Overview

Nearmap WMS 2.0 (referred to as WMS) integration allows you to load high-resolution imagery into your off-the-shelf GIS and CAD applications on demand. Nearmap WMS 2.0 is based on OGC protocol WMS 1.1.1.

To consume the latest Nearmap imagery via WMS, you must use a Nearmap Simple or Custom API service.  Both services provide you with a personalised WMS URL. Accessing data through WMS contributes to your overall usage allowance. 

To display Nearmap imagery, you will need to tell your GIS or CAD package to load a Nearmap layer in the coordinate reference system in which our WMS server supplies it. This is specified in our layer capabilities file, readable by WMS-enabled software packages, and located at https://api.nearmap.com/wms/v1/latest/apikey/APIKEY?service=WMS&request=GetCapabilities.

A simple test to check that the above URL works is to paste it in a web-browser and check that you get the layer names. If the URL is not correct, it will give an error message.

If your application is not able to load images correctly, remove the part of the URL starting from the question mark and try configuring it with  https://api.nearmap.com/wms/v1/latest/apikey/<APIKEY>.


We support the most popular
coordinate systems for our imagery. 


API services for WMS 2.0

In order to load imagery via WMS 2.0, you must use one of the following API services.

Simple API Service

Simple API service is a lightweight service that provides a WMS URL that has latest imagery only for your AOI. You will not be able to perform geofencing or view imagery over a date range.

Custom API Service

Custom API service allows you to define one or more custom areas to obtain a personalised WMS URL. For these custom areas, you will be able to navigate the time and set boundaries for the dates. When you load custom WMS, the date layers are synced up to the latest imagery, and you will know the exact dates for the imagery you are loading. You can select any area, and it doesn't have to be exact. You can also import an area by uploading a GeoJSON file.

When you create an area in MyAccount, you're defining a template/metadata for that particular service. At that point no data is downloaded. We recommend that you roughly sketch out around your AOI; it does not need to follow your local government area boundaries.

Nearmap provides the imagery natively in the local projection for Custom WMS services. Only those state plane projections that intersect with the AOI are available as an option in which you can request imagery. Note that state plane projections are valid only in the US.

Limits to Custom WMS services

  • Maximum number of WMS places - 50
  • Maximum number of areas per place - 10
  • Maximum area size - 15,000 km²
  • Maximum width or a height of an area - 500 km
  • Maximum number of characters for place name - 100
  • Maximum number of characters for an area name - 100
  • Maximum number of nodes in an area geometry - 1000
  • Allowed characters in place/area name - No restriction


Using API services for WMS 2.0

To use WMS 2.0, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that you have access to the required API application.
  2. Create a Simple or Custom API service to obtain a WMS URL.
  3. Authenticate using an API key.
  4. Load the URL into your CAD or GIS application.

  Once authenticated, your software package will have a way for you to specify:

  • The Nearmap layer you want to view
  • The coordinate reference system you want to use to view the layer


When you use either simple or custom WMS 2.0 API service in an application, the service will be updated with the new imagery every time Nearmap publishes a new survey.


Video: Getting Started with Nearmap WMS 2.0



Related Information

For an overview of APIs and WMS, read the following Getting Started guides:



FAQ

  • Page:
    What are the best practices for defining areas?

    Use simple boundaries around your areas of interest. The imagery is not requested until you interact with the application, so there is little difference in what imagery is returned when the custom service is used.

  • Page:
    Should I use Simple or Custom WMS?

    The simple WMS should be used if you want the only latest imagery for your area (Australia/New Zealand/USA/Canada). You will not be able to perform geofencing or navigate time. Custom WMS will allow you to perform geofencing and to set up specified regions as the only imagery you can view. For those regions, you will be able to navigate the time and set boundaries for the dates.

  • Page:
    Can we limit the date range when creating the custom polygon?

    Yes, the custom WMS allows you to limit the date range. You can specify either start date or end date, or both. It limits the surveys you get back as layers in your service. 

  • Page:
    Can I specify a polygon programmatically?

    No, you cannot create a polygon programmatically. 

  • Page:
    If we create many areas, does it have a performance impact?

    The performance impact is not so much dependent on the size of the area, but on the number of surveys you bring back. There is a limit on how big an individual area can be, currently set at about 5000 km2, and you can specify up to ten areas in the same service. If you bring in ten metropolitan areas around Australia, you could be loading thousands of surveys. That would slow down your initial loading into your GIS application.

  • Page:
    Are there limits to the Custom WMS services?
    • Maximum number of WMS places - 50
    • Maximum number of areas per place - 10
    • Maximum area size - 15,000 km²
  • Page:
    When loading into QGIS without the satellite imagery, why wasn't I able to remove the black around the aerial imagery?

    This is probably because your layer is brought through QGIS by default with JPEG. JPEG does not have transparency support, so when there are areas with no data, they are displayed as black. We recommend that if you want to look at a zoomed out version of Nearmap imagery, for example when you're looking at a whole city or state, bring it in as PNG. If you're working mainly with zoomed in imagery, bring it in as JPEG. 

  • Page:
    Can I upload a KML/Shapefile/FileGeoDatabase to define my areas to limit usage to precisely my areas?

    No, you need to draw your areas, and the usage is only incurred at the time of browsing imagery in your GIS application.

  • Page:
    Is WMS 2.0 more accurate than what I am currently using?

    Australia - We have adjusted the datum of the imagery that is returned by default when you don’t specify a projection, i.e. rely on application defaults. WMS 2.0 will automatically adjust the imagery to GDA2020 coordinate system for Australia and NZGD2000 for New Zealand. This will reduce positional errors and projection mismatches ensuring your imagery lines up. WMS 2.0 will continue to support the GDA94 MGA zone projections in Australia.

  • Page:
    Is there a way to know what is the date of the latest imagery?

    Yes, in custom WMS you can know the date of the latest imagery, while in simple WMS you cannot. When you bring in the in the custom WMS the date layers are synced up to the latest imagery, and you know exactly which dates you are bringing in. With simple WMS there is no way to get at the dates, since it is a very simple lightweight service.

  • Page:
    What do you see if you constrict start and end dates?

    When you constrain a start date, to exclude older imagery, for an area if no more recent imagery is available, is a blank layer returned or your default, low-res (old) satellite imagery?  It would be very useful to see that there is no recent imagery after the constrained end date.

    You simply get no layers if you create an area with a polygon and restrict the dates to a particular range. The satellite layer, which was by default included in our last version of WMS, is no longer included in the responses, so you do not get satellite imagery unless you explicitly ask for it. So yes, it would be possible to see that there is no recent imagery after the constrained end date. 

  • Page:
    How do I use GDA2020 projections?

    For Simple WMS all AU MGA zones are available in both GDA94 and GDA2020. For Custom WMS only the zones that intersect with the area of interest will be available as an option to request imagery in.

  • Page:
    How do I use State Plane projections?

    Only available in Custom WMS. Only the state plane projections that intersect with the area of interest will be available as an option to request imagery in.

  • Page:
    When selecting an area can I select our local government boundary?

    Yes, you can select any area, and it doesn't have to be exact. You will need to draw the area though, you cannot import your boundaries.

    When you create an area in the self-service API portal, you're defining a template/metadata for that particular service, at that point no data is downloaded. We recommend that when you are interested in an area you roughly sketch out around that area, it doesn't matter if it is not following your local government area boundaries. The data is only downloaded when you bring it into the application, and you start interacting with the imagery in the application. 

  • Page:
    Does interacting with the imagery in the area definition window count towards my usage?

    Yes. When you define an area, a small amount of imagery is loaded to provide context for where we have coverage. We envisage that there will be very little usage coming from this tool because:

    • The map is very small, i.e. not full screen
    • It is used infrequently to create services