I have published a GeoTIFF file using GeoServer's (2.4.5) WCS service.

I also defined a colormap style on GeoServer. I know the style works, because, when I load the map through WMS the colormap is there and the legend image is also generated.

But when I try to load it into ArcMAP or QGis using WCS, I just get a stretched gray scale.

Opening the same GeoTIFF file directly from the catalog in arcmap, lets me calculate the statistics and histogram, and then I can define and edit a colormap for that layer, but this option to calculate the statistics for the WCS raster is not available.

I also tried to create a classified or unique value colormap in the symbology tab at the properties dialog, but those options are not available for the WCS, only for the file opened directly.

How can I make ArcMap take into account the style information I created using GeoServer or, alternatively, how can I make ArcMap let me create and use a classified colormap for this WCS raster.

Thanks to anyone who tries to help.

  • There is no GeoServer 2.5.5 and nor is there likely to be one. I guess you mean 2.4.5? Mar 17, 2014 at 15:32
  • yes sorry, I ment 2.4.5 Mar 17, 2014 at 15:47
  • WCS is designed to return the data not the portrayal which is what you see in a WMS - so it seems to be working as designed.
    – Ian Turton
    Mar 17, 2014 at 16:24
  • A GeoServer WCS service can return a colour image, but so far it doesn't look like you have tested your service to see if your style is applied correctly. Try a direct WCS GetCoverage request in your browser (WCS 2.0.1 is probably the simplest sytax) like: localhost/geoserver-2.5/OneGDev/…
    – nmtoken
    Jun 23, 2014 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


According to what can be read from ArcGIS` help site (Adding a WCS service to ArcMap), there is no statistical information in the WCS layer that ArcMap can use to provide renderers other than stretched and discrete for WCS raster display. A WCS layer is different from a file raster layer in this respect.

WMS layers, however, can include style information, which is set up at the map server level.

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