I'm relatively new to GIS, but what I'd like to do is display map layers on top of Google Maps.

From what I understand, MapServer provides the tiles that can be overlaid onto a Google Maps page.

I'm proficient with HTML, JavaScript, Unix, and PHP so technically this shouldn't be a problem, but I'm finding a severe lack of resources when I am trying to find out how one gets started. The MapServer documentation seems to be a little over the place, and Google results aren't helping.

Where does one get started with GIS and mapserver with a view to integrate on top of Google Maps?

1 Answer 1


First you'll need to set up MapServer as a WMS, then you'll need a tile cache to produce the tiles and store them. This guide should get you started with that.

Then only real catch is that Google think the Earth is round and made up their own projection so you'll need to serve your tiles in epsg:900913 but most (all?) the tile caches mentioned in the above guide will handle that for you.

  • 1
    We got a mapserver set up, and ended up going with Leaflet.js ( leaflet.cloudmade.com ) as opposed to Google Maps JS API and are enjoying it much more.
    – djlumley
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 22:45
  • Once you have a WMS set up, how do you tell Google Earth to display the tile cache? I guess you put some sort of network link in a KML file, but what do the contents of the KML file look like that point to the map server?
    – LarsH
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 18:41

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