By Geline Canayon
A Web Map Service (WMS) is a standard protocol developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium for serving georeferenced map images over the Internet. These images are typically produced by a map server from data provided by a GIS database.
State or city agencies typically have WMS server links in the same website where the GIS data is available. They can also be easily found using the keywords “WMS server link” + “city name” in any search engine.
For example, the WMS server link for New York City is in the gis.ny.gov website.
Go to Tools and select Add WMS Server.
In the importer dialogue, paste the link and click on Connect.
Once the connection is complete, select the layer you want to import then click OK.
In the Layers window, a new layer for the WMS server will be created. This layer can be activated or deactivated as needed, but it isn’t editable. Layers imported from the WMS server will be created as sublayers.
Activate the sublayer to display the background aerial images.
Note that the images are not imported into the model and will have no impact on the file size. The images are loaded via the server link so there may be some lag when zooming out.