Easy Tip: New sources of maps: WMTS in MapInfo Pro!

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New sources of maps: WMTS in MapInfo Pro!
User-added imageThe release of MapInfo Pro 16.0 brings enhancements to the support for Open Geo Spatial Consortium (OGC) standards. MapInfo Pro v16.0 supports Web Feature Service 2.0 and the Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) specification. This article is about the WMTS support. Using a WMTS allows retrieving tiled mapping data through a local intranet or the Internet. The MapInfo Pro WMTS client handles server specific details such as available number of zoom levels, image formats, tile sizes and more.

Background to WMTS

WMTS is a standard created by the OGC to improve the mapping experience by improving the performance of serving maps from a central server to a client. The maps are accessed as tiles (pre-processed map images) which are cached. It puts much of the data processing operations such as layers overlaying and others on the client, thus to ease the pressure of data processing on the GIS server.

WMTS uses a tile matrix set to show the map split, as shown in Figure below. A map is cut into multiple tiles according to a fixed scale, forming a tile matrix.

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Each set of tiles represents one zoom level at which you can view the map. If you are familiar with using public mapping servers such as Google Maps or Bing Maps, the different "steps" upon which you can zoom in and out are analagous. 

WMTS Server Requirements

MapInfo Pro can access WMTS servers with version 1.0.0 including the simple profile. MapInfo Pro can access WMTS servers that have support for any of the following formats:
  • KVP (Key-Value Pair)
  • REST (Representational State Transfer)
MapInfo Pro does not support SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) format.

Supported WMTS Operations

MapInfo Pro supports following WMTS operations:
  • GetCapabilities: The GetCapabilities request is used to obtain information about the available map tile types and supported operations. It gives service metadata about the server, including specific information about the layers that can be requested and the associated tile sets available, image format supported, styles, and supported operations.
  • GetTile: This request is used to obtain an actual imagery tiles.
  • GetFeatureInfo: It provides information about the features located at a particular pixel of a tile map, similar to the WMS GetFeatureInfo operation. The MapInfo Pro Info tool is used for this.
Accessing WMTS Data through MapInfo Pro

To access WMTS data and build a TAB file, go to HOME tab. In the Open gallery, choose WMTS. The Open WMTS Table dialog box will appear. 

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Once you have saved a WMTS table, you can change its WMTS layer settings using the WMTS Table Properties dialog box. To access this dialog box, go to the TABLE tab. In the Maintenance group find the Web Services drop-down list and choose WMTS Table Properties

When this dialog box displays, select the layer for which you want to edit the settings. You can change the image formats, the style of the layers and more. 

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Info Tool Support for WMTS Layers

The MapInfo Pro Info Tool provides GetFeatureInfo support for WMTS. When you click on a WMTS layer with the info tool selected, MapInfo Pro displays information in the Info window about the features of the layer that you have retrieved from the WMTS server. 

The supported GetFeatureInfo formats include:
  • HTML
  • Text/plain
The support for WMTS opens up the possibility of accessing new sources of data in MapInfo Pro. You will see some useful WMTS appearing in MapInfo Pro but you should take a look to see if there are any other WMTS that might be helpful to you.

Article by Mahima Relan and Kriti Anand.

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Kriti Anand
When not writing articles for MapInfo pro, Kriti likes to explore features of MapInfo Pro. When not working, she likes to read about new things and loves to drive.

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Mahima Relan 
When not writing articles for "The MapInfo Pro", Mahima works as QA for MapInfo Pro Advanced, When not working she likes to dance, swim and watch nature's beauty. 

UPDATED:  July 26, 2017