[mapserver-users] Interactive display of map polygons & attributes (flash, svg, ...)

Lime, Steve D (DNR) Steve.Lime at state.mn.us
Tue Jul 27 11:02:32 EDT 2010

There are lots of ways to approach a problem like this, but how you'd approach it depends on your requirements, especially in terms of responsiveness and number of users. A lot of the apps I've seen like this basically use pre-rendered data (map and reports) and really are nothing more than an image map. In fact, you could do something like this with a straight image map. If you don't need to support pan/zoom that would be an easy way to go. 

OpenLayers has much of this covered already, but again it depends on the exact requirements. For example, OL has a hover or pause control that you can use to trigger queries (e.g. GetInfo, feature server or straight MapServer) against a layer and then you could use AJAX to update the report/graph area. This can work well but isn't as responsive since the client doesn't know what feature it's over, it has to ask a server process. OL has vector display capabilities that you can tie events too as well for more responsiveness. Which makes the most sense depends on the type and volume of data... 

In any case MapServer's role is that of a data producer, either in batch ahead of time or in real-time.


-----Original Message-----
From: mapserver-users-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [mailto:mapserver-users-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Stefan Schwarzer
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 1:56 AM
To: mapserver-users at lists.osgeo.org
Subject: [mapserver-users] Interactive display of map polygons & attributes (flash, svg, ...)

Hi there,

we're using mapserver since a very long time for different applications.

For an upcoming project, I would like to link more dynamically the map (polygons of communities for example) with the attributes, meaning that when the mouse slides over another polygon it would display a graph linked to that polygon at the side of the map. With this, a user could rapidly browse the different communities and compare the graphs for these.

I guess that - if at all this would be achievable with mapserver - this would need flash or eventually svg output, right? Does anyone know of such an enabling framework? I remember many years ago having seen a demo flash version. And how about SVG? As nowadays browser are more capable of displaying SVG, this could be an interesting, open-source solution too.

The only other "app" I know of able to do such a thing is ArcGIS Server with Javascript of Flex front end. But I am a bit reluctant to jump on that train.

Thanks for any hints,

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