I am writing a manuscript about QGIS, and I categorized the data types into 3 classes according to popularity (raster, vector, web-data). Then I separated web-data to WMS and WFS. Under the heading WFS I introduced the OpenLayers Plugin in QGIS as WMS basemap catalog, am I right?

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    I think you are getting confused slightly. QGIS is basically a client for viewing and manipulating data with some geospatial aim. Data can come in a whole variety of formats. One way of getting data is through web services, such as WMS for georectified images, WFS for vector data, and WCS for coverages (often but not always rasters). – nmtoken Feb 7 '16 at 11:19

I think a decision to use geographic data isn't a question of popularity, but a methodic question. Raster and Vector data are basic gis data structures, they can be stored locally, or web-based. WMS and WFS are something like raster-vector, but WMS is for serving raster maps or raster map layers, they are graphic representations of raster and vector data, while WFS is a feature service on vector basis. If you want a more complete structure, see this: Comparison of WMS and WFS services or this: What are the differences between WMS, WFS, WCS, WPS? Also there are good wikipedia articles on that topic, but we all know we should not cite it ;-) In earnest: Read the stuff in the www and then try to find good articles, they are reviewed, published, accepted and citable!

  • I know this stuff (gis literature), the popularity wasn't a good a term in my question. In my opinion its a mixed category (combination key), mixing data models and data structure. But briefly: Can we say that the OpenLayers QGIS plugin is a WMS catalog? – pnz Feb 7 '16 at 11:19
  • if you mean catalog in the sense of the ogc, that a catalog is a collection of metadata, than openlayers is still a tool to access wms. Openlayers itself provides nothing. You can go and combine it with a web catalog. A prominent tool is mapbender, designed as content management system for geographic information. The OGC-Standard on catalog services may defines what you are looking for. – Andreas Müller Feb 7 '16 at 11:39
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    If the plugin exposes services that aren't OGC WMS, then I don't think it can be called a WMS catalog (or a WMS anything else). As far as I can see services are bing maps (not a WMS), OSM (not a WMS)... so it might be a catalog (I'm not even sure that is correct), but not of WMS. – nmtoken Feb 7 '16 at 11:41
  • OSM is just the name, but it is exactly the same like OSM Mapnik in QuickMapServices plugin. And the Bing layers (others as well) also seem to be raster, as WMS results. Ok, then catalog also is not a good term, because one should be able to search in metadata in it. Then my question: Can we say that OpenLayers QGIs plugin is a WMS (basemap) collection? – pnz Feb 7 '16 at 11:46
  • As far as i can see it utilizes the Openlayer-Capabilities to load web maps from different sources, including wms (which is ogc specific, as nmtoken said). I don't know if there is a general word for web mapping service that includes other proprietary solutions like google or bing? Collection is good, but it can be extended by the user. – Andreas Müller Feb 7 '16 at 16:58

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