[mapserver-dev] Map Symbol Idea (IF .. THEN)

Bob Basques Bob.Basques at ci.stpaul.mn.us
Mon Dec 29 12:07:06 EST 2008


Just had a thought about all the map symbol discussions going on.  

I've recently had to work on some emergency management planning teams.  In order to get a system in place that has a chance to work for everyone (across borders), there are certain symbol sets that have some measure of a following at the national and some professional levels for emergency management operations.

Now, in order to get a system in place that people use on a day to day basis (which is the best way to train folks in their use), there needs to be ( I think) a way to change symbology on the fly (so to speak).

Now to the "idea",  what are peoples thoughts on having a IF/THEN clause in the MapServer rendering Stream that allows for swapping out Symbols at the request level?  I know some of this can be handled with SLDs, but that's somewhat limited IMO.  My first thought is to have a set of (possible/optional) alternate symbols that can be used in place of some existing symbols already in use in the day to day operations.  The idea being to switch the interface over to a standardized emergency management mode of operation at the user level.  The local users would still be able to view the map via their historical symbol set, while any outside users (other jurisdictions),  could still come into the system and use the system in a standardized manner.  I'm only bringing up the emergency management aspects, but I'm sure there are other potential uses/application of the capability.

I guess a shorter question would be, how to build into MapServer, support for multiple symbols (per data set)?

I have some ideas about using a similar capability for general GUI improvements as well, but I'll let those go for now.

This may be best handled outside of the MapServer development ranks, but I figured I would ask anyway.



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