WCS -- OGC Web Coverage Service

The optional GDAL WCS driver allows use of a coverage in a WCS server as a raster dataset. GDAL acts as a client to the WCS server.

Accessing a WCS server is accomplished by creating a local service description xml file looking something like the following, with the coverage server url, and the name of the coverage to access. It is important that there be no spaces or other content before the <WCS_GDAL> element.

When first opened, GDAL will fetch the coverage description, and a small test image to establish details about the raster. This information will be cached in the service description file to make future opens faster - no server access should be required till imagery is read for future opens.

The WCS driver should support WCS 1.0.0 and 1.1.0 servers, but WCS 0.7 servers are not supported. Any return format that is a single file, and is in a format supported by GDAL should work. The driver will prefer a format with "tiff" in the name, otherwise it will fallback to the first offered format. Coordinate systems are read from the DescribeCoverage result, and are expected to be in the form of EPSG:n in the <supportedCRSs> element.

The service description file has the following additional elements as immediate children of the WCS_GDAL element that may be optionally set.


Starting with GDAL 1.9.0, this driver includes experimental support for time based WCS 1.0.0 servers. On initial access the last offered time position will be identified as the DefaultTime. Each time position available for the coverage will be treated as a subdataset.

Note that time based subdatasets are not supported when the service description is the filename. Currently time support is not available for versions other than WCS 1.0.0.

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