UK: Getmapping has launched a web map service (WMS) to stream Ordnance Survey (OS) Maps and Getmapping aerial photography over the Internet. WMS is increasingly popular because it reduces network overhead and the need to manage and update large constantly changing datasets.
WMS is a standard protocol for streaming georeferenced map imagery over the Internet to web based applications, GIS and CAD software. WMS feeds only load imagery that a user actually needs to see rather than a whole dataset, which often results in lengthy load times or delays when panning and zooming. Aerial photography which is a large dataset can put a heavy strain on a network especially when it is being accessed by many users at the same time. Having an external source available through WMS reduces network load and the costs associated with data storage and management.
WMS feeds are available for Getmapping aerial photography, Ordnance Survey mapping and the People’s Map. In the case of maps all the available scales are layered into one WMS feed. This means that the feed detects the level of zoom and displays the most appropriate scale of mapping only delivering the data required.