GEOG 585
Open Web Mapping



Up to this point, you have largely worked with data on your local machine using QGIS. In this lesson, you'll take a step into the web world by making some of your map layers available on GeoServer as web services. 

This lesson focuses on web services that use the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS) specification. GIS professionals have been using WMS to draw FOSS web maps for years. WMS doesn't use the latest and slickest technology, but it's a functional and widespread specification that's important for you to understand and feel comfortable with.

As part of this lesson, you'll practice serving some of your term project data as a WMS; however, you are not required to use the layer in your term project if you decide there is a more appropriate format. As you'll see in the next few lessons, there are various other ways to draw layers in a web map.


  • Identify the pros and cons to using a dynamically drawn web map service (as opposed to a tiled service).
  • Recognize the role of OGC in defining open geospatial web service specifications.
  • List the basic functions of a WMS and describe how and why each would be invoked.
  • Expose GIS datasets as a WMS using GeoServer.
  • Use SLDs to define layer styling in a WMS. Create the SLDs using code and using the GUI environment of QGIS.
  • Identify and critique a WMS used in a public-facing website.


  • Read the Lesson 4 materials on this page.
  • Complete the two walkthroughs.
  • Complete the Lesson 4 assignment.