Apologies for the downtime

To my fellow readers, subscribers or stumble-upon’ees .. apologies for my recent downtime.

I would have liked to take a piccy of my now defunct server with a melted hdd – but i forgot :(. As the saying goes, i was able to recover most of the filesystem – except (you guessed it), the database.

So please bear with me while i rebuild. Luckily i will just reimport my cached RSS feeds (thx google) to rebuild the articles so everything should be back to normal in the next day or so.

If you need an old article urgently, feel free to flick me an email and i’ll try to sort you out

Cheers, Chris.

Note to self re: postgis

RTFM !! … eg. check the reserved postgreSQL name list before bashing your head against a wall.

I had been trying in vain for hours trying to get a simple evaluation query displaying in Mapserver. It wasn’t as if postgis never worked, in fact the other 20 layers in the mapfile worked flawlessly. Just this little sucker ..

CONNECTION “host=localhost dbname=adsf user=chris password=”
DATA “the_geom FROM pgmrs”

NAME ‘Central City Area’
EXPRESSION (’[desc]’ eq ‘Central City Area’)
COLOR 102 153 255
OUTLINECOLOR 102 153 255

Spot the problem yet? :)

DESC is a reserved keyword for pretty much everything SQL, but alas it had completely slipped my mind. When mapserver passes the CURSOR SELECT statement, it still sends the desc::text and postgre throws an error, its just a shame it isnt a “meaningful error”


So theres another tip to add to your ‘doh, i cant believe i did that‘ list

Now all i need to do is figure out why ms4.4.2 still doesnt like it when 4.6&4.8 both work :(

Mapserver GIF Transparency

Argggghhhh. Driving me up the wall.

If anyone has been able to get gif transparency working on mapserver please drop me a line. I have tweaked, toggled and modified

  • the outputformat. Hell I even tried the slower gdal gif renderer (instead of GD)
  • LAYER level transparency of alpha/0/100/1000 (all various suggestions on list)
  • MAP level transparent ON
  • MAP level IMAGECOLOR 255 255 255
  • setting TRANSPARENT=true in the request
  • playing around the BGCOLOR KVP in the request

This is all on a very simple style of


Google Earth does support transparency, and i am sure the problem is with mapserver (the gifs definately aren’t transparent). Some mention of similar problems are in this thread but alas, no solution. ArcIMS and Geoserver are a snap to setup transparency … another story with mapserver

Hopefully someone out there knows – otherwise its back to the list