If I set up a Web Feature Service that provides point (location) data, can my WFS also provide a bunch of additional data for events that occurred at those points? Is there a better way to do that? Would a GIS tool such as an ESRI product even know how to deal with the event data? Should the WFS only include the point data?

What am I trying to do? I have a database full of data that has samples/observations that occurred at monitoring locations over time. Our database users want to be able to pull the data into their GIS tools over the web (not through database connectivity) and then do all sorts of cool stuff with the data in their GIS tools. Is WFS the rights type of service for what I'm trying to do?

  • I'll defer to others more knowledgeable on WFS than me but me understanding is that for an Esri product to understand such data you would need to be using ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension. WFS that comes with the Core product supports Simple Features GML only. – PolyGeo Apr 26 '13 at 23:30

So as I understand your requirements the answer here is that this is possible.

Consider the below point data provided as a Web Map Service and accompanying GetFeatureInfo request window for some point location showing all the attributes in the underlying shapefile.

Point data From WMS

Now instead of a WMS you could instead (or, as in this case, as well) provide a WFS. In this case if we look at the DescribeFeatureType response we can see all the attributes are available.

DescribeFeatureType request for a point data set

And a GetFeature response looks like:

<gml:Envelope srsName="EPSG:27700">
<gml:lowerCorner>1905336.825148 276130.427262</gml:lowerCorner>
<gml:upperCorner>1905336.825148 276130.427262</gml:upperCorner>
<gml:Point srsName="EPSG:27700">
1905336.825148 276130.427262

These example services are provided by MapServer but there's nothing special here to prevent it being set up in ArcGIS, GeoServer, or any other WFS server software. You'll just need to pull all the required data (Points and additional data into a single data source).

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