I'm trying to construct WFS 1.1.0 requests by POST, which means sending an XML document. I'm having a lot of trouble working out the exact format of this document. Most of the documentation is geared around GET requests, passing parameters by URL.

Somewhat by trial and error I have worked out that for GetFeature, for instance:

  • propertyName is an element under <wfs:query> (as <wfs:propertyName>)
  • typeNameis an attribute of <wfs:query>
  • maxFeatures is an attribute of the top level <wfs:GetFeature> element

But I have no idea where to put BBOX, for instance.

Is there a clear source of documentation for the POST format?


As always with OGC standards you can download and read the standard for free. For WFS 1.1.0 goto http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/wfs and download the PDF. On pages 33 and 34 you will see the XML schema fragment that describes exactly the required format of a WFS request.

<xsd:element name="GetFeature" type="wfs:GetFeatureType"/>
<xsd:complexType name="GetFeatureType">
    <xsd:extension base="wfs:BaseRequestType">
        <xsd:element ref="wfs:Query" maxOccurs="unbounded"/>
      <xsd:attribute name="resultType" type="wfs:ResultTypeType" use="optional" default="results"/>
      <xsd:attribute name="outputFormat" type="xsd:string" use="optional" default="text/xml;                                                  subtype=3.1.1"/>
      <xsd:attribute name="maxFeatures" type="xsd:positiveInteger" use="optional"/>
      <xsd:attribute name="traverseXlinkDepth" type="xsd:string" use="optional"/>
      <xsd:attribute name="traverseXlinkExpiry" type="xsd:positiveInteger" use="optional"/>
<xsd:simpleType name="ResultTypeType">
  <xsd:restriction base="xsd:string">
    <xsd:enumeration value="results"/>
    <xsd:enumeration value="hits"/>
<xsd:element name="Query" type="wfs:QueryType"/>
<xsd:complexType name="QueryType">
    <xsd:choice minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="unbounded">
      <xsd:element ref="wfs:PropertyName"/>
      <xsd:element ref="ogc:Function"/>
    <xsd:element ref="ogc:Filter" minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1"/>
    <xsd:element ref="ogc:SortBy" minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1"/>
  <xsd:attribute name="handle" type="xsd:string" use="optional"/>
  <xsd:attribute name="typeName" type="wfs:TypeNameListType" use="required"/>
  <xsd:attribute name="featureVersion" type="xsd:string" use="optional"/>
  <xsd:attribute name="srsName" type="xsd:anyURI" use="optional"/>
<xsd:simpleType name="Base_TypeNameListType">
  <xsd:list itemType="QName"/>
<xsd:simpleType name="TypeNameListType">
  <xsd:restriction base="wfs:Base_TypeNameListType">
    <xsd:pattern value="((\w:)?\w(=\w)?){1,}"/>
  • Yes, I did come across that, but XSL is pretty hard to read. It also doesn't refer to BBOX at all. Can I infer from that there is no shorthand way to apply a BBOX without having to construct the whole Filter structure? (Whereas BBOX is a top level parameter in the URL) – Steve Bennett Jun 13 '18 at 12:11
  • that is the case, you need a BBOX filter – Ian Turton Jun 13 '18 at 13:02

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