Can anyone suggest good map rendering engines for MS SQL Server Spatial types (SqlGeometry/SqlGeography)? By rendering, I mean plot the geometries to a common image format such as png or jpeg with very simple symbology.

The 2 I have experimented with thus far are: 1. SharpMap 2. MapServer with the MSSql plugin

I just want to see if there is anything else out there that I might have missed.

  • 1
    +1, I'm curious how sharpmap and mapserver compare for rendering. (sample image results would be nice). Dec 21, 2010 at 17:33

8 Answers 8


GeoServer? http://docs.geoserver.org/stable/en/user/data/sqlserver.html


MapGuide OS has the ability to serve MSSQL Server 2008 data.


There is a built in renderer in Management Studio.
I missed it for a while.


  • Thanks for the comment. But I don't believe you can save images from the viewer or control symbology, can you?
    – user890
    Dec 20, 2010 at 20:38
  • no, I think you are right. just a renderer. Dec 20, 2010 at 21:25
  • I found, to get the "Spatial results" tab to show up next to Results and Messages, the result set had to be just the geography column, then it worked great. Also, make sure your polygons are defined in counter-clockwise order, else they won't show. Jun 22, 2018 at 7:26

FME has the capability too



Manifolds MapServer object can render images from SqlServer geometry (or any other spatial format that it can handle).

It is generally used IMS applications, but can just as easily be used for just image rendering.



Mapnik could possibly connect to MS SQL Server spatial geometries, it uses the well known GDAL/OGR lib.

  • Laurent - do you know of a link to any documentation or tutorials that show Mapnik and SQL Server working together? While I agree that it should be possible via OGR (either directly or perhaps via a virtual layer interface), in practice I've never got this to work. Jun 18, 2011 at 8:33
  • Sorry no, i presumed too quickly, it seems. Jun 22, 2011 at 11:08

Mapnik is the best option, it renders the most beautiful maps this time


MapSurfer.NET is an advanced cartographic framework for producing beautiful and readable maps. It supports both Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2012.

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