How To: Add a WMS service to a map using VBA


Instructions provided describe how to programmatically add web map service (WMS) layers to a map using VBA code.

The script below requires a DCOM connection, which was deprecated from ArcGIS at version 10.1. Refer to the following page on Github for a similar solution using ArcObjects.


  1. Start ArcMap.
  2. Open the VBA Editor.
  3. Add a reference to the ESRI GIS Client Object Library.
  4. Paste the following code in the VBA editor:
    Private Sub AddWMSLayer()
            Dim wmsMapLayer As IWMSGroupLayer
            Set wmsMapLayer = New wmsMapLayer
            Dim connName As IWMSConnectionName
            Set connName = New WMSConnectionName
            Dim propSet As IPropertySet
            Set propSet = New PropertySet
            propSet.SetProperty "URL", "http://gisdata.usgs.net/servlet/com.esri.wms.Esrimap?"
            connName.ConnectionProperties = propSet
            '' uses the name information to connect to the service
            Dim dataLayer As IDataLayer
            Set dataLayer = wmsMapLayer
            dataLayer.Connect connName
            '' get service description out of the layer
            Dim serviceDesc As IWMSServiceDescription
            Set serviceDesc = wmsMapLayer.WMSServiceDescription
            Dim i As Long
            For i = 0 To serviceDesc.LayerDescriptionCount - 1
                Dim layerDesc As IWMSLayerDescription
                Set layerDesc = serviceDesc.LayerDescription(i)
                Dim newLayer As ILayer
                If (layerDesc.LayerDescriptionCount = 0) Then
                    Dim newWMSLayer As IWMSLayer
                    Set newWMSLayer = wmsMapLayer.CreateWMSLayer(layerDesc)
                    Set newLayer = newWMSLayer
                    Dim grpLayer As IWMSGroupLayer
                    Set grpLayer = wmsMapLayer.CreateWMSGroupLayers(layerDesc)
                    Set newLayer = grpLayer
                End If
                wmsMapLayer.InsertLayer newLayer, 0
            Dim layer As ILayer
            Set layer = wmsMapLayer
            layer.Name = serviceDesc.WMSTitle
            Dim mxDoc As IMxDocument
            Set mxDoc = Document
            mxDoc.FocusMap.AddLayer wmsMapLayer
            Dim activeView As IActiveView
            Set activeView = mxDoc.FocusMap
        End Sub
  5. Replace the propSet.SetProperty URL, with the desired WMS service URL, currently:
  6. Compile and run the script.