MapServer AGG Rendering: Symbols now AGG

A MapServer developer (Thomas Bonfort) pinged me this morning, using my Boston Freemap as remote testing of a patch for MapServer’s agg rendering. (It was a very minor difference: little rounding errors were causing small black pixels in some places on the map.) In the process of testing a patch for him, he also pointed out that the newest SVN has added AGG symbol support.

The end result is that my comparison from the other day has now gotten even better:

MS 4.10:

SVN Rev 6432 + minor patch:

Now the only thing that’s left is to fix those labels… Wonder if I can learn enough C++ in the next week or two to help get that in. 😉

Nicely done work on the symbols! Better every day.

6 Responses to “MapServer AGG Rendering: Symbols now AGG”

  1. thomas Says:

    coming out nice!
    the black pixels weren’t rounding errors but the (peculiar) way gd treats the alpha channel of an image. just fyi

  2. Tim Nolte Says:

    I’m very impressed to see what kind of quality you have been able to achieve here. This is exactly the kind of quality I’ve been wanting to attempt to provide for my companies MapServer. Do you have build documentation for your SVN setup? I’d love to get my hands on that. What thoughts do you have on using this latest break through on a company internal MapServer? Would I run into to many problems to attempt this? Thanks for all your excellent work!

  3. crschmidt Says:


    Currently, the AGG support is in the 5.0 beta/SVN only. If it were me, I’d wait until the ‘official’ 5.0 is out — I have a feeling the nxt couple weeks of bughunting and fixing will work out a lot of the issues with the code that haven’t been found yet. Once that’s done, there shouldn’t be much of anything to worry about: Simply install the new version, I’d hope, though I know there are at least a few backwards-incompatible changes.

    So, at the moment, my advice is “Don’t try. Wait for 5.0.” The rumour mill says the target for that is before FOSS4G, so you shouldn’t have more than a couple weeks to wait.

    Note that even with MapServer 5.0, however, your maps are not going to becoming ‘instantly pretty’ — As with all cartography, good maps take time, and if you haven’t devoted a fair amount of time to making your maps look good already, then AGG isn’t going to magically fix your problems. First, work on making your map as pretty as possible: after you do that, you can think about whether AGG helps your or not, and decide to make the upgrade, but the upgrade is not zero-cost, so that’s a consideration too.

  4. Tim Nolte Says:


    Do you have some pointers on what I’m looking for to begin making my maps “pretty”. I’m still very green with all of this. I thought that trying to turn on some anti-aliasing within my map file would begin to produce what I’m looking for. One thing I’m dependent on at the moment is the US Streets data from DM Solutions. I guess I suspect that part of my poor quality may be due to that. I have created some of my own layers which I have access to editing much easier. Most of my layers are all shape files, is this the wrong format to use for the best looking maps? Thx.

  5. Paul McCullough Says:


    Are you at liberty to share your map/symbol files? I presume you are not using SLDs.


  6. crschmidt Says:

    Paul: The mapfile has always been public, linked from the ‘about’ page of the Boston Freemap.