WFS

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Web Feature Services

What is WFS?

WFS stands for Web Feature Service, and it was developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) to allow geographical features to be served to clients over the Internet via the HTTP protocol.

Basically, geographical features are objects that represent a point of interest on a planetary body. They contain useful information, such as a name, type, and geometries that are associated with the feature (e.g. the feature could be a line or a polygon). WFS allows clients to request, edit, add, and delete features, whereas WMS simply returns an image of a map (which is non-editable). In a nutshell, WMS returns an image of a map, and WFS returns the information behind the map.

Geographical features are transported from the client to the WFS server and back in GML format. GML stands for Geography Markup Language, and it is a dialect of XML that is tailored to modeling geographical features.

Where does the WFS data come from?

How to access the WFS servers