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2.2 WMS service title

2 star accreditation requirement

For a 2 star accredited service, the service title must conform to these naming protocols.

The service title holds information about the service provider, the data owner (if different), the service language, and a generalized statement or short summary (we term this the theme) of the data served in all the layers. It should be noted that the service URL should be based on the service title, where the software permits — we cover this in more detail later. The service title (or URL), does not include any scale representation or any geographic area or coverage information; this information is held at the layer level. Remember that a service may provide data layers covering more than one geographic area and each layer may be at a different scale.

In the service title, URL, (and also layer titles and layer names), the organization whether data owner or service provider, is identified by the registered organization code. The data owner organization code follows the service provider organization code. The data owner organization code does not need to be specified if the data owner is serving their own data (is also the service provider).

The language of a service is determined by the language used by the contents of the GetCapabilities response and of the legends. The code used to identify a language shall be the ISO 639-1 two-letter language code, if available; otherwise it shall be the ISO 639-2 three-letter language code. See Wikipedia for a list of most ISO-639 codes (

The service language code follows the data owner organization code. The service language code does not have to be specified if either the language is the default language of the data owner organization, or if the data owner is serving only one service and that service is provided in English.

The final part of the service title is the service theme. The service theme is a generalized summary of the all the data provided in the layers of the service. The service theme is usually written in the language of the service. Using the BGS exemplar service as an example, the service provides layers on Superficial geology and other layers on Bedrock geology, a good summary of this for the service theme is therefore "Bedrock and Superficial geology", similarly, a French speaking Geological Survey might provide two services for their own data, one provided in French and the other in English; the theme for the French service might be "Formations Géologiques" whilst the theme for the English service would be "Geological Formations".

In summary then the format for a WMS service title is:

Service Provider Organization code then Data Owner Organization code (optional if data owner and service provider are the same) then ISO 639 language code (optional if service is in default language, or if one service is provided and that service is in English) then Service Theme.

For the BGS exemplar service this could translate as any of:

"BGS BGS EN Bedrock and Superficial Geology", or as

"BGS EN Bedrock and Superficial Geology", or as

"BGS BGS Bedrock and Superficial Geology", or as

"BGS Bedrock and Superficial Geology"

We would normally recommend using the shortest version where possible, though you may wish to add a language code if you specify the service theme in English but supply the service in your native (non-English) language.

We will run through more examples of service titles in Section 2.3 on the WMS service URL; remember that the service URL should be based on the service title.

2.2.1 Root layer name

Indicative XPATH to metadata:
/WMT_MS_Capabilities/Capability/Layer/Name (WMS version 1.1.1)
/WMS_Capabilities/Capability/Layer/Name (WMS version 1.3.0)

Some software (such as MapServer) allows you to configure the root layer name, if you are able to configure this layer name we suggest it should follow the same naming convention as the service title, but with substituting underscores for spaces.

For example, for the BGS exemplar service the root layer name is: BGS_EN_Bedrock_and_Superficial_Geology

INSPIRE layer naming considerations

If your INSPIRE service is only serving layers of one type, one way of applying group layering would be to use the root layer name and title (not service name and title) as the grouping layer, see section 2.5 for further details.

Section last modified: 21 October 2015

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