I'm using ArcObjects .NET to load WMS 1.3.0 service layers from our ArcGIS server into ArcMap 10.2.2. The process of connecting to the server and adding layers works fine, however none of the layers will draw - I simply have a blank canvas. I have tried two methods to add WMS layers to the map:

  1. Using 'Add Data' button > GIS Server > Add WMS Server
  2. With ArcObjects .NET (see code below)

        'setup connection properties
        Dim pMap As IMap = pMxDoc.ActiveView.FocusMap
        Dim pWMSLayer As IWMSGroupLayer = New WMSMapLayer
        Dim pConnectionName As IWMSConnectionName = New WMSConnectionNameClass
        Dim pPropSet As IPropertySet = New PropertySetClass
        pPropSet.SetProperty("URL", txtURL.Text)
        pConnectionName.ConnectionProperties = pPropSet
        Dim pDataLayer As IDataLayer = CType(pWMSLayer, IDataLayer)
        'connect to server
            pDataLayer.Connect(CType(pConnectionName, IName))
        Catch ex As Exception
            MsgBox("Error connecting to server: " & ex.Message)
        End Try
        'get top level group layer from server
        Dim pServiceDesc As IWMSServiceDescription = pWMSLayer.WMSServiceDescription
        Dim pLayerDesc As IWMSLayerDescription = pServiceDesc.LayerDescription(0)
        _WMSGroupLayer = pWMSLayer.CreateWMSGroupLayers(pLayerDesc)
        'add layers to map
        For i As Integer = 0 To _WMSGroupLayer.Count - 1
            Dim pLayer As ILayer = _WMSGroupLayer.Layer(i)

Both methods add the layers to the map and they are visible in the table of contents with no errors or warnings. I can view layer source (seems correct), extent (also seems correct), some symbology properties, and I can also zoom to the extent of the layer (which changes map zoom), however nothing at all is visible on the map canvas. Scale range isn't the issue as I've tried zooming in far beyond the specified range.

I've come across this page relating to WMS layers not drawing in ArcMap 9, but it isn't offering me any working solutions for 10.2:

WMS layers won't draw in 9.3

I have tried changing coordinate system of data frame (and layers), no to effect. They are all in WGS1984 which is supported by the WMS service.

At this point I don't know what else I can try besides contacting ESRI for assistance. Does anyone have any ideas or similar issues with WMS layers? Thanks.

EDIT: also looks like this person had the same problem but no solution was posted.

  • If you are paying Maintenance then contacting Esri for support sounds like a good idea.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 11:15

1 Answer 1


I figured out a few reasons why my WMS layers were not drawing:

  1. I was adding individual WMS layers to the map - layers will not draw unless the full parent WMS group layer service is added - individual layers can then be turned on/off as desired.
  2. Folder permissions on our ArcGIS server were set incorrectly for WMS service. I'm not sure why it was letting me connect and add layers but preventing them from drawing. But it's fixed now anyway.

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