View Data using ScienceBase Web Map Services (WMS)

ScienceBase Web Map Services (WMS) can be used to view spatial data in client-side GIS software or online visualization tools. A WMS is created for every ScienceBase item with an uploaded geospatial files (shapefiles or GeoTIFFs) or with a spatial footprint assigned using the ScienceBase Footprinter Tool. Uploaded spatial files must be unzipped to enable recognition of the file type.

Connect to ScienceBase Web Map Service (WMS) using ESRI ArcMap:

1. In the "Spatial Services" section of a ScienceBase item, copy the WMS URL (e.g.,

WMS Step 1 and 2

2. Open ArcCatalog. In the ArcCatalog tree menu, double click "Add WMS Server" to bring up the "Add WMS Server" window.

3. In the "Add WMS Server" window, paste the ScienceBase WMS URL.

4. Click the "Get Layers" button to view the available spatial data associated with the WMS. ScienceBase may generate a footprint or bounding box layer in addition to the other data layers included in the WMS.

ArcCatalog WMS Steps 2-4

Click the "OK" button to connect to the WMS. You can now view these layers with other data in an ArcMap document.

Connect to a ScienceBase WMS using online GIS software:

The WMS URL may also be pasted into visualization tools, such as The National Map (TNM) Viewer (

In the Viewer, select the "Advanced" tab, paste the WMS URL and select "Add Data".

Adding WMS to TNM


Initially, the added WMS layers may be non-active and must be selected to display in the Viewer.

TNM - WMS delivered content on map


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