Where art thou WCS clients?

How can I push a proposal for provisioning elevation data via Web Coverage Services when there are no freakin’ clients?

After a couple of hours I seriously only found,

Suggesting users manually craft the requests is not an option :)

I guess this kinda gets back to my previous rants on this issue. We’ve got Deegree, Geoserver, Mapserver and quite a few other notable suppliers pushing coverages out … to where exactly??

Image courtesy http://www.refractions.net/terrainserver/

It seems absurd how many people grab the whole SRTM/Landsat/DEMs in general just because “its easier”. After looking into WCS, perhaps they are right. Chicken meet egg, again.

9 thoughts on “Where art thou WCS clients?”

  1. GDAL has a WCS driver that can be used through the command line utilities among other places (cascading through MapServer, for example).

  2. What led you to that particular DEM picture, Chris? It’s sort of freaky, that picture is one we generated some years ago with our TerrainServer product (pre-Google Earth no-tech 3D). And in an eerie coincidence, TerrainServer can in fact act as a WCS client, to fetch the underlying DEM for the models it builds.

  3. Hi,

    We wanted to write a WCS client for FME (as a companion for the WMS client), but we couldn’t find any good servers to hit for testing.

    So can I ask the question — where are the WCS servers? Is there a nice list of them somewhere (granted, my info on this is a year old now, but honestly at the time we couldn’t scare up any publicly accessible ones to test against).

    So give us some servers, and hey, we’ll get you at least one other client app….


  4. To Chris:
    Given that WCS is meant for pure data extraction I’d say in order to popularize it a web based javascript client combining an OL map preview with a set of setting to specify the non geographic aspect of the query should be enough. Who wants to write one? :)

    To Dale:
    DeeGree is the reference implementation of WCS 1.0. GeoServer will shortly be the WCS 1.1 reference implemnetation (and implements WCS 1.0 already from Gs 1.5.0 onwards). MapServer can talk WCS 1.0 as well afaik.

    To everybody:
    What strikes me is that once again OGC people had to make a complex protocol for data extraction, in some ways, more complex than WFS is. But what’s worse, you’re going to have troubles if what you want to do is more than a mere data extractor… WCS server can support one of five specified data formats, what if you understand only GeoTiff and the server can only return NetCDF?
    At least with WFS we have, ugly as it may be, one guaranteed way to get a response (GML). That’s the only format every client needs to understand.

  5. Paul: u have a good memory! I added link back to terrainserver in the img title. Let me know if this is not appropriate

    Dale: I hear ya on both fronts … see reference to chicken meeting the egg :)

    Perhaps i should put my money where my mouth is. Build the bridge and see what happens.. id still like to hear from any group that actively uses wcs and under what circumstances though

    Cheers for comments guys

  6. Andrea: RE: GML and WFS — the one issue I have there is that saying GML is not quite enough — CityGML can come forth from a WFS, as can a nice simple GML Simple Feature Profile document. So there remains some complexity to be handled there too….

    Anyone aware of any issues writing clients to Google Earth Network Links?

  7. Well, have you not answered your own question ?

    Cadcorp SIS offers a free OGC desktop client (Map Browser) as well as full support in all desktop and server products and has a growing presence in Australia, especially in WA where it is used in a fair few State depts although sometimes re-badged as other solutions?

    Would be happy to carry out some testing both server and client if you have any good services – data


  8. Can I also add we are in the same boat with WTS (Web Terrain Server), we can serve it with a tick box option in Cadcorp GeognoSIS.NET but I have yet to find a client in which to view it ?

    If anyone knows any ‘working’ examples let me know.


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