Don't Panic: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Building a Map Server
There are a lot of great mapping applications out there that run on a server. They can be intimidating to install and configure so I thought I would document my steps so everything would be in one place. This a a guide for the absolute beginner so if you have some command-line experience, I promise I'm not being condescending. Future posts will cover how we're actually using these tools to build our maps.
This tutorial should take you from absolutely nothing to a fully-functional web server containing:
- PostGIS: A PostgreSQL database optimize to store spatial information. It can easily import shapefiles and OSM data using command line tools as well as connect to mapping services like QGIS and Mapnik.
- Mapnik: A very powerful tool for automatically generating maps from geographic data with lots of control over cartographic display and rendering.
- TileStache: A simple way to efficiently serve geographic data to mapping applications. It can send tiled vector or raster data and will speed up any application that needs to load lots of data.