To keep New Jersey State Atlas running smoothly, many of the map projects that rely on large GIS datasets (such as the land use change map or State Plan) or outside data sources (topo maps) store copies of the map tiles. Caching lessens the performance hit caused by rending data from GIS every time the page is viewed.
I use TileCache, an open-source, Python WMS-C/TMS server. It sits between the map application and MapServer, the rendering engine I use. If a map tile hasn't been stored in the cache, TileCache makes the map request to MapServer, sends the user the result and stores the rendered tile in the cache.
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