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I'm new in GIS tech and I still have some questions about GIS.

I wanted to know why to choose a map server (mapserver, geomap) instead of a tile server (tilestream, tilecache or tilestache) + tile renderer (Mapnik) ?

I know that a server map use spatial data from a DB, it generate image that can be read by client map library (openlayer ...). For example if I have a shapefiles and I don't need dynamic data, what the point to use a server map ? There is no need if I have a static map to have a server map, is that true ? When does a map server regenerate map, does it have a cache ? What is the format of the generated tile ?

If I choose a map server, how can I style my map ? does it have a soft like in Tilemill or do I have to do it directly in the code ?

Does anyone know soft which does coloring like tilemill ? or do I have to use cartoCSS or cascadenik to do it ?

I a bit confuse about that, so if anyone got the answer or think I misunderstood something, it would be great to share it !

Thank you.

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I think it would depend on your needs and available resources. You can use both a map server and a tile server. For example, Geoserver comes with Geowebcache, a tile server.

I know that a server map use spatial data from a DB, it generate image that can be read by client map library (openlayer ...). For example if I have a shapefiles and I don't need dynamic data, what the point to use a server map ? There is no need if I have a static map to have a server map, is that true ? When does a map server regenerate map, does it have a cache ? What is the format of the generated tile ?

I think you just answered your question there ;-) If your data does not change much, then a tile server would be good enough. For dynamic data then you'd most probably want a map server.

If I choose a map server, how can I style my map ? does it have a soft like in Tilemill or do I have to do it directly in the code ?

That would depend on which map server you'll pick. Geoserver uses Styled Layer Descriptors to style its layers. You can set this using Geoserver's web interface. Mapserver on the other hand, includes styling information on its mapfile.

Does anyone know soft which does coloring like tilemill ? or do I have to use cartoCSS or cascadenik to do it ?

If you're going to use Geoserver, there are some GUI that could help you with the styling. Admittedly though, none are as pretty as Tilemill. You might want to check this thread on styling a WMS layer for ideas. I don't know about the tools for Mapserver. I hope somebody would post an answer regarding it.

I hope that clarifies some things for you.

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ok I think I understand better now. thank you. –  Namari Sep 20 '12 at 10:34
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