View the WMS service capabilities


Information about a WMS service can be found from its service capabilities file. Much of this information is presented in the WMS Service Properties dialog in ArcCatalog and in the Layers tab of the Layer Properties dialog in ArcMap. Capabilities information includes any interfaces that a WMS service supports, supported image formats, supported spatial reference systems, and a list of layers in the service.

The feature addressed in this article became available at ArcGIS version 9.0 Service Pack 3.


Follow the directions below (using either ArcCatalog, ArcMap, or an internet browser) to view the WMS service capabilities.

  • ArcCatalog
    1. Open ArcCatalog.
    2. Expand the WMS Server listing to view the WMS Service Connection.
    3. Right-click the WMS Service Connection.
    4. Select Properties in the context menu.
    5. The capabilities information is displayed.
    [O-Image] ac_serviceprops
  • ArcMap
    1. Add the WMS service to ArcMap.
    2. Right-click the WMS service layer name in the Table of Contents.
    3. Select Properties in the context menu.
    4. Click the Layers tab.
    5. Select the WMS layer or group name in the left panel tree view.
    6. Scroll through the capabilities information at the bottom left corner of the Layers dialog.
    [O-Image] am_lyrprops_lyrstab
  • Web Browser
    1. Copy the WMS Server URL into the address portion of an internet browser.

    Copy the server URL from the WMS Server Connection Properties. Access the Connection Properties by right-clicking the WMS Connection in ArcCatalog.

    2. Append the following text to the server URL:


    3. Press the Enter key.
    4. View the WMS service capabilities file.

Article ID:000007402

  • ArcMap

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