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Show Us Map! 30 Minutes to Build Your Own Map Server with SUAS MapServer 3

Have you used Google Map? Are you potty about its amazing and powerful functions? Would you like to have one such map server, even you are not a Giser or just know a little bit of GIS technique.

If you are working in GIS field, and you want to build your map server to deliver your map data, but UMN Map Server is too difficult to install and config, and too complex to use and make you headache. Of course, the UMN Map Server is a nice and strong tools, but you don't wanna wasting time to learn a lot of tutorials before the installation.

If you are in a small company, and you have not much money to buy the special GIS software, Arcmap, Geomedia WebMap. And you are looking for open source solution. You found UMN or GeoServer, but you need your own server to install the toolkit or set the server environment to Java, and your server Host does not support Jsp or you have no permission to install them.

You have interest in web GIS, but the OGC's speciafication WMS, SLD, WFS....... are too much to study, how does map server work?

Ok, you can try SUAS MapServer.

What is SUAS MapServer?

I have not heard of this map server. What is that?

The name SUAS MapServer comes from Stuttgart University Applied Science, it sounds also like [sju:as] "Show Us". The former name of SUAS MapServer is PHPMyWMS. This open source map server publishes geodata according to OGC's WMS 1.1.1 specification. Currently, the server supports the WMS and WFS, and later for WCS.

All of the solutions are based on open source tools, i.e. Apache web server, PHP with libraries, MySQL database(later will support Postgre) together with phpMyAdmin and Ajax, XML. The server dynamically generates vector map files in SVG, SVGT, SWF and PDF formats and raster map files in PNG, JPEG, GIF and WBMP formats from spatial data in a database depending on the request parameters given by the client.

Travel Begin

I'd like to thank you for having patient to read here, no more nonsense, let's begin the travel.

What you need:
1. One computer, or you have your Host supporting PHP5 and MySQL 5.0.16+
2. Internet connection
3. SUAS MapServer toolkit
4. One cup of cola or tea

TimeLine 5 Minutes
1. If you have your remote Host, you can skip the first 2 steps and save 9 minutes. Go to step 3.
Download XAMPP from and choose one fiting for you OS. Here I choose XAMPP for windows. The XAMPP includes all of the requirement software for SUAS. The new version is XAMPP Windows 1.6.0a.

Apache 2.2.4
MySQL 5.0.33
PHP 5.2.1 & PHP 4.4.5
phpMyAdmin 2.9.2
FileZilla FTP Server 0.9.22
OpenSSL 0.9.8d

I hope that you are not still using 56k modem, I should change the article to "3 hours to build your map server".

TimeLine 4 Minutes
2. Install XAMPP, it is simple to install and if you have problem, please go there to find the solution.

Here is XAMPP control panel application.

Go to link http://localhost/security/index.php, and set MySQL password, restart MySQL by suing XAMPP control panel application.

3. Download SUAS MapServer new version from Go to the root directory of XAMPP and unzip the (rar) into xampp/htdocs folder. For remote Host user, just upload the suas folder to your Host though FTP.

Open http://localhost(your host address)/suas, and you will see such welcome interface.

TimeLine 2 Minutes
4. Download test data.
If you have not shapefile, MIF or SVG file in hand, you could download some test files from internet, they are also free.
-1. UK Map. the data comes from giMapper. Shapefile
-2. Ciry Frida, frida-1.0.1-shp.tar.gz shape file, from
-3. City map layers, MapInfo format using the Projection: US State Plane Coordinate System, Florida Western Zone, NAD83, US Survey Feet.
-4. Boulder County, shapefile layers.
-5. Madison County, Ohio, shapefile layers, All data are in NAD 1983 State Plane Ohio South FIPS 3402 (Feet)
-6. City of Albuquerque,All data is in the New Mexico State Plane-Central Zone, Feet (NAD 83)
-7. The Planning Commission. shapefiles
-8. City of Mobile GeoDatabase, The
layers are projected in Alabama West State Plane Coordinate System (units
in feet) NAD83 FIPS Zone 102

If you use your own data and the files has more than 2 Mbytes size, please copy the files into data folder in suas root, or using FTP tools.

TimeLine 12 Minutes
5. Install SUAS MapServer
Before the installation, we should enable some extension in php. Open xampp/apache/bin, and find php.ini, delete the semicolon before extension=php_dbase.dll to enable dbase fuction to parse shapefile's attribure dbf data. If you have installed XAMPP before, please open extension=php_ming.dll and extension=php_pdf.dll to enable flash and pdf extensions. Please restart Apache Server after the modification.
Notice, the php.ini file in xampp/php does work only under CGI mode.

Open Install link on the welcome page and click Installation.

Check the requirement for SUAS, open all the extensions SUAS needed(open in php.ini), the green colour font are mandatoty requirements, the blue font requirements are optional requirements. Click "Continue" to go.

Agree the liecense to continue.

Input the password you have set in the configuration of XAMPP.

Create new database or create new one.

Create new table please.

Set metadata and enable cache(if you like, it will speed up the service more than 30%) and stretch map(recommanded).

Import data. You could select local files(only under 2 Mbytes size) to import or remote files to import if you have upload the files into data folder. For one map, please set the same SRS. Here I use UK Map's shapefile data, and the SRS value is set to be EPSG:4326 (WGS84). The DBF files contain the attributes data for the geometries in SHP data.

One by one import the data and go to define the style. Set style for each layer as you will.

At last create metadata. You could set the priority for each layer to make your map more professional. For example, point is alway on the top of line, line lays over polygon.

Ok, we can go to demo now, the SUAS MapServer has been installed successfully.

TimeLine 4 Minutes
Choose Map Viewers in WMS Extension and select SRS, submit query.

Select all of the layers and choose PNG format, and click OpenLayers Viewer, the Openlayers client will be used to browse the UK map.

Total TimeLine 30 Minutes
You can also test other requests, but that is not to be included in this article, you have built your own map server in 30 Minutes!

More information and handbook could be found in Thank you! If you have interest to join us to develop SUAS, just leave your message in our forum.

April. 09 2007


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