I recently downloaded some soils data using a WMS server into ArcMap. Here is a link to these data http://maps.isric.org/. The data gets imported into ArcGIS as a .lyr file composed of about 20 layers (for example the clay dataset in the link) . I want to convert and save each of these layer files as a raster file.

How do you do this using ArcGIS Desktop?

I eventually want to resample a few of these layer files and save them as .asc (ASCII) files.

  • 3
    Layer files aren't data, they're pointers to one or more data sources (with the symbolization). So you can't convert the layer file itself into a raster, but you may be able to extract the data to which it refers (or not, since one of the reasons to serve up WMS is to avoid giving away the data).
    – Vince
    Jan 10, 2020 at 21:18

2 Answers 2


You can't*. A WMS serves rendered map images not data.

You can use data.isric.org to download the actual data instead.

* You can save a georeferenced raster of the WMS map image, but you're still only getting the rendered map, not the actual data.


How do you do this using ArcGIS Desktop?

You use it as an external data source, you can query at any point location to get the underlying data (the clay layer is queryable), but you can't directly access the full data though the WMS.

I put full data here, because as can be seen in the GetCapabilites response for the clay service:


The service reports support for (as well as image formats) vector tiles (application/x-protobuf), so you might be able to get a generalized version of the data too; not sure what support is like within ArcGIS though.

    <Format>image/png; mode=8bit</Format>

For the clay data, you might also note that there is an accompanying WCS:

Clay WCS service

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