Hiding the map= parameter from a map server application

In the mapserver documentation, one is told to use a cgi-wrapper script to hide the map= parameter. Then there is shown a script to use on ‘any system having a /bin/sh’ I tried to rewrite that as a php-script to use under windows, but that did not work, so apaches mod_rewrite to the rescue in four small steps:

  1. make sure the mod_rewrite is enabled in httpd.conf. Usually it is commented out by default, if necessary remove the comment sign.
  2. Enable mod_rewrite for the actual document root. I am using virtual servers and added the following lines in the actual <VirtualHost > section:

    <Directory “c:\documents and settings\vserver\radioecology”>
    Options FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride All

  3. Restart apache
  4. make a .htaccess file in the actual directory:

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteRule ^wmsmap?(.*) /cgi-bin/mapserv.exe?map=/documents+and+settings/vserver/radioecology/mobilweb/mobilwms.map&$1

    (Everything following RewriteRule must be on one line. in this case, the map file I want to pull in is “/documents+and+settings/vserver/radioecology/mobilweb/mobilwms.map” adjust as needed for your application.)

    The rewriteRule says: given a webpage starting with wmsmap, pick out the query parameters, make a new page request starting with /cgi-bin/mapserv.exe?map=(…)? and add on whatever was the query parameter in the original page request. Quite simple when one just knows how to do it.

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