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TOC > Usage overview > WMS layers in QGIS

Tutorial: display, interact and animate WMS layers in QGIS

Usage examples of MSC GeoMet geospatial web services in the free and open source QGIS desktop software:

Adding WMS layers in QGIS

The use of WMS (Web Map Service) layers makes it easy to add geospatial data to a QGIS project without having to download and create the layer styles yourself.

In the following example, the air temperature layer of the MSC Global Deterministic Prediction System (GDPS) is displayed from MSC GeoMet:

  1. Open the QGIS browser panel
    • Right-click in the toolbar
    • Check
  2. Add a WMS service
  3. Add a WMS layer to the project
    • Return to the browser panel under WMS/WMTS and navigate through the tree structure to reach the desired layer

Animated example of the procedure:

Adding WMS layers in QGIS

Browsing through available WMS layer styles

MSC GeoMet often provides several different graphical representations for a single layer. The client can choose to display the data using the style most appropriate for their use case. For more information on the WMS styles, visit the handling styles page.

It's possible to use QGIS to browse through available styles for a given WMS layer and the following example will show how to do so:

  1. In the menu bar, choose: Layer - Add Layer - Add WMS/WMTS layer...
  2. Select the desired WMS service and click on
  3. Navigate through the tree structure to reach the desired layer, and expand the last level
  4. Choose amongst the available styles, the one you want to visualize for the selected WMS layer and click on to display the layer

Browsing through WMS styles with QGIS

Possible interactions with WMS layers in QGIS

Here are the basic manipulations of a WMS layer:

  • To move around the map:
  • To zoom in on a location on the map:
  • To zoom out of a location on the map:
  • To make a "GetFeatureInfo" and get the raw value of a pixel or a geospatial feature of a WMS layer:

Animated example of these manipulations:

Examples of interactions with WMS layers

Manipulating the time component of the WMS layers

Manipulation example of the temporal dimension of a WMS layer:

  1. Add a WMS layer with at least one time dimension using the browser panel (refer to the section adding WMS layers in QGIS)
  2. After adding a WMS layer, double-click on the small clock next to the layer name in the layer panel:
  3. Make sure that the temporal properties of the layer are recognized
    • "Temporal" must be checked
    • "Specify time range" must be selected
    • Make sure that "Start date" and "End date" correspond to the time values of the layer in the "GetCapabilities"
    • Close the layer properties window
  4. Open the time control panel in the toolbar: click on
    • Update the time values by clicking on:
    • Adjust the time step according to the interval of the time dimension of the WMS layer. This information is available in the "GetCapabilities" of the layer
    • Use the animation tools to manipulate or animate the WMS layer

Animated example of WMS layer temporal manipulation:

Manipulating the time component of WMS layers