Data streaming APIs - WFS and WMS

Accessing the LRIS Portal OGC Web Feature Service API & Landcare Research's Web Map Services

Warning: WFSs do not currently work in QGIS 2.0.

The current version of QGIS is not reading version numbers correctly and timing out while a request is running.Our colleagues at LINZ have some fixes developed but have not yet pushed into these to the QGIS project.  (20/12/13)


Web services allow software and web applications to directly access data residing in the LRIS Portal.

The LRIS Portal now supports a Web Feature Service (OGC WFS) for accessing vector data. (Go here if you are interested in a Catalogue Web Service (CS-W) for accessing metadata about the data in the LRIS portal.)

Unlike the more common OGC Web Map Service (WMS) that returns an image of a map (see below), WFS returns actual features with geometry and attributes that you can use in any type of geospatial analysis. WFS also supports filters that allow you to perform spatial and attribute queries on the data. For more information go to: Wikipedia | OGC

Web Feature Service user guide

For a step-by-step guide on how to use the Web Feature Service (WFS) to retrieve data using ArcGIS, Quantum GIS and MapInfo, see the 'Using LDS web services: an introduction' user guide. (While written for users of the LINZ Data Service web services, the principles are exactly the same for LRIS Portal WFS.)

Access control: web service keys

Access to web services is linked to individual user accounts via use of web service keys. A web service key is a sequence of letters and numbers embedded in the URI used to access a web service. A web service key looks like this:

62a95841c73c45789986223b5f1f3cd6 (non-functional)

Only registered users of the LRIS Portal can create web service keys, and web services providing data require a web service key.

Web service keys give Landcare Research the following benefits:

Web service keys give users the following benefits:

Creating a web service key

You must be a registered LRIS Portal user to create a web service key.

1. Click the Dashboard link in the menu bar.

2. Click the API Access tab

3. Under the "Create a new API Key" title, select "OGC Web Services (WFS)" from the drop-down menu.

4. Add an appropriate label for the web service key. Examples: "My ArcGIS" or "FME Processing Workflow" or "iPhone Application".

5. Click the Create button.

6. Copy the resulting Web Service Key and use it in the URI of a web service (explained below).


Web Feature Service (WFS) for vector layers

Use this URI in your GIS software:<YOUR-WEB-SERVICE-KEY>/wfs


The URL for the GetCapabilities document is:<YOUR-WEB-SERVICE-KEY>/wfs?SERVICE=WFS&REQUEST=GetCapabilities

Landcare Research's Web Map Services

Landcare Research has been providing WMS for some of our science data and background topographic maps on an experimental basis for over a year now. These services have not been widely publicised because of concerns about reliability of the service under heavy demand. The Informatics team at Landcare Research has recently finished porting our WMS infrastructure to the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and we can now scale our services as usage increases and offer high levels of guaranteed availability.

We have also taken the opportunity to add additional map layers, e.g., maps of the New Zealand Land Cover Database, and support for more maps projections. We also provide Cached Tile Services. Using one of the supported tile service protocols allows our maps to be accessed faster.

More layers and support for more projections, particularly support for the Google Maps projection, will appear in the near future.

Details on how to access the WMS and how to use it with various desktop GIS and web applications can be found at

If you have any questions, please contact us: