The LINZ Data Service will cease support for Web Map Services (WMS) from mid August 2020.

Following customer feedback and a review of usage, we are planning to cease support for WMS on 14 August 2020 in preference for Web Map Tile Services (WMTS).

Web Map Services (WMS) is an older OGC standard for viewing raster data, supported for a handful of legacy datasets on the LINZ Data Service (LDS). Its use by our customers has declined dramatically over recent years (by more than 50%), and is very low compared to our other modern map service, Web Map Tile Services.

Discontinuing support for map services via WMS in preference for WMTS will allow us to focus on providing the latest, most effective services to meet customers’ changing needs.

Start the transition to WMTS now

If you wish to continue to use map services from the LINZ Data Service you can switch to our modern map service, Web Map Tile Services or XYZ tile services.

Support for WMTS was added to LDS in 2015, and we have made ongoing improvements to service performance since then.

To avoid any disruption, we recommend that you begin your transition to WMTS, or an alternative service, sooner rather than later.

Go to our WMTS guides and documentation

A little about LDS Web Map Tile Services

LDS map services are available as a Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) for use in GIS applications, and a XYZ service for web and mobile mapping. These services are well supported by GIS and web mapping software, including QGIS, ArcGIS, OpenLayers and Leaflet.

A key difference between WMS and WMTS is the form of image delivery – WMS delivers uncached maps rendered on the fly, while WMTS delivers pre-rendered cached map tiles. For performance, raster images are divided into smaller tiles (256x256 pixels), then delivered as a seamless image at a variety of pre-defined zoom levels.

Datasets available via WMTS

WMTS is available for all raster datasets on LDS – more datasets than those that have WMS support. This includes all recent aerial imagery, topographic maps, and hydrographic chart images.

We also provide WMTS of LINZ’s land, road and property boundaries through our NZ Parcel Boundaries Wireframe service. This map service provides a dark outline and transparent fill, making it perfect for overlaying on another map service, or using as context in your app.

Grid datasets, including geodetic conversion grids and 3D elevation data (DEM/DSM), are not available via WMTS.

Projections available

Our WMTS supported datasets are available in a two pre-defined tilesets (projections) – NZTM2000 (EPSG:2193) and WGS84 (EPSG:3857).

An exception exists where NZTM2000 is unsuitable as a tileset option. For example, hydrographic chart images are provided in their source projection only - WGS 84 – as NZTM would distort the image.

NZTM2000 tileset support has been added on some datasets to assist with the transition.

Some GIS tools can re-project a map tile service on the fly to match the coordinate system is it using, however the image can become degradated.

Moving to LDS Web Map Tile Services

Find out information to help you move from LDS web map services to web map tiles services.

Guides and documentation

General resources

LDS Web Map Tile Service specifications

WGS 84 / Web Mercator tile scale set definition

NZTM2000 map tile service schema

Rate limiting

Web service version support 

For desktop GIS users


Using LDS WMTS in ArcGIS Desktop

For web developers

Using LDS tile services in Javascript clients

Using LDS XYZ services in OpenLayers 

Using LDS XYZ services in Leaflet 

More hints and tips

  • Some GIS tools can re-project a map tile service on the fly to match the coordinate system is it using, however the image can become degradated.
  • Image quality via WMTS should be the same if not better than WMS. If this is not the case, check that your application isn't trying to stretch the tiles, or trying to transform the tiles to another projection
  • If your application is unable to use WMTS to produce a static map or image snapshot, consider downloading the image tile from LDS instead
  • For more help with using WMTS, see your application’s documentation or your internal GIS or IT support team
Last Updated: 11 May 2020