> Bob Basques wrote:
>>>> All,
>>>> Can the creation date of a SHP file be retrieved via a MAPSERVER
>>> Bob,
>>> No mechanism exists to get at this from a CGI or mapscript point of
>> I thought about that, I also thought about using Metadata in the
>> MapFile, IT just seems like a thing that should be available for some
>> reason.  :c)
>> I also thought about using a Web call to a Web Service that could
>> the info ala a folder list display and pass that into the CGI call to
>> mapserver, but then I would need to rig up some access to the SHP
>> itself on the server which didn't seem quite right either.
>> Hmmm, I wonder what it would take to add this into MapServer, I mean,
>> it's opening the file anyway, right . . . .
>> The end product is to display a "Last Updated" message beneath some
>> attribute data.being displayed.
>> A last thought is to use the SHP file itself to store the data with
>> additional column.  That seems like overkill too though.
>> bobb

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