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I would like to have a USB that I can bring with me to any computer. That USB should hold a map server, so that the client computer won't need internet and avoid using OSM or Google Maps or any other online map service.

I have another portable application that requests a WMS service to load maps, but I would like to direct that import to my local USB map/WMS server. Is PortableGIS the solution? I am using PortableGIS for QGIS and that works fine. However I can't find any documentation...

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    Which OS will you plug the USB ken in? Do you need it to be cross platform? – Devdatta Tengshe Nov 4 '12 at 13:17
  • possible duplicate of Offline tiled map web app – Devdatta Tengshe Nov 4 '12 at 13:19
  • Which client software would consume the WMS? Wouldn't it be easier maybe to just transport a QGIS project with all its data files? – underdark Nov 4 '12 at 16:37
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Consider OSGEO Live (Xubuntu) with USB bootable: http://live.osgeo.org/en/quickstart/usb_quickstart.html

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I just came across this tool last week:

https://github.com/imincik/mapfile-viewer

it is a fully featured, self hosted WxS service based on mapserver and python mapscript. It does not require a web server because it has one embedded.

As long as you Python-fu is strong it should not be too hard to set it up so that it can run from an USB key (even on Windows).

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I have previously done this with MS4W, though this only works on Windows

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