[mapserver-users] To WFS, WMS or to WCS

Bart van den Eijnden (OSGIS) bartvde at osgis.nl
Tue May 13 04:27:55 EDT 2008

Hi Sarel,

I can probably explain it in a few sentences.

WMS is a web mapping service, so it is meant to render an image of data, 
be it vector or raster data. It only gives you back an image 
representation of your data.
WFS is a web feature service, it is meant to deliver the features (in 
vector format) to the client, so the "raw" data. The vector format is 
mostly GML (Geography Markup Language).
WCS is a web coverage service, it is the raster version of WFS, so to 
deliver raster coverages in a "raw" format to the client.

If you only need images and a query on a point click, stick with WMS. If 
you need your users to actually download data, you will need WFS + WCS.

There is also a thing called SLD WMS (Styled Layer Descriptor), where 
the WMS client can change the symbology of the map, and get an image 
back in different colors/patterns etc. than the default one advertized 
by the service.

Hope this helps. If you have further specific questions, don't hesitate 
to ask.

Best regards,

Sarel Coetzer wrote:
> Hi
> Is there anywhere a brief explanation of the deferent types of map 
> services such as WFS, WMS and WCS.
> What each service does differently then the other and how to identify 
> which one would be the correct service to use for a specific application.
> I have read the various how to's on the wiki but I am trying to find a 
> one page comparison of capabilities/advantages or disadvantages of 
> these various services.
> Regards
> Sarel
> Regards
> Sarel
> -- 
> "http://sarelgis.blogspot.com/"
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> mapserver-users mailing list
> mapserver-users at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/mapserver-users

Bart van den Eijnden
OSGIS, Open Source GIS
bartvde at osgis.nl

More information about the mapserver-users mailing list