[MS4W-Users] Announcement: Dracones, a web mapping framework for MapServer

Christian Jauvin cjauvin at gmail.com
Wed Jan 20 11:31:04 EST 2010

Dear MapServer users,

I have created Dracones, a Python and JavaScript web mapping framework
based on MapServer, which I think could be of interest to the open
source web mapping/GIS community. It is available at:


This framework began its life as a surveillance application for
Montreal Public Health. After a lot of refactoring sessions, I had the
idea of abstracting a set of core client/server services, that would
become the framework, and to rewrite the original application in terms
of those. Thus the set of features offered by Dracones stems from
pre-existing application needs, rather than the opposite.

In a nutshell, here is what Dracones provides..

On the client side:

* A lightweight but powerful map widget (100% JS), with state of the
art features like AJAX-based smooth scrolling and visual selection
* An extension mechanism to define new UI behaviors (e.g. what happens
when clicking on the map, or drawing a selection box around objects)

On the server side:

* A set of Python classes and functions (written on top of
Python-MapScript) that encapsulate the application state, and ease the
interaction with its map objects
* A well-thought extension mechanism, to define custom requests and queries

Dracones also provides a bunch of other application-centric features,
like easy map image export and undo/redo. Last but not least, I've
been very careful in writing the documentation and tutorials, which I
think cover a wide range of issues and possibilities.

This work is still in Alpha stage, and I will be of course very
interested to hear the community's comments and suggestions.

Best regards,

Christian Jauvin

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