[Mapserver-users] How does one create .map files?

Tyler Mitchell TMitchell at lignum.com
Wed May 26 18:22:14 EDT 2004

Plants are welcome on this list... :)
Many typically take an existing .map file and start pulling out stuff and 
sticking in their own stuff.  Use a basic text editor like Notepad should 
be fine.  I can't speak too much to your data format question, but 
MapServer can read numerous (dozens) of different raster and vector 
formats.  It uses some behind-the-scenes capabilities of a library called 
GDAL/OGR for reading raster and vector data.  GDAL currently supports 
DTED, but does not appear to _directly_ support the others you mentioned.


Any format that OGR can read in, can (more or less?) be exported into 
Shapefiles using the ogr2ogr utility.  I'd highly recommend getting some 
sample data first and getting comfy  :)

Keep up the questions as your progress and we'll help you out.

You'd really benefit from attending the MapServer Users Conference in 
Ottawa, June 9-11th.  The MapServer 101 workshop would be right up your 

mapserver-users-admin at lists.gis.umn.edu wrote on 05/26/2004 02:55:10 PM:

> Ok, I am so green at this I practically qualify as plant life... I 
> got through a few good tutorials and didn't die.. but now I am going
> to try to use my own (well, ok, ESRI's) shapefiles and data.  But 
> how does one go about creating .map files?  By hand?  Is there a 
> utility?   Also, I just got some NIMA files which is part of the 
> actual data that I'll be using.   There are also ADRG, CADRG, CIB, &
> DTED files that I will have to contend with.  Are there utilities 
> out there for an easy conversion to shapefiles?  I will be receiving
> 3.5 Terabytes worth of data.  I would hate to have to create each .
> map file by hand...
> Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer.
> - sharyn

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