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MapFish Quickstart

MapFish is a flexible and complete framework for building rich web-mapping applications. It emphasizes high productivity, and high-quality development.

This Quickstart describes how to

  • run the MapFish sample application installed on this live DVD
  • install MapFish, and
  • create MapFish applications.

Run the sample application

To run the sample application click on the MapFish link on the Desktop. This will open a FireFox tab pointing to the application served by mod_wsgi in apache (http://localhost/mapfishsample/osgeolive/wsgi/).

This demo application has the following features: Query, Editing, Search, and Printing. To see the MapFish REST protocol in action you can open the Firebug debugger and look at the requests/responses exchanged between the browser and the MapFish web services.

Install MapFish

To install MapFish, download the installation script, and execute it from a terminal:

$ wget

$ python --no-site-packages venv

The above command creates the virtual Python environment in the venv directory, fetches MapFish and its dependencies and install them all in the virtual environment.

You can then activate the virtual Python environment and check that MapFish has been successfully installed:

$ source venv/bin/activate

(venv) $ paster create --list-templates

The above command should produce the following output:

Available templates:
basic_package:   A basic setuptools-enabled package
mapfish:         MapFish application template
mapfish_client:  MapFish client plugin template
paste_deploy:    A web application deployed through paste.deploy
pylons:          Pylons application template
pylons_minimal:  Pylons minimal application template

Ok, the framework is properly installed. You can now follow the next section to create a MapFish application using this installation.

Create a MapFish application

After having activated the virtual Python environment, you can generate your first MapFish application named for exemple MyMapFishApp:

(venv) $ paster create -t mapfish MyMapFishApp sqlalchemy=true

Then you can also install the JavaScript librairies in the application:

(venv) $ paster create --no-interactive -t mapfish_client MyMapFishApp

The above commands should have created the MapFish application in the MyMapFishApp directory.

At this point you should be able to run the application with:

(venv) $ cd MyMapFishApp
(venv) $ paster serve development.ini

Open http://localhost:5000 in your browser. You should see a minimal application that includes a map with two OSM layers, a toolbar above the map, and a layer tree.

The MapFish framework offers more than that. In particular it allows easily creating RESTful web services for creating, reading, updating and deleting features. Please visit to learn how to create such RESTful web services and to learn more about MapFish.

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