1. 1. Introduction
    1. 1.1 OGC Standards
      1. Introduction to OGC
      1. 1.1.1 Web Mapping Service
        1. Introduction to WMS
        2. WMS Examples
      1. 1.1.2 Web Feature Service
        1. Introduction to WFS
        2. WFS Examples
      1. 1.1.3 Web Coverage Service
        1. Introduction to WCS
        2. WCS Examples
      1. 1.1.4 Web Processing Service
        1. Introduction to WPS
        2. WPS Examples
    1. 1.2 CAAML
      1. Introduction to CAAML
    1. 1.3 INSPIRE
      1. Introduction to INSPIRE
  1. 2. Standards in action
    1. 2.1 Prepare data and toolkit
      1. Data and geospatial tools
      2. Start the environment
      1. 2.1.1 Manage the data
        1. Load Data
        2. Clean Data
      1. 2.1.2 Design the CAAML schema
        1. CAAML model design
        2. Populate Region
    1. 2.2 Build CAAML with GeoAvalanche
      1. Configure the application schema for CAAML
      2. Push the configuration to GeoAvalanche
      3. Query our Region features
  1. 3. Main Chapter
    1. Lesson Six

Introduction to WMS

What it is

WMS is a standard service interface which presents location information in an image format that can then be displayed in a map viewer, typically overlaid against a base map layer.

A user application can readily request a map to be delivered based on the location of interest. These web client applications are able to request the maps from a WMS server via simple and familiar URLs. A map returned through a WMS is a visual portrayal of the data rather than the actual mapping data.

WMS also operates in a truly distributed manner allowing individual maps to be located and requested from different servers. WMS thus enables the creation of a network of distributed map servers from which clients can build customized maps.

The OGC WMS standard is one of the standards referred to in the INSPIRE Technical Guidance to deliver an INSPIRE View Service. It has also been adopted as an ISO standard, ISO 19128.

Allowed operations

Three WMS operations are defined in the specification that allows to call:


HTTP call to retrieve service-level metadata


HTTP call to get a map with the requested geographic parameters


HTTP call to get information about specific features based on their location in the map