I would like to add the WCS of this dataset to ArcMap: https://hfrnet-tds.ucsd.edu/thredds/catalog/HFR/USWC/500m/hourly/RTV/catalog.html?dataset=HFR/USWC/500m/hourly/RTV/HFRADAR_US_West_Coast_500m_Resolution_Hourly_RTV_best.ncd

I see three grids available (latitudinal... surface_eastward..., surface_northward..) but when I try to add them to the map I get an error: "A selected item could not be added to the map Failed to open raster dataset"

How can I add this data to ArcMap?

  • the WCS URL is just https://hfrnet-tds.ucsd.edu/thredds/wcs/HFR/USWC/500m/hourly/RTV/HFRADAR_US_West_Coast_500m_Resolution_Hourly_RTV_best.ncd?
    – nmtoken
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 9:18
  • I just tried this. I pasted the URL, clicked "Get Coverages," selected everything (3 items), clicked "OK," clicked "Add," selected the 3 items, clicked "Add," and still get the same message: "A selected item could not be added to the map Failed to open raster dataset" Did it work for you?
    – Nena
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 9:44
  • I get a similar message. I can see that ArcMap sends a DescribeCoverage request, the WCS service responds but takes too long to return a complete document. So this appears to be an issue with the WCS service, rather than ArcMap.
    – nmtoken
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 14:28
  • In QGIS I also get an error 2019-09-26T15:33:00 CRITICAL Invalid Layer :
    – nmtoken
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


The issue here is to do with a misconfiguration of the WCS service.

A DescribeCoverage request like below, tells us that the spatial reference system used by the coverage is EPSG:0 [Latitude_Longitude]


Gives us:

    <EnvelopeWithTimePeriod srsName="urn:ogc:def:crs:OGC:1.3:CRS84">
      <gml:pos dimension="2">-122.59346771240234 37.45548629760742</gml:pos>
      <gml:pos dimension="2">-122.0468978881836 38.13872528076172</gml:pos>
    <gml:RectifiedGrid srsName="EPSG:0 [Latitude_Longitude]" dimension="2">
          <gml:low>0 0</gml:low>
          <gml:high>105 152</gml:high>
        <gml:pos>-122.59346771240234 37.45548629760742</gml:pos>
      <gml:offsetVector>0.005205426897321429 0.0</gml:offsetVector>
      <gml:offsetVector>0.0 0.004494993310225637</gml:offsetVector>

As part of the operation of loading any WCS data ArcMap (and QGIS) look first at the GetCapabilities response, then a DescribeCoverage (for the selected coverages), and on the basis of the information in the DescribeCoverage response, make a GetCoverage request.

The problem is that EPSG:0 [Latitude_Longitude] is not a known CRS.

A user selecting a CRS like crs:84 in their client will result in a request like:


Which gives an error along the lines of not a valid request expecting CRS of EPSG:0 [Latitude_Longitude]...

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