These instructions apply to ArcMap 10.2.2 in Esri ArcGIS for Desktop and describe how to load georeferenced Nearmap imagery using the Nearmap Web Map Service (WMS).

Rather than import a single image of a small area, WMS allows ArcGIS for Desktop to request the imagery directly from the Nearmap server in a variety of map projections.


To consume Nearmap imagery via WMS, you must first create a Simple or Custom WMS Service, which generates a URL for you to copy to your computer's clipboard. Once you have done that, you can conveniently paste it into your application as required.

For more information, check out the WMS 2.0 Integration documentation.

Loading Imagery

  1. Open ArcMap. In the Table of Contents window, right-click Layers and select Properties.

  2. Type in a search term for the map projection or coordinate system you wish to use, and select it from the expandable list found. The projection you choose should match the one you plan to use from the Nearmap WMS server.

  3. In the Catalog window, double-click Add WMS Server in the GIS Servers category.

  4. In the Add WMS Server window paste the WMS URL you copied to your clipboard earlier.

    • Do not enter anything in the User and Password fields.
    • Click OK.
  5. You should see an expandable list of available Nearmap WMS layers appear in the Catalog window. For now, just click and drag NearMap WMS Server onto either the map or the Table of Contents section.

  6. Geographic Coordinate Systems Warning message may appear; just click Close.

  7. A message about layers failing to draw will appear, because by default ArcMap attempts to open all layers when only five can be open at a time. You will want to uncheck any checked layers. This message can be closed.

  8. An expandable list of available WMS layers should now be visible in the Table of Contentswindow. First, right-click NearMap WMS Server and select Properties.

  9. In the Advanced tab of the Layer Properties window, set the Layer Image Format to JPEG and click OK. This will substantially improve performance and reduce data usage compared with PNG24, at a very small cost to image quality.

  10. Now you can choose a map layer to load. Some layers are nationwide, others cover single states or cities.

    It is best to choose a single state layer because locally optimal map projections are not available for nationwide survey layers. Please refer to Natively Supported Coordinate Systems.

    Selecting the "State Latest" layer for your area of interest will always return the most recent imagery available for the area.

    Check the box for the survey you're interested in and uncheck all other boxes. Then right-click the survey and choose Change Coordinate System.

  11. Select the map projection or coordinate system you would like to use, and click OK. It should match the one you set in step 2.

  12. Right-click the survey again and select Zoom To Layer. Your map should appear.

  13. As you zoom in, higher resolution imagery will be loaded on demand.