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Using Your Data

Adding a Shapefile Layer from Your Server

How GeoMoose Initializes

First a little background. Here’s the list of events showing how GeoMoose initializes (using the delivered demo):

  1. The user’s browser loads http://localhost/geomoose2/geomoose.html. On your server the “geomoose2” part of the above URL is aliased to C:/ms4w/apps/geomoose2/htdocs by the alias entry in the C:/ms4w/httpd.d/httpd_geomoose2_ms4w.conf file.
  2. The geomoose.html page contains lots of include statements to load other files into the browser. An important file included is geomoose.js, a JavaScript file containing the client-side (browser) functionality of GeoMoose. Another important file config.js.
  3. One of the first things the GeoMoose JavaScript does is ask the server for the mapbook XML file by requesting http://localhost/geomoose2/php/getmapbook.php
  4. The getmapbook.php script is executed on the server and returns the content of C:/ms4w/apps/geomoose2/conf/mapbook.xml.
  5. The client-side GeoMoose JavaScript interprets the mapbook.xml, sets up the user-interface (buttons, legend, etc) inside the browser, then requests (and displays) the map data specified in the mapbook.xml.

Rendering Your Data

To render your own spatial data with in the demo, you need to:

  1. Edit the mapbook.xml to add a GeoMoose Layer definition for your spatial data
  2. Create a mapserver map file to specify how to render your data.

Edit the Mapbook.XML to Show Your Spatial Data

Add a GeoMoose Layer to the Catalog Section in the mapbook.xml:

<group title="My Layers" expand="true">
        <layer title="Townships" src="Survey/Townships" status="off" legend="false" show-legend="false" expand="true" fade="false" unfade="false" popups="false"/>

The src=”Survey/Townships” points to a GeoMoose “map source” entry (in this case named “Survey”) and the Map-source Layer within that definition (“Townships”), so we’ll add that next.

Add an entry to the Map-source list (this is where the map display priority is set by position in the list; those first in the list are rendered on top). Put your entry just above the parcel_points entry:

<map-source name="Survey" type="mapserver">
        <layer name="Townships" reference="false"/>

Create a Mapserver Map file The <file> tag you added in the previous step above specifies the path to your new Mapserver “map” file. Create a folder: C:/ms4w/apps/geomoose2/maps/mydata/survey and in it create a text file named Here’s the (minimal) Map file:

        SIZE 600 600
        INCLUDE "../../"

        PROJECTION # Web Merc Output:
        END # of PROJECTION

                        'ows_enable_request' '*'
                END # of METADATA
        END # of WEB

        LAYER NAME "Townships"
                DATA "./V4-1_TWP.shp" #the path to your shapefile relative to this map file
                TYPE POLYGON
                        AUTO  #the shapefile has a .prj file defining it's coordinate system
                END # of PROJECTION
                                OUTLINECOLOR 0 0 0
                        END # of STYLE
                END # of CLASS
        END # of LAYER
END # of MAP

After you’ve save the mapbook.xml and the above file, reload the GeoMoose demo web page http://localhost/geomoose2/geomoose.html. There is now a “My Layers” group in the legend with a Township layer. You can check the box to turn the layer on and off in the map window.

You can experiment with colors and line styles. Read the Mapserver documentation on STYLE ( for more information.

Setting the Initial Extent of Your Map

It is possible to use any Coordinate System for your map display, but if you stick with Web Mercator (also known as Spherical Mercator) you will be able to Google Maps, Bing, Yahoo map tiles as a backdrop.

If you do use Web Mercator, set the EXTENT in your map files to:

EXTENT -20037508.34 -20037508.34 20037508.34 20037508.34

which, for Web Mercator, covers the entire world.

While the above extent is overridden by the GeoMOOSE initial extent (see the next paragraph), setting the map file extent to cover the entire world removes the spatial restriction on Mapserver attribute queries used in the Popup and Info functions.

You can change the initial extent of your GeoMOOSE web mapping site by editing your mapbook.xml file. In the Configuration section, change the values in the “initial_extent” tag (the format is min_x, min_y, max_x, max_y). For example:

<param name="initial_extent"> -13869345, 5716878, -11575011, 9094783</param>

Adding Popups and Info

Note: Remove the other original map-sources of type=”mapserver” (they have a SRS definition of EPSG:26915 and will confuse identify.php.

Enable “Info” function on the layer. Add TOLERANCE to map file (set to 0 for polygon layers). (Note the MAP’s EXTENT object will be a spatial filter on the query/info request’s coordinates):

LAYER NAME 'Townships'
        TOLERANCE 0  # use >0 for TYPE LINE, POINT

Add a METADATA object of the LAYER in the mapfile specifying the location of the html template path:

        'identify_record' 'townships_identify.html'
        'popups'          'townships_popups.html'
        # Feature reports are stored in the conf/feature_report directory.
        'feature_report'  'townships_report.xml'

The path to the html files is relative to map file (except for the feature_report templates), so in the above example, the templates are in the same folder as the map file. Create an Identify html template (don’t forget the “Mapserver Template” line shown below). Attribute names are lowercase for PostGIS and upper case for shapefiles. Here’s my townships_identify.html:

<!-- MapServer Template -->
        <td colspan="2"><hr/></td>

Create a Popup html template. Note for positioning the popup the LAYER projection must be the same as the MAP projection. Here’s my ‘townships_popups.html:

<!-- MapServer Template -->
<popup x="[shpmidx]" y="[shpmidy]" width="500" height="500">
        <td colspan="2">[trm]</td>

Confirm the popup service is in the mapbook.xml:

<service name="popups"  display="false">
        <step type="spatial" name="shape" line="false" polygon="false" jump-start="true" default="point">
                Click on the map to show a popup about the features.
                <input type="hidden" name="layer"/>

Customizing the GUI

Inside the Box - Tweaking the GUI with Mapbook Settings

Adding a Tab to the Tab Panel

Outside the Box - Writing HTML, CSS

Changing the Banner

GeoMoose uses the concept of “skins” to easily switch the look of the user interface shown in the user’s browser. The skin is referenced in the Geomoose.html:

<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="skins/grey/grey.css"/>

Grey.css references ‘images/logo.png’ as the banner graphic file (the top one with the GeoMoose logo). The easiest way to change the banner is to replace the file: C:/ms4w/apps/geomoose2/htdocs/skins/grey/images/logo.png

Adding a Help button

  • Add a Tool to mapbook (the name will be used to ref the icon):

    <tool name="help" title="Help" type="javascript" selectable="false">
  • You’ll need to add the above helpwin() function to your geomoose.html:

    <script type="text/javascript">
            function helpwin(){
          "./help.html","Help","toolbar=0, scrollbars=1, menubar=0, location=0, resizable=1, status=0, left=100, top=100, width=975, height=700");
  • Choose an icon to appear on the toolbar for your new tool:
    • look in htdocs/images/all.gif
    • find upper Y coordinate using Paint (each is 30 pixels high, with a 10 pixel initial offset)
    • the help icon is at Y=670
  • Add a line (check the existing entries!) to htdocscsssprite.css:

    .sprite-control-/**toolname** ...  X-coord Y-coord ...
    .sprite-control-help { background-position: 0 -670; }
    .sprite-control-help-selected { background-position: -20 -670 !important; }
  • refresh the page in your browser to update the cached .css

  • more control (showing text etc) is done by editing user_tools.css

Debugging GeoMoose

Debugging the Mapserver Map File

Using Mapserver Error Logging

#    DEBUG 5
        CONFIG "MS_ERRORFILE" "/ms4w/tmp/ms_error.txt"
        CONFIG "PROJ_LIB" "\ms4w\proj\nad"
#  for format or coord sys problems:

DATA ‘wkb_geometry from (select gid, image_id, length, width, wkb_geometry from temp_bbox) as my_polygons using unique gid’

Debugging the GeoMoose PHP

php.ini: error_log = php_errors.log ; (created in htdocs/php)

# Debug flag. $DEBUG = true; #false;

Debugging the GeoMoose JavaScript