MapServer 5.6.0 Released

News Date: 
22 Dec 2009

The MapServer Team is pleased to announce the release of version 5.6.0. This new release contains a few new features and performance enhancements. Here is a quick summary:

New features in 5.6:

  • MS RFC 51: XML Mapfile schema and XSLT (see
  • MS RFC 52: One-pass query processing, making WFS queries on database backends much much faster
  • MS RFC 55: Improve control of output resolution, allows printing maps at printer resolution using a mapfile defined for screen resolution
  • MS RFC 57: Labeling enhancements: ability to repeat labels along a line/multiline

(RFCs are available online at

Other notable enhancements include:

  • Security fixes (also backported to 5.4):
    • Improved security relative to untrusted directories and mapfiles (RFC 56)
    • Fixed several security issues found in an audit of the CGI application (#2939, #2941, #2942, #2943, #2944)
  • Performance optimizations:
    • Load all GDAL image bands in one pass for faster processing (r9260)
    • Optimized access to very large shapefiles (#2930)
  • Several enhancements/fixes to OGC Web Services specs support
  • Several enhancements/fixes to all flavors of MapScript

As usual there an a large number of additional small enhancements and bug fixes. For a complete list see the HISTORY.TXT file at:

A 5.4 -> 5.6 migration guide is also available. It should become part of the official documentation soon, but in the meantime you can view the latest version online at:

The release source code can be downloaded at: OR

Existing MS4W 3.0 users can upgrade to this MapServer 5.6.0 release by
following instructions at

Ubuntu Binaries for hardy, jaunty and karmic are also built and available in the unstable PPA of UbuntuGIS:

Finally, with respect to documentation, the MapServer documentation team is continuing to update and maintain documents, and the live website should be updated with the updated 5.6 documentation soon. One of the things that the team has been working on is a structure for translated documents. The structure is now in place in the development version of the site, but volunteers are needed to translate pages into other languages. The documentation team asks that those volunteers interested in translating documents to please send a message to the mapserver-dev email list.

Enjoy! - The MapServer Team