How to use Geospatial Services

Geospatial services makes one or more spatial datasets (e.g., roads, land use, aerial photos), or geospatial functionality (e.g., geocoding) available directly over the Internet. Services can be used by GIS clients on the desktop in web applications. This page provides brief information about how some of the service types available on the Commons can be used.


Web Map Services allow you to display air photos and other maps on your computer without having to download all the data. WMS is an open standard. There are many ways to access a WMS, including free software and in web applications. See MnGeo's page on how to use WMS for more information.

Esri ArcGIS for Server Map Service

Esri map services are described with the "esrirest" format tag in the Geospatial Commons. More help will be created here soon, but for now, consider visiting Esri help: Adding ArcGIS for Server map service to ArcMap or Use map image layers in ArcGIS Pro.

Other Services

A variety of other types of services may be found on the Commons. Usually searching for the type of service in your software's help system or submitting a support request is the best way to learn how to consume such services.