I've got that impressions that GetCapabilites is essential part of machine to machine data interchange.

However, I also feel that the returned XML includes information that should be presented in human redable format or what? For example list of available return formats which is quite crucial to developer to know what formats can requested?

  • 3
    If web GIS developer can't parse XML then they should start learning. For making a human (not developer) readable presentation some folks use stylesheets. See geographika.co.uk/automated-wms-reports.
    – user30184
    Aug 24, 2016 at 11:20
  • This wasn't about parsing XML or ability to do so programmatically. I was mainly curious that if I had missed something useful. And these linked stylesheets are something that I thought there could be "as a standard". And as a "developer" I would like as much as possible in other formats than XML,source code etc. Aug 24, 2016 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


Just to be sure, you mean this is not readable?

<ows:Parameter name="outputFormat">
        <ows:Value>text/xml; subtype=gml/3.2</ows:Value>
        <ows:Value>application/gml+xml; version=3.2</ows:Value>
        <ows:Value>application/vnd.google-earth.kml xml</ows:Value>
        <ows:Value>text/xml; subtype=gml/2.1.2</ows:Value>
        <ows:Value>text/xml; subtype=gml/3.1.1</ows:Value>

source: https://geodata.nationaalgeoregister.nl/ahn1/wfs?request=getcapabilities

I can imagine a single line XML might is harder but most browsers show pretty print. If not, Notepad++ with XML plugin is your friend.

Learning curve might be steep at start but when you get to know it you'll love XML.

  • My point was that it could be cleaner All I want is a simple table of these properties instead of repeating same start, end and other tags. Of course syntax highlight and intendation makes it easier but it is nothing compared to tables. Aug 24, 2016 at 12:08
  • Point taken, the stylesheet suggestion will fit your needs. Aug 24, 2016 at 12:13

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