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OGC

The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC), is an international specification for making your maps and data available in an open, internationally recognized format over the web. OGC services provide open access to geographic data and software functionality, allowing organizations to incorporate GIS into any app on a variety of computing and mobile devices. These open services help improve the sharing and interoperability of spatial information. There can be associated challenges with OGC services; for example, some are being served out on relatively old servers that can cause performance issues when displaying in newer apps. In addition, there can be issues related to the support of tiling schemes or coordinate systems of layers on a basemap. Learn more about OGC at the Open Geospatial Consortium website. Esri also maintains an Interoperability and Standards web page detailing its support for OGC services in ArcGIS.

ArcGIS Online supports the following OGC specifications:

  • OGC Web Feature Service (WFS) is a dynamic feature service that follows the specifications of OGC. You can add OGC WFS layers to maps you create with the map viewer. You can also add OGC WFS layers as items in ArcGIS Online. See an example. You can also publish a hosted WFS layer from feature layers hosted on ArcGIS Online.
  • OGC Web Map Service (WMS) is a dynamic map service that follows the specifications of OGC. You can add OGC WMS layers to maps you create with the map viewer. See an example. You can also add OGC WMS maps as items in ArcGIS Online.
  • OGC Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) is a set of cached image tiles that follows the specifications of OGC. You can add OGC WMTS layers to maps you create with the map viewer. See an example. You can also add OGC WMTS layers as items in ArcGIS Online. Additionally, hosted tile layers you publish to ArcGIS Online are enabled for use in WMTS clients.

Use compatible basemaps with OGC layers

For maps to display correctly, the coordinate system of the layers and basemaps needs to be compatible. In addition, the tiling scheme of a WMTS layer needs to match the tiling scheme of the basemap. The map viewer attempts to draw your OGC layer with the basemap you select. If the map viewer can't draw your layer on the basemap (because the coordinate system or tiling scheme doesn't match), and the OGC WMS or WMTS layer is the first layer you've added to a map, the map viewer attempts to use a different basemap.

For example, if your layer is in GCS WGS84, the map viewer uses the GCS WGS84 World Imagery basemap. Your administrator may have changed the default basemaps and may have included some that support your layer's coordinate system. If a basemap in the gallery is not compatible, the map viewer uses your layer as the basemap. If you add an OGC WMS or WMTS layer to an existing map or it is not compatible with any basemaps in your gallery, the map viewer will not add it to your map; instead, you will see an error message letting you know your layer is not compatible with the basemap's coordinate system.

For OGC WFS layers, the coordinate system of the basemap must be supported by the WFS service or the layer may not be drawn successfully. The map viewer will not switch to use a compatible basemap. If the basemap is not compatible with the WFS layer, the map viewer will display a message to that effect.

Add OGC WMS layers to your map

When you add an OGC WMS layer to a map, you can choose to add all the layers in the service or select the layers you want to add. If you add all the layers in the service, all the layers are added to the map, but only the first layer is displayed. To turn on the other layers, click the Contents button, click the OGC WMS layer name, and check the boxes next to the layers you want to appear in the map. You can also control which layers in your OGC WMS service appear on the map by choosing the layers you want when adding the OGC WMS as an item or updating the item.

When adding an OGC WMS layer to your map, you have the option of specifying custom parameters to append to requests made to the WMS. For example, if your WMS layer supports styles, styles can be used as a custom parameter for layer requests. If an access key is required, the key can be configured as a custom parameter for all requests made to the WMS. Custom parameters are applied to all layers that you specify to be added to the map. If you want to append different custom parameters to specific layers only, you must add those layers separately.

By default, when you add an OGC WMS layer as a basemap, the first 10 layers in the service are added and all 10 layers appear visible. You can select different layers in the WMS service to add to the basemap when you add the WMS to the map or if you add the WMS as an operational layer and move it to the basemap.

Add OGC WFS layers to your map

When you add OGS WFS layers to a map, you must choose one layer at a time. To add more layers, repeat the steps for adding the layer. You can also specify advanced configuration options when you add a WFS layer to a map. You can change the maximum feature limit or choose to flip x,y coordinates. If the WFS layer contains complex features, you must also select the type of features to display: points, lines, or polygons.

When adding an OGC WFS layer to your map, you have the option of specifying custom parameters to append to requests made to the WFS. For example, if the service requires an access key, the key can be included as a custom parameter for requests made to the WFS. When custom parameters are specified, they are automatically applied to all requests made to the WFS.

When you add a WFS layer to the map, your basemap must be compatible with the coordinate system of the WFS layer.

Add OGC WMTS layers to your map

Each layer in an OGC WMTS service contains a set of cached images and can have a different tiling scheme than the other available layers in the WMTS service. You should only add the layers that your map audience needs to see because a lot of cache image tiles can clutter the map and it may take a long time to draw, especially in web browsers. To help maximize the performance of your map, the map viewer has you select a specific layer to add from your WMTS service. You can add more than one layer, but you need to go back through the process of adding the WMTS to your map.

When adding an OGC WMTS layer to your map, you have the option of specifying custom parameters to append to requests made to the WMTS. For example, if the service requires an access key, the key can be included as a custom parameter for all requests made to the WMTS.

When adding WMTS as an item, you must select a specific layer and must also select the coordinate system for the layer, if the layer supports multiple coordinate systems. If you want to add multiple layers or additional coordinate systems, you must author individual items for each layer or coordinate system.

Secure OGC services

OGC WFS, WMS, and WMTS services secured with web-tier authentication, such as Integrated Windows Authentication (IWA), a public key infrastructure (PKI), Basic, or Digest access authentication, are supported. OGC WFS, WMS, and WMTS services secured with token-based authentication are not supported. Configure support for OGC services secured with web-tier authentication by adding the server hosting the services to your organization’s list of trusted servers. The server must support CORS; otherwise, layers hosted on the server will not function as expected in ArcGIS Online. If you will access the secure OGC service with Internet Explorer, you may need to add the domain of your organization’s trusted servers to your browser’s trusted sites list.

Once the server has been added to the list of trusted servers, you can add your OGC services to the map viewer or as an item. If authentication is necessary, users adding or viewing secured OGC layers will be prompted to enter their credentials.

Limitations

Below are the current limitations of using OGC layers in the map viewer.

  • You cannot edit features, add token-based secure OGC layers, or add internal OGC layers.
  • Your OGC layer and basemap need to use the same coordinate system, for example, Web Mercator (the coordinate system of the default basemaps in the map viewer basemap gallery). Your administrator may have changed the default basemaps. Check with your administrator if you have issues using the map viewer's basemaps with your OGC layer.
  • OGC WMS group layers are not supported.
  • Refresh on OGC WMS layers only works if the WMS service honors standard HTTP caching rules.
  • If the option to configure pop-ups is not available for the WMS layer, you may need to add the layer to the map viewer again or re-create the WMS item. Some WMS layers do not support pop-ups.
  • When printing OGC WMS or WMTS layers, custom parameters are not supported.