Open Geospatial Consortium/Web Coverage Service

Project Description
The Open Geospatial Consortium/Web Coverage Service is a specification
developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium that describes the Web Coverage
Service (WCS) that supports the networked interchange of geospatial data as
"coverages" containing values or properties of geographic locations. Unlike the
Web Map Service (WMS) (OGC document #01-021r2), which filters and portrays
spatial data to return static maps (server-rendered as pictures), the Web
Coverage Service provides access to intact (unrendered) geospatial information,
as needed for client-side rendering, multi-valued coverages, and input into
scientific models and other clients beyond simple viewers.

The Web Coverage Service consists of three operations: GetCapabilities,
GetCoverage, and DescribeCoverageType. The GetCapabilities operation returns an
XML document describing the service and the data collections from which clients
may request coverages. Clients would generally run the GetCapabilities
operation and cache its result for use throughout a session, or reuse it for
multiple sessions. The GetCoverage operation of a Web Coverage Service is
normally run after GetCapabilities has determined what queries are allowed and
what data are available. The Get- Coverage operation returns values or
properties of geographic locations, bundled in a well-known coverage format.
Its syntax and semantics are similar to the WMS GetMap request, but several
extensions support the retrieval of coverages rather than static maps.

Visit the Open GIS Consortium homepage at
http://www.opengeospatial.org/