I've downloaded data for my country from OSM and let a GIS expert to style it for me in MapInfo Pro. (I have TAB files and .wor - workspace).

When I tried converting them to SHP (for QGIS) I've noticed that the styles don't transfer with the conversion (they are saved in the workspace in MapInfo Pro). So I manually re edited the SHP file to match the style.

Next , when I imported the SHP files to GeoServer, again the styles from the SHP files didn't transfer - and here I'm stuck. I'm using windows based machine with QGIS and MapInfo. I have GeoServer installed (and can also install other WMS like MapServer if needed).

How do I set styled layers in any MapServer so I could install "offline" map based web app on client site (using open source WMS)?

3 Answers 3


Two options come to mind

  1. Stick with Geoserver and export the styles from QGIS as SLDs. SLD is supported by both QGIS and Geoserver.

  2. Use QGIS Server instead of Geoserver and publish your QGIS Desktop project directly.

If I understand you correctly, you already converted all styles from Mapinfo to QGIS. Otherwise you could have tried Nathan's Mapinfo to QGIS Style Converter.


Unfortunately, styles in MapInfo don't easily translate to other software. The reason being that MapInfo styles are set per feature, whereas ArcGIS, QGIS, SLD (used in Geoserver for styling WMS layers) and GeoCSS (as far as I know) all style laters by attribute (or rules).

So, what I think you need to do is either redo your styling, or find a way to convert from MapInfo styles to another form of styling. The easiest way to do that is, as underdark says, use Nathan's converter. THat is documented here: http://woostuff.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/new-tool-mapinfo-to-qgis-style-converter/ and here: https://github.com/NathanW2/MapInfo-to-QGIS-style-generator.

That said, I've played with SLD and it's pretty easy. The most easy way to make an SLD (for and explanation of what an SLD is, see here: http://workshops.opengeo.org/geoserver-intro/styling/sld.html) is to use GeoExplorer, which can be installed along with GeoServer.


SHP files do not contain styles, so you will have to look at GeoServer and how it is able to work with styles. Possibly you can find an application which transforms styling from QGIS to GeoServer or directly from MapInfo to GeoServer.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.