I have to add raster data in geoserver using Web Coverage Service. I have raster data in geotiff format. The problem is that the geotiff image I have added to the geoserver is using WMS not the WCS facility. Please guide me how to add geotiff image using WCS service.

The 3 services of WCS are working properly but when I check the source code in javascript file, it shows the following code for the source of geotiff image


And in this code the image is using WMS service. Also, it uses GetMap request of WMS. I can't understand how it supports all 3 services of WCS perfectly even though uploaded geotiff image is using WMS service.

  • What have you done so far? Usually, when you publish a layer on Geoserver, WCS is enabled by default. You can then access it using the WCS operations. Where have you faced a problem? Did you get any error message? Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 7:17
  • 2
    OpenLayers does not support WCS. In-fact very few Clients support WCS. That is why in the Layer Preview, the code is using WMS. If you connect to Geoserver from a WCS compliant Client, it should work. Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 8:00

2 Answers 2


According to your question

WCS : Web Coverage Service (WCS) provides an open specification for sharing raster datasets on the Web. The raster datasets made available through WCS services are coverages.

A WCS service returns data in a format that can be used as input for analysis and modeling. This is in contrast with OGC WMS services, which only return a picture of the data.

You can do three things with a WCS service:

1.GetCapabilities--Returns service-level metadata and a brief description of the data collection

2.DescribeCoverage--Returns a full description of one or more coverages

3.GetCoverage--Returns a coverage in a well-known coverage format

Details please visit opengeospatial.org

WCS Service in Geoserver :

A GeoTiff can be generated from WMS, or from WCS. WCS offers the ability to have several different parameters

Please click here to check WCS guide in geoserver

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    The GetCoverage returns everything returned in the DescribeCoverage (for the same coverage) plus the data itself.
    – nmtoken
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 14:09

Generally, you do not need to do anything specific to get use a WCS Service when you publish a Raster Layer in Geoserver. The WCS Service is already running, and you can run any one of the 3 WCS Operations.

There are a limited number of WCS Clients. ( I have only tested the WCS operations with ArcGIS Desktop), and OpenLayers is not one of them. This is why you cannot preview the WCS operation in the browser.

You should use one of the clients given here, to test whether your WCS service is running properly or not.

  • You can get OpenLayers to consume a WCS, here's an example: Openlayers 2.13.1 with GeoServer WCS 2.0.1
    – nmtoken
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 11:39
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    @nmtoken: While this does demonstrate the usage of WCS with OpenLayers, It is rather limited, in the fact that it can only display data in JPEG , gif & PNG format. In Most cases, the actual Raster data cannot be represented as a PNG/JPEG, and hence you have to use more complicated softwares to query and display this data. Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 5:30
  • Agreed that looking at coverage data supplied through a WCS in a web client such as OpenLayers is restricted. Interestingly though, there are no PC based WCS 2.0.1 clients listed on the OGC Network WCS implementations and services page, (only web based implementations using bespoke JavaScript) so whilst I agree it is a limited implementation example using OpenLayers, I don't think it is doing too badly. The example could be a little better by offering a way to get at the raw data (GeoTiff in this example) for download.
    – nmtoken
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 14:31

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