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This section will help you construct your cartographic symbols. For detailed information about symbol construction see Symbol Construction with MapServer, Symbol, Symbology examples.

After you create your custom symbol go to Classes and styles section and select it from the Symbol name dropdown.



Specify the ASCII number of the symbol to be used in the CHARACTER parameter. Add the ALIAS name of the font file to the parameter and FONT as defined in the available fonts list (located above the symbols text area).

With the parameter ANTIALIAS you define whether to apply antialiasing to the symbols or characters. It is recommended to do this especially with more complex symbols and whenever they don't fit well into the raster matrix or show a visible pixel structure. Set a POSITION [ul|uc|ur|cl|cc|cr|ll|lc|lr] relative to the geometric origin of the geometry. In the Classes and styles section it is possible to define Color, Outline color, Size.

To add a new font just place it into the "C:\ms4w\Apache\htdocs\giscuit\configs\fonts" (Microsoft Windows) or "/vaw/www/giscuit/configs/fonts" (Linux).

When using truetype characters to render complex line symbols, you can define the distance in pixel until the symbol is repeated by setting the GAP parameter in the SYMBOL. Truetype symbols follow the inclination of the accompanying line. When using asymmetrical symbols they unfortunately do not always follow the outside or the inside, left or right of a line but change. If possible symbols will always be displayed upside (which makes a lot of sense for string characters, what true type fonts basically are). On vertical lines symbols are rendered to the right or left side depending on the drawing direction of the line. If the line is drawn from bottom to top, the truetype symbol is displayed to the left, if the line is drawn from top to bottom, the symbol is displayed to the right.

  NAME "bus_stop"

Note: You can access the preview of the NPSPICT font to get the ASCII number of the desired symbol.


Symbols of the TYPE PIXMAP are simply small raster images. The name of the raster images are specified in the SYMBOL with the parameter IMAGE. You can specify a full path in the IMAGE parameter or a relative path to "C:\ms4w\Apache\htdocs\giscuit\configs" (Microsoft Windows) or "/vaw/www/giscuit/configs" (Linux), for example: "icons/note.png".

MapServer supports the raster formats GIF and PNG. When using raster images the color cannot be modified in the SYMBOL subsequently. But you can specify a color with the TRANPARENT parameter which will not be displayed - i.e. it will be transparent. As a result all underlying objects and colors are visible.

The Size parameter Classes and styles section defines the size of PIXMAP symbols when used as point symbols. When using PIXMAPS as line symbols or as fill symbols for polygons they will not be resized but are displayed in the original size. So the use of PIXMAP STYLE objects for signatures with a high need of scaling is rather limited.

  NAME "star"
  IMAGE "icons/star.png"

Note: There are icons for you to use in the icons "C:\ms4w\Apache\htdocs\giscuit\configs\icons" (Microsoft Windows) or "/vaw/www/giscuit/configs/icons" (Linux) folder


Produces hatched lines throughout the shape on a polygon surface. The "hatch" symbol comes with the default installation and can be used by setting Width, Size, Angle, Color parameters in the Classes and styles section.

Width. How thick the hatched lines are.

Size. Distance between hatched lines.

Angle. Angle of the hatched lines.

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