The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) announced today that version 5.0 of the open source web mapping platform MapServer is now available for download from the [http://mapserver.gis.umn.edu project website].
MapServer 5.0 is the first major release release since version 4.0 in July of 2003. While there have been regular releases every 6 months or so this is the first time developers felt the new feature set warranted the “major release” label.
The new version includes dozens of small bug fixes, enhancements and performance improvements. Among the new features are: style and label attribute attribute binding; lookup table-based raster color correction; dynamic charting (pie and bar); explicit label prioritizing; enhanced debugging and logging; dynamic allocation for layers, classes, styles and symbols; improved memory management and garbage collection for MapScript; numerous improvements for OGC service support.
Perhaps the most important new feature is support for map rendering using the [http://www.antigrain.com Anti-grain Geometry (AGG) graphics library]. AGG brings high quality 2-D rendering capabilities to MapServer that will allow users to create maps with vastly improved cartographic quality. Equally important is that using AGG results in a minimal reduction in performance in many cases. All symbology supported by the default [http://www.libgd.org GD graphics library] are also supported using AGG. The development team is excited about the future possibilities of bringing high-end cartography to on-demand web mapping.
== About MapServer ==
MapServer is an open source development environment for building spatially-enabled web mapping applications and services. It is fast, flexible, reliable and can be integrated into just about any GIS environment. Originally developed at the University of Minnesota, MapServer is now maintained by developers around the world.
MapServer runs on all major operating systems and will work with almost any web server. MapServer features MapScript, a powerful scripting environment that supports many popular languages including PHP, Python, Perl, C# and Java. Using MapScript makes it fast and easy to build complex geospatial web applications.