OGC Map Services (WMS, WMTS, and WFS)

Geocortex Essentials supports the following types of OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) service:


To make full use of WMS capabilities, you need to associate the WMS with a WFS. With a WMS and associated WFS, it is possible to:

Printing and Legends

A copy of the Legend.rpx file can be found in the Sample Sites directory. The default location for the file is:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Latitude Geographics\Geocortex Essentials\Default\REST Elements\Sample Sites\Resources\PrintTemplates

Layer Styles

If a WMS layer has styles associated with it, you can select the styles to use. See Configure the Styles on a WMS Layer.

Identify, Query, Search, Data Links, and Reporting

To use identify, query, search, data links, and report features, your WMS must be associated with a WFS. Limited querying may be possible without a WFS. See OGC Query for information.

Essentials will use an associated WFS provided:

ArcGIS Server WMSs do not support DescribeLayer. To associate an ArcGIS WMS with a WFS, edit the map service in Manager. On the Functional tab, select WFS:ArcGIS from the Query Provider drop-down list. On the Details tab, click Edit Connection Settings and enter the WFS's URL in the WFS URL box.

WFS Requirements when Associated with a WMS

To make full use of all the functionality available in the Geocortex viewers, the WFS must support:


Unlike WMS, which provides map services in the form of images, WFS services provide the geometry and attribute data that define features in map layers. The HTML5 Viewer queries that data and renders it in the viewer's browser for user interaction.

For information about adding a WFS service connection, see Add a WFS Service Connection.


In Essentials, WMTS:

The HTML5 Viewer does not support WMTS identifying, querying or searching.

The edges of some WMTS services may fail to display properly in the HTML5 Viewer at certain zoom levels. To workaround this, in the viewer's Site Module configuration, set the useSiteFullExtentForWMTSServices property to true.


Usually, when adding an OGC web service to your web application, you would need to use a proxy. This is because services are usually hosted on a different domain than the host mapping application and web browsers usually obey the single-origin policy. The single-origin policy stipulates that you cannot make cross-domain requests for XML data, such as service metadata. (Image requests in a browser are not subject to the same cross-domain restrictions.)

Geocortex Essentials is able to work around this stipulation by including all the necessary service metadata in the site response. This means that you do not need a proxy to access a WMS or WMTS. You can specify a proxy if you want to, but it is not necessary.

Secured WMS, WFS, and WMTS Map Services

In order to add a secured WMS, WFS, or WMTS to an Essentials site, you must first add a service connection. The service connection stores the information that Essentials needs to be able to connect to the service, including the information that allows Essentials to authenticate. See Add a WMS Service Connection, Add a WFS Service Connection, or Add a WMTS Service Connection for instructions.

Essentials is capable of accessing WMS, WFS, and WMTS that are secured using one of the following methods:

OGC Query

Essentials supports two methods of querying a WMS:

WFS is a more powerful way to query than direct query. WFS supports full text searches and complex spatial filtering, and searches and queries return full attribute data and metadata. WFS also supports data linking and reporting. Having full attribute data enables you to define rich feature descriptions to display in results lists, map tips, and reports.

If a WFS is not available for the WMS and the WMS supports the GetFeatureInfo operation, Essentials can query the WMS directly. Direct querying supports only limited spatial querying—the only identify operation that GetFeatureInfo supports is point identify. Direct querying does not support text search. As well, the output format is limited to display-only formats such as plain text or HTML in some cases.

WMS layers that are not associated with a WFS only support point identify. They do not support query or search. WMS layers that are associated with a WFS support all types of identify, query and search operations.

When using direct query, use GML output if possible. GML output works well with Geocortex Essentials and Geocortex viewers.

Because you cannot use a WFS with a tiled service, WMTS query is direct, in other words, it uses GetFeatureInfo.

In the Functional tab for map services, you can set the Query Mode of OGC services.

OGC Query Providers

When you configure a WMS, you need to specify the query provider to use. This is required whether or not you are using a WFS. Essentials uses this information to query the WMS.

There are many options and your choice will depend on the WMS you are configuring. In Essentials, when you select an option that begins with WFS, Essentials attempts to use WFS for querying. If the WMS supports GetFeatureInfo, you will have options available that start with WMS. If you choose one of these options, Essentials will use WMS to query the WMS, using the specified information format. For example, if you choose "WMS: text/html", then Essentials will query the WMS and return the data in HTML format.

The query provider is configured on the map service's Functional tab.

WMS Query Providers

There are two categories of WMS query providers:

You can disable query and search by selecting Disabled. When the query provider is set to Disabled, the user can still perform queries and searches, but no results are returned.

The WFS query provider options and some common WMS query provider options are described below. The WFS query providers return equivalent data.

WMTS Query Providers

Some common WMTS query provider options are described below:

WFS Query

Essentials will use an associated WFS provided:

Configure the Styles on a WMS Layer

To configure the styles on a WMS layer:

If different styles have been set up for a particular WMS layer, you can select the styles to use.

  1. In Manager, edit the site that you want to configure, click Map in the side panel, and then click the Map Services tab.

  2. Expand the map service to show the layers, and then click the Edit Layer icon beside the layer that has the styles.

  3. Click the down arrow in the Style box and select the style you want to use.

  4. Click Apply Changes.