Add WMS services

A Web Map Service (WMS) delivers georeferenced map images. A WMS service may also contain a Styled Layer Descriptor (SLD) to specify how the WMS layer is to be symbolized and portrayed.

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Project group, click the Connections drop-down list and click New WMS Server.

    The Add WMS Server Connection dialog box appears.

  2. Type the URL of the WMS server site you want to connect to in the Server URL text box. The URL varies depending on the site configuration.
  3. If the WMS server you are connecting to has additional capabilities so you can add custom request parameters specific to this WMS server as a parameter list. Be aware that ArcGIS Pro will not be able to validate these additional parameters.
  4. Type your user name and password, if appropriate.
  5. If you want to save your user name and password information to avoid entering it each time you connect, check the Save Username/Password check box.
  6. Click OK.

A WMS connection file (.wms) is created and saved in the project's home folder. An item referencing this connection file is added to the project, and the connection appears in the Catalog pane and the catalog view.

Right-click the WMS service in the Catalog pane to add the service to the current or a new map. You can also add the service by dragging and dropping it on the map or Contents pane.

WMS services allow you to add one or more sublayers. You can select a group of sublayers by pressing Shift and clicking the first and last sublayer in the group you want to add. You can also select nonsequential sublayers by pressing Ctrl and clicking each individual sublayer. After selecting the sublayers you want, right-click the selected sublayers and choose to either add them to your current map or to a new map.


When you add individual WMS sublayers, you create one WMS service entry in the table of contents for each sublayer you add. Additional service layers require additional requests to the server, which can affect performance. To minimize these requests, you may want to add an entire WMS layer and use the Layers tab on the Properties dialog box to define the list of WMS sublayers.

A WMS service doesn't define which of its layers appear turned on when you initially access it. ArcGIS Pro automatically turns on the first 20 layers in any WMS service you add to a map or scene.

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