The Web Feature Service (WFS) allows an application to retrieve, query, and filter geospatial content encoded in Geography Markup Language (GML) from multiple Web Features. Information can be retrieved about a specific feature, or a set of features for analysis. Filters can be applied in the request. For example, select all the water features within a region or custom polygon, such as a new housing development. An application would overlay these retrieved features, such as streets, store locations and points of interest, onto a map image by adding points and vectors to the image.

Use the Web Feature Service to help perform a search for features within a given distance from a point (or other type of geometry). A standard compliant WFS client, such as MapInfo Pro, can access data by submitting an XML request through HTTP to display it on a map or to get vector geometries for calculations. For example, a real estate application determines a realistic value for a home by comparing the distance of it to numerous features, including railroad tracks, highways, shopping malls, and police stations. This application would call WFS to select a highway feature and a home (a point). The application would then calculate distance values for proprietary rating calculations.

WFS provides operations that:
  • describe the service capabilities
  • get the schema description for features
  • get features and information about them

The OpenGIS Consortium (OGC) Web Feature Service standard (versions 1.0.0, 1.1.0, 2.0.0, and 2.0.2 located at defines how a client can retrieve and query features over the Internet or a private intranet by submitting requests through HTTP. Both SOAP and HTTP POST/GET requests are supported. Products that can use results from an OGC compliant WFS server will work with Spectrum Spatial's OGC Web Feature Service.

The WFS service and resources you expose to WFS are configured and managed using Spectrum Spatialâ„¢ Manager; see Managing WFS Feature Types and Configuration.

Note: If you are using this service we strongly recommend you do not disable Basic authentication, which leaves only token authentication available on the server. For more information, see Web Service Authentication.