Monday, July 23, 2018

GIS Base map with Web Map Service (WMS)

Web Map Service (WMS) is a convenient way for an organization to publish or share spatial datasets online that can be readily used in GIS. WMS is a popular standard for publishing maps on the internet.

WMS is hosted on a remote server. Similar to a website, you can access it as long as you have a connection to the server. WMS is a standard protocol that serves geo-referenced map images using data from a GIS database.

With WMS you have access to a live service that will automatically refresh its view if you pan or zoom on the map. So, you always have access to the latest and upto date published data.

WMS are perfectly use as background maps for GIS project. It can be used on web, mobile and desktop GIS applications. All you need is the WMS getURL (GetMap or GetCapabilities) from any of the organizations that publish or share spatial datasets online.

Some WMS organizations are:-
1~ USGS:
2~ Boundless Geo:
3~ Mundialis:
4~ Terrestris:
5~ Geofabrik:
6~ The Hug:
7~ Omniscale:
8~ WhereGroup:
9~ Sinica:

Using WMS on desktop GIS:-
Lets demonstrate how you would use WMS on a desktop GIS platform like QGIS.

1. In QGIS3 desktop, go to Layer menu >> Add Layer >> Add WMS/WMTS Layer...

2. In the new window that opens, click on "New" button to create a new WMS connection.

3. Give the connection a name and supply the URL and click on "Ok". Here I used the Sinica WMS:

4. Now, select the connection you just named and click on "Connect" button

5. If the connection was successful, you should see the list of tilesets available for the Sinica WMS server. Select the tileset you want to use and click on "Add" to add it as background base map for your GIS project.

That is it! Enjoy using WMS and its features.

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