[maplab-users] Pre-Release of MapLab Suite

Dave McIlhagga
Thu, 13 Jun 2002 18:48:35 -0400
Hi everyone,

Today is a day we at DM Solutions Group have been working very hard
towards as it represents the initial release of a suite of open source
web tools for managing map files and deploying PHP-based mapping
applications --- MapLab.  Our goal through this is to create an
environment where a MapServer application can be completely developed
through a web based environment.  MapLab is a series of applications
developed with PHP/MapScript including three primary components -
MapEdit, MapBrowser and GMapFactory.

MapEdit provides a web interface to a MapFile, somewhat along the lines
of the MapServer Workbench.  The intention of MapEdit has been to mirror
the structure of a map file as closely as possible.  From this, we've
added some utilities to make life a bit easier for setting up your map
file including such things as symbol and colour pickers.

MapBrowser is geared more towards integrating WMS source data into your
map file and mapping application.  There are also some handy tools for
generating keymaps and modifying other parameters of your map file.

The third and final component is GMapFactory.  This is the application
that allows a user to deploy an interactive gmap application with
selected interactive tools such as a reference map, legend, navigation
tools/Rosa and publish.

I just want to remind everyone before leaping ahead that this is a
pre-release and as such, there are still probably a few problems and
features missing.  Also, user documentation is lacking, although I think
you will find the installation instructions quite complete.  We plan on
having supporting user documentation when we do our full release of
MapLab sometime around mid-July.  If you're not sure if you want to slug
it out at this point, hang on to then.  But we figured being an open
source community ... there's bound to be a few of you who can't hold
back your curiosity! :)

Some of the details:

For more information on the product including download and installation
instructions see:

We have created a mailing list for MapLab where we would encourage
discussion of the package and any comments/questions you may have to
take place.

Note that for all of this to work, you will require MapServer 3.6 & PHP
4.1.2+.  Please read the install notes for more information.

As a last but important note, we have many people we need to thank for
this.  Personally, a big thank you to our entire team as this really has
been a group effort.  We would also like to thank the beta-testers who
provided a lot of valuable feedback to us over the past month or two. 
All of this wouldn't of happened of course without some funders ... so a
big thanks goes out to Natural Resources Canada's GeoConnections
program, the Canadian Forest Service, Canada's National Atlas, and the
many other groups who in some way have contributed to making this
happen.  And of course, thanks to Steve Lime for his ongoing cooperation
with all of our development efforts.

We hope you find it useful.  Please let us know what you think, as we're
all anxious to hear.  We've been using it extensively internally now
with a lot of success and look forward to sharing it with the rest of
the MapServer community.

Dave McIlhagga
President, DM Solutions Group
EMail :
Phone : 613-565-5056 x15
Fax : 613-565-0925

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