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Guide to adding data from MassGIS's GeoServer to GIS software

MassGIS hosts hundreds of datalayers in GeoServer for use in our online maps and applications. This guide shows the steps used to add the layers to ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro and QGIS.

In addition to downloading data from our website, you can connect to our open source GeoServer to view map layers. This is useful for viewing, but you cannot edit the data or change the symbology. This is a step by step guide on how to add MassGIS GeoServer data to ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, and QGIS.

Table of Contents

Using ArcMap

Step 1: Once you have opened your .mxd, click on the Add Data dropdown and click Add data.

adding geoserver to arcmap step 1

 

Step 2: The window will have multiple options, double-click on GIS Servers.

adding geoserver to arcmap step 2

Step 3: Double-click Add WMS Server.

adding geoserver to arcmap step 3

Step 4: A window will appear where you will add https://giswebservices.massgis.state.ma.us/geoserver/wms (be careful not to duplicate the https://). No need to fill in any other fields.

adding geoserver to arcmap step 4

Step 5: Click OK. A "working on it" popup will appear and the URL will appear in the Name: window and will persist as one of your connections.

adding geoserver to arcmap step 5

Step 6: You are now ready to explore the list of layers in GeoServer by clicking on the Add button; then this list will appear:

adding geoserver to arcmap step 6

Step 7: Once you have scrolled through the list and found your layer, double-click it to add it to the map. You may get a Transformation error popup that you can dismiss.

adding geoserver to arcmap step 7
adding geoserver to arcmap step 8

Using ArcGIS Pro

Step 1: Open your Project, click the Insert tab, and then open the Connections dropdown.

adding geoserver to arcpro step 1

Step 2:  In the Connections dropdown, select New WMS Server.

adding geoserver to arcpro step 2

Step 3:  In the Add WMS Server Connection popup, paste https://giswebservices.massgis.state.ma.us/geoserver/wms into the Server URL window and click OK.

adding geoserver to arcpro step 3

Step 4: Click on the Map tab to return to the map, then click on the Add Data button and click on the first selection: Data

adding geoserver to arcpro step 4

Step 5: There will now be a Servers option in the left column; click that and in the right pane you should see:

adding geoserver to arcpro step 5

Step 6:  Double-click the GeoServer connection in the right pane, which will expose the list of available data. Double-click your layer so it appears in the map.

adding geoserver to arcpro step 6

Using QGIS

Step 1: Open QGIS and in the Browser pane, right click on WMS/WMTS, and select New Connection:

adding to QGIS step 1

Step 2: This popup will appear:

adding to QGIS step 2

Step 3: In the Name window, type MassGIS (or whatever you want). Then copy/paste this URL into the URL window: https://giswebservices.massgis.state.ma.us/geoserver/wms. Then click OK.

adding to QGIS step 3

Step 4: After clicking on 'WMS/WMTS' in the Browser pane, you’ll see the MassGIS (or whatever you named it) connection. Double click Massachusetts Data from MassGIS (GeoServer).

adding to QGIS step 4

To find layers, you can either scroll through the list and double-click your layer of interest or use the filter tool by entering keywords.

adding to QGIS step 5
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