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Web Map Service

Web Map Service - WMS       

WMS stands for Web Map Service. It is a protocol for the delivery of geospatial raster data to GIS software, design packages and web interfaces, amongst others. Users simply enter a URL into the software and the imagery will be displayed along with your local datasets.


Web map service Web map service image server WMS - Webmap service designs

Advantages of using the Getmapping web map service or WMS.

Only load the imagery you can see.
WMS feeds only load the imagery that a user actually needs to see rather than a whole dataset, which often results in lengthy load times or delays when panning and zooming. WMS feeds work differently to offline datasets such as TIFs for displaying aerial photography. Traditionally the entire dataset is loaded into a GIS package which can result in lengthy loading times, especially when viewing a large area, e.g. a district or county in one view. In some cases it can even result in a crash where the software cannot cope with the large dataset.

WMS feeds solve this problem. When a user pans or zooms in a GIS, only the imagery suitable for that viewing window is loaded. This means no matter what the size of the dataset, whether it is 1GB or 1000GB, the loading time is only limited to the size of the map window and the speed of the Internet connection, saving numerous man-hours of waiting.

Less strain on IT infrastructure. Aerial photography is a large dataset and can put a strain on an organisations network when it is used by multiple users simultaneously. This constant access of data can clog up local networks and reduce network and PC performance. Having an efficient external source of imagery through WMS frees up the internal network and costs associated with the storage of data.

Always have the latest imagery. The limitation with carrying copies of aerial photography on a PC or local network is that they can quickly become outdated when new versions are available. Traditionally a user would have to download another copy from their internal network if/when they are told of an update. With a WMS feed, the most up-to-date imagery will always be loaded by your GIS. Getmapping manage the updates and versions so you never have to worry if you have the latest imagery.

Stop switching on and off layers.
In our WMS feeds (Getmapping Imagery, People’s Map, and Ordnance Survey mapping), all the available scales of mapping are layered into one WMS feed. This means that the feed detects your scale and displays the most appropriate scale of mapping and your computer never loads more data than you can see. This reduces the amount of time spent loading up and switching between layers when navigating a map. For example, when zoomed in over a building the WMS will display MasterMap, and then when zooming out to view a neighbourhood it will display OS StreetView.

Change Detection with ease. Getmapping can provide a series of WMS feeds to show archive photography for your region. This allows users to view different epochs of imagery side-by-side or overlaid on each other. This has many applications including boundary and asset dispute analysis, school history and geography projects, archaeology, and utility infrastructure management. In the business sector this analysis can promote more informed decision making and inevitably cost savings in projects.

Control how the imagery is used. As imagery is used by many different departments, it can be difficult to control who has access to relevant data.Getmapping can provide additional WMS feeds that can be distributed to contractors that have limited geographic extents and usage limits (if necessary). This way you know your contractors are not delayed in receiving information. This also has the added security advantage as there is less need to give external contractors access to the corporate network. 

Learn to Use Web Map Service

The following videos are tutorials on how to use WMS in different software apllications.

To find out more about WMS

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