MapServer Tutorial


Pericles S. Nacionales


pnaciona at


Jeff McKenna


jmckenna at




This tutorial requires at least MapServer 8.0.1 (the demo server in the live examples runs MapServer 8.1-dev)

This tutorial (initially created in the early-2000’s by Perry, and maintained since by Jeff) was designed to give new users a quick (relatively speaking) introduction to the concepts behind MapServer. It is arranged into four sections with each section having one or more examples and increasing in complexity. Users can jump to any section at any time although it is recommended that absolute beginners work on the first three sections sequentially.

Section one focuses on basic MapServer configuration concepts such as layer and class ordering, using vector and raster data, projections and labeling. Section two provides examples on how to use HTML templates to create a simple interface for an interactive web mapping application. Section three introduces the use of HTML templates to provide a “query” interface. Finally, section four introduces some advanced user interface concepts.

Begin tutorial