The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international voluntary consensus standards organization. The mission of the OGC is to develop, approve, and maintain standards for making maps and related geographic data available and shareable over the web. Using OGC services and encodings enables open access to geographic data and software functionality, allowing organizations to incorporate their GIS data and services into any app on a variety of computing and mobile devices. These open services and encodings help improve the sharing and interoperability of geospatial information.
There can be challenges associated with OGC services; for example, some are served on relatively old servers that can cause performance issues when the services are displayed in newer apps. In addition, there can be basemap compatibility issues related to the support of tiling schemes or coordinate systems of OGC layers. 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.
OGC standards and specifications evolve over time. ArcGIS Online supports the following OGC specifications in the ways described below:
OGC API – Features
The OGC API – Features specification is a newer feature specification that has multiple parts. It includes standards for creating and working with spatial data on the web and standards for APIs for sharing feature data on the web.
In ArcGIS Online, you can publish an OGC feature layer from a hosted feature layer. OGC feature layers follow the OGC API – Features specification.
OGC feature layers in ArcGIS Online are able to work with larger amounts of data and provide better performance than layers that use the OGC Web Feature Service (WFS) specification. For these reasons, it is recommended that you use feature layers that use the OGC API – Features specification whenever the consuming clients support them.
You can use OGC feature layers in the following:
- Map Viewer—See Add OGC feature layers below.
- ArcGIS Pro 2.8 or later—See Use an OGC API feature service in the ArcGIS Pro help for more information.
- Apps created using ArcGIS Maps SDKs.
- Third-party apps that support the OGC API – Features specification—Consult the documentation provided with the third-party app to determine if it supports the OGC API – Features specification.
OGC Web Feature Service
OGC Web Feature Service (WFS) is a dynamic feature service that follows the WFS specification of OGC.
You can do the following with OGC WFS layers in ArcGIS Online:
OGC Web Map Service
OGC Web Map Service (WMS) is a dynamic map service that follows the WMS specification of OGC.
You can do the following with OGC WMS layers in ArcGIS Online:
OGC Web Map Tile Service
OGC Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) is a set of cached image tiles that follows the WMTS specification of OGC.
You can do the following with OGC WMTS layers in ArcGIS Online:
- Add them to maps in Map Viewer or Map Viewer Classic. See an example.
- Add them to scenes in Scene Viewer.
- Add them as items in My Content.
Additionally, WMTS is available for hosted tile layers you publish to your organization and share with the public. You can copy the WMTS endpoint from a field on Overview tab of the tile layer item's details page.
Add OGC feature layers
You can add an OGC feature layer to Map Viewer. You must choose one sublayer at a time. To add more layers from the same OGC feature layer, repeat the steps to add a layer and choose a different sublayer each time.
Add OGC WFS layers
When you add OGC WFS layers to a map in Map Viewer or in Map Viewer Classic, you must choose one sublayer at a time. To add more layers from the same WFS layer, repeat the steps to add the layer and choose a different sublayer each time.
In Map Viewer Classic, 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 you add an OGC WFS layer to a map, you can specify 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. Layer-specific custom parameters such as spatial operators are not supported.
When you add a WFS layer to the map, your basemap must be compatible with the coordinate system of the WFS layer.
You can also add WFS layers to Scene Viewer.
Add OGC WMS layers
When you add an OGC WMS layer to a map in Map Viewer or in Map Viewer Classic, 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 you add an OGC WMS layer to a map, you can specify 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. 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 are 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.
You can also add WMS layers to Scene Viewer. After adding a WMS layer, you can view the legend and configure pop-ups, save the layer in a scene, and share it.
Add OGC WMTS layers
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. Only add the layers that your map audience needs to see, because a large number 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, select a specific layer to add from your WMTS service. You can add more than one layer in Map Viewer or in Map Viewer Classic, but you must go back through the process of adding the WMTS to your map.
When adding an OGC WMTS layer to your map, you can specify 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 a WMTS service 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. To add multiple layers or additional coordinate systems, you must author individual items for each layer or coordinate system.
You can also add WMTS layers to Scene Viewer.
Use compatible basemaps with WMTS, WMS, and WFS layers
For maps to display correctly, the coordinate systems of the layers and basemaps must be compatible. In addition, the tiling scheme of a WMTS layer must match the tiling scheme of the basemap. Map Viewer or Map Viewer Classic attempts to draw your layer with the basemap you select. If your layer can't be drawn 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, Map Viewer or Map Viewer Classic attempts to use a different basemap.
For example, if your layer is in GCS WGS84, 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, 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, Map Viewer will not add it to your map; instead, you will see an error message stating that 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. Map Viewer or Map Viewer Classic will not switch to use a compatible basemap. If the basemap is not compatible with the WFS layer, Map Viewer or Map Viewer Classic will display a message to that effect.
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 Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS); otherwise, layers hosted on the server will not function as expected in ArcGIS Online. Additionally, CORS must be configured to allow the specific domains that will be used to communicate with the server, such as your ArcGIS Online organization domain.
After you add the server to the list of trusted servers, you can add your OGC services to the map or as an item. If authentication is necessary, users adding or viewing secured OGC layers will be prompted to enter their credentials.
If you connect to an OGC service that has additional capabilities or if you want to set a property connection itself, you can add custom request parameter names and values when you add the OGC service as an item to your organization. Parameter names and values are defined on the service and are specific to that service. They may be vendor specific and usually add capabilities that fall outside the scope of the OGC standard. For example, you can use a custom parameter on an OGC WFS service to transpose the x- and y-coordinates of features when they are queried (swapxy, True), or a custom parameter can define a filter expression to return a specific feature (FeatureID, Feat203).
The following are the current limitations of using OGC layers in ArcGIS Online:
- Hosted WFS layers support a maximum of 3,000 features per request.
- You can only add WFS 2.0 layers that support GeoJSON output to a map in Map Viewer.
- You cannot edit features, add token-based secure OGC layers, or add internal OGC layers.
- When in the same map, WFS, WMS, and WMTS layers and the basemap must use the same coordinate system, for example, Web Mercator (the coordinate system of the default basemaps in the basemap gallery). The organization administrator may have changed the default basemaps. Check with your administrator if you have issues using basemaps with an OGC layer.
- OGC WMS group layers are not supported.
- Refresh on OGC WMS layers only works if the WMS service honors standard HTTPS caching rules.
- If the option to enable pop-ups is not available for the WMS layer, you may need to add the layer to the map again or re-create the WMS item. Some WMS layers do not support pop-ups.
- Custom parameters are not supported when printing OGC WMS or WMTS layers.
- To print secure OGC layers from ArcGIS Online, you must use your own print service that supports the secure layer.
- To print secure OGC layers from ArcGIS Enterprise, you must use your own print service that supports the secure layer.