[mapserver-dev] MapServer tutorial - symbology

Seth G geographika at gmail.com
Tue Oct 25 03:20:11 PDT 2016

Hi all,

I have updated the second quick start tutorial on SYMBOLS and 
symbolizing data. A draft page is available at: 

I ran through this with around 6 people, and a few questions came up. If 
anyone can provide details that would be very helpful. Also 
comments/improvements on the tutorials are very welcome.

1. Are there any performance or other benefits of VECTOR symbols over 
IMAGE/SVG? (Although I think SVG is currently not available in ms4w - 
http://www.ms4w.com/trac/ticket/3 ). The manual entering of coordinate 
details seems pretty difficult compared to using/making SVGs.

2. At the top of the http://mapserver.org/mapfile/style.html#style page 
there is the sentence "The final intent is to have named styles (Not yet 
supported) that will be re-usable through the mapfile." I presume this 
means there was a plan to use STYLES similar to a SYMBOLSET? Are there 
still any plans to do this?

3. I was looking to create circle symbols of different sizes based on an 
attribute, using one of the datasets from Natural Earth. The cities with 
large populations has a smaller "RANK_MAX" - so the size needs to be 
inverse to an attribute. There does not appear to be any easy way to do 
this without modifying the data. You can set the size using an attribute 
e.g. "SIZE [MYHEIGHT]" but is there a good reason why a MapServer 
expression couldn't be used here? I can add as a feature request to 
GitHub if it could be a nice addition.

A final question - should I post these emails to the dev or users 
MapServers lists?



twitter: @geographika

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