Introduction to Nail


Nail was designed to be a quick and easy way to get a web map server up and running. Nail has the capability to display vector data (raster data capabilites may be added in a future release). Nail does not rely on any 3rd party GIS components to work – all it needs is a webserver running PHP (

The idea for Nail came from my frustrations with the difficulty and expense of setting up a GIS web server. Some of my clients had ArcGIS but did not have the ESRI server components like ArcIMS or ArcGIS Server. I wondered if there was a relatively simple way of displaying spatial data in a webserver environment. This is why I came up with Nail.

You could use Nail if you have an existing GIS desktop product such as ArcGIS or MapInfo and want to share spatial data with a group of users within your organisation. If you have a server or even a high spec PC on which you can install PHP – this is all you need to be able to use Nail. Whenever you want to share your data, just export it to shapefiles using your desktop GIS software and then run your Nail data loading script

You can also embed Nail within an existing web application. The core component of Nail is the map.php. This is the component that generates the map images. You can control the map.php from your application, using different parameters in the url to pan, zoom and move to selected features. 

If you want to try the current version of Nail, it can be downloaded from:

Nail Download

For a basic demo click on the following link:

Nail Demo

If you want to know more about how Nail works:

How Nail Works

If you have questions/comments regarding Nail email me on: