Basics about how to establish a Web Map Service

31 Aug

Ok, so the main topic of my research is mobility and human movement during late prehistory in Europe. One of the many veins that I’m exploring is the establishment of roads and the layout they follow. To have a diversity of aerial photographs is useful for me for a variety of reasons. Of course, some of them are available from National Cartographic units and so on but some others are easier to find in a WMS. Through this you can basically visualize map images from the internet acquired from the map server that feeds from a GIS database.

In here I’ll explain how to establish the connection to the WMS of the cartographic service of the Junta de Andalucia (Spain) to access their excellent database  of orthophotos from the flight of 1956  through Arcgis 9.3 desktop  and GVSig 🙂

To add a WMS layer to ArcGIS, you must first establish a connection with a map server. This can be done with ArcCatalog or directly within ArcMap.

In ArcCatalog:

  1. Expand the GIS Servers folder in the catalog tree
  2. Double click Add WMS Server
  3. In the URL text box, enter
  4. mapwms/REDIAM_Ortofoto_Andalucia_1956?
  5. Click the Get Layers button
  6. If the connection is successful, click the OK button
In ArcMap:

  1. Click the Add Data button
  2. From the Look in: list, select GIS Servers

If you already added a connection in ArcCatlog, select that connection, otherwise:

  1. Double-click Add WMS Server
  2. In the URL text box, enter
  3. Click the Get Layers button
  4. If the connection is successful, click the OK button
To add a WMS layer to ArcMap:

  1. Double-click the WMS server in the GIS Servers list
  2. Double click GeoServer Web Map Server
  3. Double click GeoServer Web Map Server again
  4. Select the layer(s) from the list you wish to add

In 9.1 and below, you cannot add individual layers, only the entire service.

For GVSig:

  1. Open a View
  2. (Recommended) change coordinate system from UTM N Zone 30 to the one that is appropriate for you (GVSig is an Spanish project so the default coordinate system is setted as UTM N Zone 30).
  3. Select Add Layer (Alt+O) from the View drop down menu
  4. Click the WMS tab
  5. In the Server text box, enter
  6. Click the Connect button
  7. Click the Next button

Once the connection is established:

  1. Select the Layers tab
  2. Select the layer(s) you wish to add
  3. Click the Add button
  4. Click the Formats Tab
  5. Select an image format (e.g. image/png)
  6. Select the correct SRS (spatial reference system)
  7. Click the OK button

I think is all for now but I’ll probably tell you more about this topic later…


2 Responses to “Basics about how to establish a Web Map Service”

  1. aldo September 8, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    hola. solo quisiera que respondieras mi duda.
    yo quisiera hacer practicas profesionales de geofisica aplicada a la arqueologia, pero no he encontrado a nadien en mexico y los que encontre nunca me dieron el si, no se si tu supieras de alguien. De antemano muchas gracias. Yo soy actualmente estudiante del 7º semestre de la carrera Ing. Geofisico en la UANL.

    • patriciamurrieta September 13, 2010 at 9:12 am #

      Hola Aldo,
      Pues mira, la unica persona que se me ocurre esta en la UNAM. Es el Dr. Luis Barba. Desgraciadamente en Mexico la geofisica no es una practica tan extendida como deberia ser pero bueno, el Dr. Barba es un excelente academico y profesional asi es que solo se me ocurre que lo contactes a el. Esta en el Instituto de Investigaciones Antropologicas.
      Saludos y suerte!

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