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Web Map Service

Retrieve map data from Web Map Service (WMS) servers

Web Map Service (WMS) servers provide publicly accessible geospatial data such as temperature, elevation, weather, orthoimagery, and demographics from web-based sources. The servers follow a standard developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.® (OGC). Use WMS functions to search a database of server URLs, server titles, layer names, and layer titles and to read WMS data from servers.

This figure shows a WMS map of tropospheric ozone impacts from the NASA SVS Image Server, ETOPO1 data from NOAA, and Blue Marble: Next Generation imagery from the NASA SVS Image Server.

Examples of WMS maps


wmsfindSearch local database for Web map servers and layers
wmsinfoRead capabilities document from WMS server
wmsreadRetrieve WMS map from server
wmsupdateSynchronize WMSLayer object with server


WebMapServerWeb map server
WMSCapabilities Web Map Service capabilities document
WMSLayer Web Map Service layer
WMSMapRequest Web Map Service map request


Create WMS Maps

Search for Layers

Display Layers

Read WMS Maps

Export WMS Layers


Troubleshoot WMS Servers

Learn about connection errors and other common WMS server errors, and suggested workarounds.