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Interactive maps

interactive maps

2:05 pm on May 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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joined:Feb 14, 2006
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on our public facing site we want to replace all of its current static with interactive maps.
We hired a consultant to develop those maps using a set of technologies recommended by one of our partner who provided the geographical data.
The technologies used are:
This is the desktop software we use to manipulate offline geographical information, create various layers (countries, cities, rail lines, etc…) and save them *.tab files, the native format for MapInfo.
Map Server
MapServer is the rendering engine we’re using to create images based on the MapInfo data files.
We used the caching component of Map Server to pre-generate map tiles and store them in the server file systems.
We use the Javascript API Openlayers to interact on the web client with Map Server via the Ka-Map cache.
Mapserver and Ka-Map are installed on a Unix server with the following specifications: …

The development was completed and the map works according to requirements: layers are loaded and assembled properly, and the user can browse the map by panning and zooming in or out.
The problem we’ve encountered is scalability: a stress test with 20 concurrent users failed, causing CPU usage to reach 100% and clogging the bandwidth.
The questions we have for this esteemed forum are the following:
-Is MapServer an appropriate technology to support mapping applications on a public facing website? If not, what alternative technologies can we use?
-Is Ka-Map a suitable caching component for MapServer? Are there better performing caching component available to work with MapServer?
-Is our hosting platform appropriately sized to support MapServer / Ka-Map for use on a public facing website? If not, what would be a suitable hosting environment?
-What areas should we work on to improve the scalability of our hosting platform. Our developer recommended: switching from a Virtual Machine to a dedicated server, implementing fast-cgi for PHP.

Thanks you all for your help in this matter
Best regards