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)
OpenJUMP (Java Unified Mapping Program)
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)