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Web Mapping Illustrated by Tyler Mitchell

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Appendix B. MapServer Reference Guide for Vector Data Access

This document, created by Jeff McKenna and Tyler Mitchell, was presented as part of a workshop given at the Open Source GIS/MapServer Users Meeting in Ottawa, Canada in 2004.

This is a comprehensive reference guide to using different vector data formats with MapServer. This guide is also available on the MapServer web site:

http://mapserver.gis.umn.edu/doc.html

If you have comments, additions or corrections, please contact one of the authors at:

Tyler Mitchell:
Jeff McKenna:

Vector Data

What is vector data? This quote is a good description of what vector data is:

Vector: An abstraction of the real world where positional data is represented in the form of coordinates. In vector data, the basic units of spatial information are points, lines, and polygons. Each of these units is composed simply as a series of one or more coordinate points. For example, a line is a collection of related points, and a polygon is a collection of related lines. Vector images are defined mathematically as a series of points joined by lines. Vector-based drawings are resolution independent. This means that they appear at the maximum resolution of the output device, such as a printer or monitor. Each object is self-contained, with properties such as color, shape, outline, size, and position on the screen.

From: http://coris.noaa.gov/glossary/glossary_l_z.html#v

MapServer can access vector file formats and database ...

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