Open geospatial web services directory with insights gathered for nearly a decade

Spatineo has been monitoring over tens of thousands of open geospatial web services for nearly a decade. Some of that gathered data is freely available to everyone in our Spatineo Directory, which is one of the largest catalogues of open geospatial web services.

Our harvesting agents have been adding services to Spatineo Directory for around nine years, and it currently has nearly 150 000 services listed. We have used this extensive database to answer some intriguing questions in this blog post: What are the most common types of geospatial web services? How reliable are they and how do service providers organize their data sets – is it more common to have 1 layer or 100+ layers in one single geospatial web service? Continue reading to find out!

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What is the common type of open geospatial web service?

As we have access to a large dataset of service information including monitoring data we are able to analyze several different trends. Most organisations that host geospatial data actually publish their data via several different types of services. WMS, WMTS, WFS, INSPIRE Atom and ESRI MapServer REST- services are the ones that we currently monitor, and the top contender shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

Web Map Service (WMS) is still the king type in all overall services. Web Features Service (WFS) still holds a steady second place with about a third of the services being that type. One point we are particularly interested in is what share will the new OCG API take in this market in the upcoming years.

As we have also tracked the availability of these different types of services, we can also analyse which typing has on average the highest availability! Before checking the actual results, I would’ve guessed that they all have very similar averages. But there actually is some variation.

Just by looking at the average availability, it seems that WMS reigns supreme. INSPIRE Atom is the simplest service type to implement as it really only requires a web server, so it is only logical that those services also have high availability. Only WMTS stands out with low availability, but that can be explained by the fact that we don’t have that many WMTS monitored currently.

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Where are the services hosted?

As our crawling agents have been browsing through open internet for many years now, it has discovered services from several countries all over the world. Most services have been found in Europe, partly because of the INSPIRE directive and partly because, as a company based in Europe, that is where we have focused. But we also follow some non-European services! As an example, this WMS from National Resources Canada has been in our monitoring for a while now. It is still running like a charm, and we have historical data about the service performance for more than 8 years now! Availability looks to be very good as well, so well done NRCan!

Based on a simple analysis of web service server name domain, we compiled the following graph of the top level domains which have the most layers identified by us:

As per expected France and Germany are the top dogs in our Directory, followed by Canada Spain and Netherlands. 

What makes a spatial web service stand out?

In all of the services we are currently monitoring only a handful could be defined as extraordinarily great services. For example only 364 services achieved the absolute 100% availability within the last 12 months period. If we drop the threshold down to 99,9% around 5800 services are able to maintain that within the last 12 months. The 99% availability which is part of the INPSIRE directive can be seen in 17 000. So the jump from 99 to 99,9 is actually quite large!

Besides being available to users, the service must have a good response time. Measuring your service response time, and thriving towards that 100% availability are something that our Spatineo Monitor is designed to accomplish. Our customers’ services tend to rank very high in all metrics. They have access to insight information about their service usage, as well as get scheduled reports about their service quality with our executive reports.

So with Spatineo Monitor, you can observe when, where and how your spatial web services are used. You can view which layers get the highest number of hits and what resources are needed to enhance the robustness of your service. Our tools enable you to focus on the key points when assuring the quality of your spatial web services.

So in case you are interested in making your services better than ever try our Spatineo Monitor for free! We have our 7-day free trial, which has all the features included right at your disposal!