Providing geoscience data globally Navigation
Main content
Bottom links


Home > Technical detail for participants > OneGeology WMS service Registry naming conventions

OneGeology WMS service Registry naming conventions

1. For the WMS service URL:

example = BGS_Bedrock_and_Superficial_Geology/wms

structure = .../ organisation_theme/wms

Note that within this structure the URL elements to the left of /cgi-bin/ are likely to indicate the server of the data e.g. shows it is BGS that owns this URL. The first part of the URL depends on the technical architecture and rules of the service providers. The second part, when possible (because it can depend on the WMS software capabilities), should have the same structure as the service title. The OneGeology Registry of services cannot be too strict about the left hand side of this rule as this naming could be partially out of the control of OneGeology service providers but the principle is  one completely separate WMS service for each 'country' being served and a completely separate service if the same 'country' is being served  in one or more different languages e.g. English and French services from the BRGM.

A second same data but different language service from a OneGeology Participant follows the principle that you only need to label a service when it is having a specific non-default language e.g. if the BRGM served it's first default  service in French i.e. the contents of  the getcapabilities response and legends were in French, and it decided to contribute to the OneGeology target aim of (everyone ultimately) providing an English service also then it would use the Optional ISO 2 letter language code (see, use 3 letter code only if 2 letter code does not exist) to differentiate between the default service and the second language service. Place this code AFTER the organisation code e.g. default BRGM service might be .../BRGM_ Formations Géologiques… and the second English language  service would then be .../BRGM_EN_ Geological_Formations… We do not recommend that you include the language code for your default service – this will be obvious from the associated metadata and a great number of  the OneGeology services will be in English anyway i.e. specify the language in the url (and the service layer names and service layer titles below) only if it is different from your default.

2. For the WMS service itself:

The title should have the service provider name and the dataset's themes.

No scale (because a same service can provide layers with various scales)

No geographical area (because a same service can provide layers for various areas)


BGS Bedrock and Superficial geology

BRGM Formations Géologiques

If the service is setup for a specific area, we can accept this area information in the title.

  • Name: OGC:WMS
  • Title: example = «BGS Bedrock and Superficial geology»
  • Abstract
  • Keywords – the Keyword "OneGeology" should be present to be able to search for services and layers with this keyword
  • OnlineResource: a link to the provider web site
  • Contact Information with at least: Contact, Organisation, Country, Contact Electronic Mail Address

3. For each layer:

Layer Titles:

This title should show information (more or less a kind of metadata):

  • geographical area
  • data provider
  • scale
  • theme (we decided not to call this FeatureType that is too much linked with GeoSciML, but GeoSciML partners could/should use GeoSciML FeatureTypes)


GBR BGS 1:625K Bedrock Lithostratigraphy

FRA BRGM 1:1M Formations géologiques - France Continentale

FRA BRGM 1:1M Formations géologiques - Guyanne

The geographical area should use the ISO code (GBR, FRA, ...) but it does not exist for "regional" maps (Europe, Africa, ...) so a word could be used instead of the ISO code (It is required to have the area in the title, but the format could be more flexible to get a good "readability" for the user of the layer list)

Layer Names:

To simplify the rules for the user and to avoid name duplication in the registry, this name must have the same structure as the title (we only delete the first part of the scale as the ":" cannot be used, and replace spaces by "_":






The provider is responsible to guarantee that there is no layer name duplication in all the layers he provides (the same kind of requirement we have for urn administration in GeoSciML).

For GeoSciML (OneGeology level 2) partners, the theme should represent the GeoSciML FeatureType.

  • Name: example = «GBR_BGS_625k_BA» (see below)
  • Title: example = "GBR BGS 1:625k Bedrock Age" (see below)
  • Abstract
  • Keywords -– the Keyword "OneGeology" should be present to be able to search for services and layers with this keyword
  • DataURL (with Format and OnlineResource) — optional
  • LegendURL (with Format and OnlineResource)
  • MetadataURL (with Format and OnlineResource) — optional

The layer name should have the following components separated by underscore characters:

  • ISO 3 letter country code (see or short geographical name such as "World" or "Europe" for areas not corresponding to a country. (You should still use a single country code even if your data coverage spills over somewhat into neighbouring countries.)
  • Optional ISO 2 letter language code (see, use 3 letter code only if 2 letter code does not exist) for your non-default language service layers if you are providing more than one language service.
  • Organisation initials
  • Scale in a form such as "500k" or "1M". Rather than using decimal points as in 1.5M use 1500k.
  • Theme code. For the most common themes we have created standard codes below, if you have other types of data please create your own 2 or 3 letter code. If you think other participants might serve the same type of date you could post a message on the OneGeology forum for discussion of an agreed code. These codes rather than full textual strings are required because we have discovered that MapServer has a 20 character maximum limit on service names. We have also found that some non-Mapserver WMS services from ESRI , including the newer ArcGIS 9.2 Server WMS functions do not allow the specification of service layer names at all – the software auto-names layers 0,1,2... and we have discussed at a senior level in ESRI-USA if this can be worked around. It cannot for the time being apparently and this will be dealt with in the OneGeology Registry through the use of auto-generated unique id's for each registered service layer, this is necessary as in a Catalogue like that for OneGeology one cannot have two layers having the same name i.e. both being named layer name 0. This would occur with just two different geological surveys using ArcGIS 9.2 Server WMS to contribute to OneGeology:
    • BA – Bedrock Age
    • BLT – Bedrock Lithology
    • BLS – Bedrock Lithostratigraphy
    • SLT – Superficial Lithology
    • SLS – Superficial Lithostratigraphy

The layer title has similar components expressed in a slightly more readable form and separated by spaces rather than underscore characters.

  • ISO 3 letter country code, exactly same as layer name.
  • Optional ISO 2 letter language code, exactly same as layer name.
  • Organisation initials, exactly same as layer name
  • Scale in a form such as "1:500k" or "1:1M". Decimal points such as in 1:1.5M are acceptable here.
  • Theme. Use descriptive phrase in the service language. For English services the layers will most commonly be "Bedrock Age", "Bedrock Lithology" etc. as above.