Mission and Goals

To create, as a community, the leading international web-based platform for developing and deploying web mapping applications and geospatial web services. The goals for the platform are as follows:

  • use the service-oriented architecture pattern
  • fast, scalable, and cross platform
  • make use of open source components
  • support rich access to spatial data both vector and raster
  • provide a full suite of spatial analysis
  • produce visually stunning cartographic maps
  • include viewers that work within any browser on any platform
  • provide the highest degree of map interactivity possible
  • offer a single API that works with both vector and raster based client-side viewers
  • conform with open standards

Historical Background

MapGuide was first introduced as Argus MapGuide in 1995 by Argus Technologies in Calgary, Alberta. Autodesk acquired Argus Technologies in the fall of 1996 and within a few months the first release under the Autodesk brand was introduced, Autodesk MapGuide 2.0. The software progressed through a number of releases leading up to the current Autodesk MapGuide 6.5. To this day MapGuide 6.5 and previous releases are known for ease of deployment, rapid application development, data connectivity, scalability, and overall performance.

Despite its success the MapGuide 6.5 architecture has some inherent limitations. To this day most MapGuide applications rely upon a client Plug-in, ActiveX Control, or Java Applet with much of the application logic written in JavaScript using the APIs offered by the client-side plug-in. All spatial analysis is performed client-side on rendered graphics rather than on the underlying spatial data. And finally the server platform is very Windows centric.

In the spring of 2004 a dedicated team of developers began work on what is now MapGuide Open Source. Our goals were simple, retain all of the best aspects of MapGuide 6.5 while also meeting the goals set out above. The result is MapGuide Open Source. Autodesk released MapGuide Open Source under the LGPL in November 2005, and contributed the code to the Open Source Geospatial Foundation in March 2006.


MapGuide Open Source is licensed under the LGPL (GNU Lesser General Public License). Our License FAQ provides more information on our license and on our policies regarding the application of the license.


MapGuide Open Source is part of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation and as such follows the governance structure of the foundation.

Organization and Roles

  • Project Steering Committee - The Project Steering Committee (PSC) is responsible for the overall management of the MapGuide Open Source project. The PSC determines when releases will be made available, what enhancements and defects will go into a particular release, and who the Project Developers are. The PSC is also responsible for providing the Open Source Geospatial Foundation board with regular status reports.
  • Project Developers - A Project Developer has full commit access to the trunk of the source tree. Project Developers can directly make changes to the source base of the development branch, from which the nightly builds are made. Project Developers review and accept code submitted by Project Contributors.
  • Project Contributors - A Project Contributor is a developer who contributes patches, code, and/or documentation through the Project Tracker tool. Project Contributors do not have Subversion check-in access. Integration of a developers' contributions is at the discretion of the Project Owner and individuals in the Project Developer role. This is typically an iterative, communicative process.
  • Users - Users are the project’s reason for being. They are the individuals that use and develop applications on the MapGuide Open Source platform.


Product Description

MapGuide Open Source is a web-based platform that enables users to quickly develop and deploy web mapping applications and geospatial web services.

MapGuide features an interactive viewer that includes support for feature selection, property inspection, map tips, and operations such as buffer, select within, and measure. MapGuide includes an XML database for storing and managing content, and supports most popular geospatial file formats, databases, and standards. The MapGuide platform can be deployed on Linux or Microsoft Windows, supports Apache and IIS web servers, and offers extensive PHP, .NET, Java, and JavaScript APIs for application development.


The Features page lists the features of the MapGuide Open Source product. It is periodically updated, as new features are added.

Useful Links

Here are some links for information on commercial applications and tools designed to work with MapGuide Open Source.