WMS is a standard protocol for streaming georeferenced map imagery over the Internet to web based applications, GIS and CAD software. WMS feeds only load imagery that a user actually needs to see rather than a whole dataset, which often results in lengthy load times or delays when panning and zooming. Aerial photography which is a large dataset can put a heavy strain on a network especially when it is being accessed by many users at the same time. Having an external source available through WMS reduces network load and the costs associated with data storage and management.
WMS feeds are available for Getmapping aerial photography, Ordnance Survey mapping and the People’s Map. In the case of maps all the available scales are layered into one WMS feed. This means that the feed detects the level of zoom and displays the most appropriate scale of mapping only delivering the data required. For example, with Ordnance Survey mapping when fully zoomed in the WMS will display MasterMap, and then when zooming out say from a building to a neighbourhood it will display OS StreetView.
One of Getmapping’s first WMS customers is Trakm8, a fleet tracking and telematics solutions provider. Trakm8’s ‘Swift’ fleet management packages provide complete visibility of fleet activity via the internet. The application includes sophisticated mapping with an optional aerial photography layer. Trakm8 chose Getmapping’s WMS feed because it provides them with access to nationwide aerial photography on a subscription basis, there was no need to purchase the data outright or to manage the dataset on their servers.
“Getmapping’s WMS service has made adding aerial photography to our service a simple process. We have access to the most up to date aerial photography of the whole country which is fed straight into our application via WMS. It is fast, efficient and cost effective,” said James Hedges, Trakm8’s Financial Director.