Putting map data into an Internet page or interactive web site may be easier than you think. MapServer is often all you need to make it happen. This chapter shows you how to use MapServer to get your data up on a web site as quickly as possible. Even if what you really want is interactive maps, using MapServer to create static maps may be useful at times, and it’s a good way to learn about the program.
MapServer is best known for its web mapping capabilities, but it also comes with a set of standalone command-line tools for personal use. These can be used to create static map images for web pages, documents, or email. This chapter starts with a description of each utility, then walks you through several common mapping tasks using a simple map file. Chapter 4 discussed the process of installing or compiling these utilities while Chapter 11 focuses on using MapServer as an interactive web mapping solution.