[mapserver-dev] pdf output development?

Brent Fraser bfraser at geoanalytic.com
Wed Jan 7 10:58:22 EST 2009

I neglected to send this to the list:

Hey Steve,

  I agree that enhancing Mapserver to be a complete map layout tool would be too much of a stretch.  My thought is to use it as preliminary rendering tool, then do the page layout/tweaking in Scribus, Inkscape, or something similar.  For complicated rendering a combination of Python Mapscript and ReportLab (plus a graticule tool) should work.  But first I needed to get Mapserver to render to a specific scale (I don't anticipate any more FORMATOPTIONS); everything else should be easy  ;) 

  I'll move on to testing Scribus as the interactive touch-up tool, but I have my doubts that it will be able to handle a 34x44 inch 600 dpi image with any kind of performance (one of my use cases).  If not, then a new purpose-built Map Layout tool (ingesting PDF) might be necessary.  I ran across Apache's FOP today (http://xmlgraphics.apache.org/fop/). I need
to look into that; it may be similar to your XHTML/CSS idea.  A web editor would be great too.

Steve Lime wrote:
> Hi Brent: It's neat to see the possibilities in this area. As an asside I don't think format options
> will be useful though. Just too many options. I've wondered if XHTML/CSS could be used, kinda
> like query templates. You'd reserve space for the map, legend etc... with css and div's and render
> to that space with the appropriate driver.  (wonders about tools like webkit, gecko,...) Would be 
> great to author a map layout in a web editor with text and stuff like that surrounding the map. If
> you could do that you'd have a winner. Easy to create with a true map-like presentation.
> As for where to go? I wouldn't favor supporting compile-time options, rather run-time defs via
> output formats. I think there room for both Cairo and Haru assuming one isn't clearly better than
> the other. Any opinions there?
> Steve

I haven't looked into Cairo yet (other than compiling it and its many dependencies).  Haru is ok for now, except for the limited font handling.


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