I have the following GetCapabilities request to a GeoServer WCS service:


Very neatly it returns me an XML response with a lot of nice information. It also returns information, on different contents, i.e. different GeoTIFFs that are located within the folder "Netherlands_Study_Site_Paulina".

However, I am specifically interested in 1 of the GeoTIFFs. For example, there is one with the title: DTM.

Question: Is there a way to specify which content I want in the GetCapabilities request?

2 Answers 2


Is there a way to specify which content I want in the GetCapabilities request?


The purpose of the GetCapabilities request is to find out what the service can offer, that is the identifiers, the formats, the operations, the supported coordinate reference systems, the languages supported...

Note (as it's discussed in comments), if you want to request a WCS 2.x + service you should use the AcceptVersions parameter, and not the version parameter, like:


Once you have found a coverage identifier that you are interested in the next logical step is to do a DescribeCoverage request. This provides you with all available metadata about the coverage, but doesn't give you the coverage data itself.

For example:


  • oops, yes, AcceptVersions for version negotiation (now corrected), AcceptLanguages is for language negotiation
    – nmtoken
    Jan 5, 2017 at 15:10

While typing the question I had an epiphany and found the answer.

The error in my question is that I want to do a GetCapabilities request and specify the content, i.e. identifier/coverage.

It is not needed to specify any other keywords in the GetCapabilities request. If I want to do a request of a specific layer/content/identifier/coverage (many different terms), a GetCoverage request is needed.

With wcs version 1.1.0 a GetCoverage request can used. With the key word IDENTIFIER, I can specify the content from which I want coverage. Furthermore, the following keywords are mandatory for a wcs version 1.1.0 GetCoverage request: VERSION, REQUEST, IDENTIFIER,BOUNDINGBOX, FORMAT.

But I am just touching the tip of the iceberg, for a fully detailed explenation, see: http://mapserver.org/ogc/wcs_server.html

Answer: No there isn't because GetCapabilities requests don't need any other keywords. If you want to specify the content of the WCS request, use for example, the GetCoverage request.

  • 1
    Second step is to do DescribeCoverage, for example demo.opengeo.org/geoserver/…. If you just start studying WCS I recommend to learn version 2.0 and forget the older ones.
    – user30184
    Jan 5, 2017 at 14:06
  • really? Just focus on 2.0? The geoserver I am using implements WCS 1.0 and 1.1.1
    – J.A.Cado
    Jan 5, 2017 at 14:07
  • 2
    The version 2.0 of the standard is much better than the old ones IMHO. Pity if you can't use it. As far as I know the INSPIRE download services will be based on version 2.x if WCS will be accepted as an alternative. New GeoServer versions support it out of the box.
    – user30184
    Jan 5, 2017 at 14:13
  • 1
    Whilst the technical guidance for providing an INSPIRE compliant download service for coverage data using WCS is based on WCS 2.x, strictly speaking INSPIRE doesn't mandate this version. If a data provider wants to use WCS < 2.0 they will need to be able to demonstrate that their service is compliant to the regulation, for example that it can handle language negotiation. WCS 2.x gets this ability through OWS Common 2.0, earlier versions of WCS don't have any inbuilt language capability...
    – nmtoken
    Jan 5, 2017 at 15:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.