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Overview

One very simple way to use MassGIS Web Mapping Services is to add layers in the WMS (web map service) to your desktop while you are using some GIS software, such as ArcMap, QGIS, Google Earth, etc. The WMS layers are just waiting for you to grab them and use them, you don't need to download a shapefile first. Depending on the GIS program (client) used, you can connect to GeoServer WMS or WFS mapservices. GeoServer is recommended as the most likely to provide good results. Each GIS program might work a little differently. Please feel free to add your experiences below. A Google search for "WMS Client" will turn up many software application that can add WMS layers, mixing and matching data from different servers. Some clients that MassGIS has tried are listed below, with information on how to connect to the MassGIS web mapping service, and our user experience.

NOTE: Since MassGIS has limited time to test these applications the information about each is not comprehensive but focuses on how to connect to MassGIS WMS/WFS services. Please feel free to edit this page to correct any inaccuracies or add more information about the clients.

Information about some WMS/WFS clients on this page as a spreadsheet: viewer_matrix.xls Aleda's Quick Survey - Excel spreadsheet MATRIX of functionality

Information about open source desktop GIS (most are WMS/WFS clients) on this page as a HTML or Word Doc: **Stefan Steiniger's open source GIS Desktop Clients

I have GIS software "X" already - How do I connect to the MassGIS web mapping services with this client software?:

Quantum GIS (QGIS)

  • _Version Tested_: 2.8 (Wien)
  • _Date Tested_: 3/13/2015
  • webpage
  • download
  • user guide
  • Instructions to connect to MassGIS WMS/WFS
    _Quick Take_:
    Pros:
       free
       open source
       good editing tools
       enormous amount of data manipulation tools
       data can be seen in tabular format
       can edit shapefiles
       seems fast
    Cons:
       geocoding available through Google plugin

uDIG

  • _Company_: Refractions
  • _Version Tested_: 1.3.2
  • _Date Tested_: 2/14/2013
  • webpage
  • Instructions to connect to MassGIS WMS/WFS
  • OGC Tutorial
    _Quick Take_:
    Pros:
       free
       open source
       seems fast
       data can be seen in tabular format
       can see SLD as file from created symbology
       can edit shapefiles
        can address match
    Cons:
       can't create some types of basic SLD from the UI

MapWindow GIS

  • _Version Tested_: 4.8.6  (Note - 4.8.8 was tested 8/23/2013 and could not connect - MapWindow tech support has been contacted.)
  • _Date Tested_: 3/23/2012
  • webpage
  • download
  • user guide
  • book
  • Instructions to connect to MassGIS WMS/WFS
    _Quick Take_:
    Pros:
       free
       open source
       good editing tools
       can read MANY data formats
       can edit shapefiles and other data manipulation tools
       can address match (uses Google)
    Cons:
       can't do WFS

Gmap4

  • _Company_: MappingSupport
  • _Version Tested_: 5.0
  • _Date Tested_: 8/5/2013
  • webpage
  • user guide
  • user guide
    _Quick Take_: 
    Pros:
       free   
       link parameters define WMS data to display
       same Gmap4 link works on desktops/laptops and smartphones/tablets
       touch-friendly interface when a Gmap4 link is opened with a mobile browser
       ability to display different services/data
       numerous basemaps built-in including high resolution topographic maps
       fast
       displays high resolution topographic maps for the USA.  (ESRI offers medium res topos.)  Simply zoom in somewhere and change the basemap (button in upper right corner) to "t4 Topo High"
  • Cons:
        code is obfuscated
        can't edit shapefile    This version does not support WFS or identify on features for WMS

GOS Dashboard

  • 3/27/2013 - The GOS Dashboard seems to be unavailable
  • _Company_: The Carbon Project
  • web page
  • Windows Vista or 7 required
  • Connects well to MassGIS WFS as reported on web

Gaia

  • _Company_: The Carbon Project
  • _Version Tested_: 3.4.2
  • _Date Tested_: 3/27/2013
  • web page
  • download
  • user guide
  • Instructions to connect to MassGIS WMS/WFS
    _Quick Take_:
    Pros:
       free
       MassGIS Web Mapping Services preset
       seemed fast
       can change data symbolization with WFS
       can add notes to map
       can add variety of data
       extenders (add-ons) available for GPS, editing, other functions
    Cons:
       no address matching

Google Earth

  • _Company_: Google
  • _Version Tested_: 6.1.0.5001
  • _Date Tested_: 3/23/2012
  • web page
  • download
  • user guide
  • Instructions to connect to MassGIS WMS/WFS
    _Quick Take_:
    Pros:
       free (some higher functionality versions can be purchased)
       great navigational tools
       ability to add different services/data
       address matching
    Cons:
       cannot edit shapefiles (at least in free version)

ArcGIS Explorer

  • _Company_: ESRI
  • _Version Tested_: 1750
  • _Date Tested_: 3/23/2012
  • web page
  • download
  • user guide
  • Instructions to connect to MassGIS WMS/WFS
    _Quick Take_:
    Pros:
       free
       address matching
       can add notes to map
       can add variety of data
    Cons:
       seemed slow
       can't add WFS (so can't change data symbology)
       I didn't see identify on features for WMS
       cannot edit shapefiles

ArcMap

gvSIG

ARC3WMS

  • _Organization_: Refractions Research
  • _Version Tested_: Beta 2.0.1
  • _Date Tested_: 2/2010
  • web page
  • Instructions to connect to MassGIS WMS/WFS
    _Quick Take_:
    Pros:
       free
    Cons:
       no identify
       need to create a small config file for each layer you want to add

World Wind

OpenJUMP (Java Unified Mapping Program)

  • _Company_: Vivid Solutions
  • _Version Tested_: 1.5.1
  • _Date Tested_: 3/23/2012
  • webpage
  • download
  • user guide
  • Instructions to connect to MassGIS WMS/WFS
    _Quick Take_:
    Pros:
       free
       open source
       good editing tools
       can edit shapefiles
       data can be seen in tabular format
    Cons:
       no geocoding
       I was not able to successfully connect to MassGIS WMS/WFS

I don't yet have software to connect - what should I use?

What do you need to do?

  • I just want to _browse a map_ (connect to MassGIS WMS layers)

          Try: Quantum GIS, Gaia, uDIG, MapWindow

  • I want to _create my own data_ (shapefiles)

    Try: uDIG, MapWindow, Quantum GIS
  • I want to _zoom to an address_ (one address)
    Try: uDIG

     


     

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