Services such as Jeremyâ€™s mapdex has certainly raised the profile or rather, the ease of use in finding geospatial web services. Although limited to picking up ArcIMS at the moment, i eagerley await his next installment of WMS service support *hint hint*.
In the mean time, i had a query from a collegue about how to go about finding some open WMS services so he could test out one of his apps. While CS-W (Catalogue Services – Web) is brewing away in the never never, lets use Mr Google,
12,100 results. A good enough start. Although be weary that pagerank doesnt really help us,
- in determining the more â€œpopularâ€ services
- if the service is still alive
- if the service is even supposed to be public
Iâ€™d highly advise contacting the owner before using any servers in a non-test environment
Lets narrow it down to country,
- 30 results. Ouch
- 980 results â€¦ better
- 16 results. Surprising.
Sure itâ€™s hit and miss but at least it gives you somewhere to start. Who knows, you might even find a service which is documented and actually has metadata!
Skylab Mobilesystems has a rather large list available which was collected using their â€œWMS-Crawlerâ€. No idea on how it actually collects the servers, but i suspect its much the same as what we use with google.
If there are further resources on public services, please leave a comment for others to use.
It raises an interesting point on WMS security though. Mapdex honours any ACL restrictions on ArcIMS services â€¦ but with no such alternative for most WMS apps, anyone who visits a getCapabilities document and then visits google is potentially opening up the server to the googlebot crawler.
I guess if youâ€™re really that worried, you should look into adding your WMS applications to your robots.txt, or using some rewrite rule to deny access to identified crawlers.
Interesting point none the less.