Coverages and Web Coverage Service: the Big Picture

This page gives an overview of the coverage data model and the WCS service suite. -- PeterBaumann - 07 May 2013

Table of Contents:

OGC coverage data and service standards overview diagram


Figure: Coverage data and service model overview

Coverage specifications (with adoption status)

All coverage-related adopted standards - in particular: the CIS and WCS suites - can be found on the OGC WCS page, except for the WCPS language definition which is maintained separately for historical reasons.

Coverage data model:

  • Core:
    • Coverage Implementation Schema (CIS), version 1.1 document and schemas for XML, JSON, RDF and examples: (adopted, backwards compatible next version of CIS/GMLCOV 1.0); key features (see rationales):
      • CIS 1.1 is backwards compatible to CIS/GMLCOV 1.0, and does not require any change to WCS 2.0 (just a formal extension to allow WCS instances serve the new coverage types - accomplished by WCS 2.1)
      • instead of the cumbersome grid distinction of Rectified / Referenceable Grid, various axis types are defined: non-referenced, regular, irregular, etc; these axis types can be combined arbitrarily in a coverage (eg, regular, rectified Lat and Long axes together with an irregular time axis)
      • support for grids as per SensorML 2.0
      • coverages can be partitioned into sub-coverages while still acting as one (eg, in a WCS GetCoverage request)
      • prepared for JSON support (next version)
    • Coverage Implementation Schema (CIS), version 1.0.1 document and schema, OGC 09-146r2: adopted
      • renamed GML 3.2.1 Application Schema - Coverages (GMLCOV) to Coverage Implementation Schema (CIS) resulting from a renaming of OGC to better reflect contents of the standard (too many people believed GMLCOV is just a GML encoding, while it actually defines interoperable coverage structures in a format-independent way)
  • format encoding extensions:
  • data model extensions:

WCS service model:

OAPI-Coverages service model:

  • OAPI-Coverages is an additional OGC service interface, based on the OGC Coverage Implementation Schema (CIS) data model; it aims at an increased harmonization across OGC services, resulting in a complete OAPI family.
  • from a WCS perspective, OAPI-Coverages constitutes an additional protocol binding for serving CIS coverages
  • at Geospatial World Forum '21 an overview on OAPI-Coverages and its relation to WCS has been presented

Coverage Analytics:

Non-Coverage documents:

Technical Coverage resources


These are drafts of advanced ISO TC211 specifications under way for adoption. WARNING: these are not adopted standards, and may not get adopted verbatim. They are just provided "as is" for community information.

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
08-068r3_Web-Coverage-Processing-Service-Language_2020-08-11.pdfpdf 08-068r3_Web-Coverage-Processing-Service-Language_2020-08-11.pdf manage 1 MB 09 Nov 2020 - 13:15 PeterBaumann WCPS 1.1
09-045r1_WPS_Application-Profile_-_Coverages_2014-11-04.zipzip manage 62 K 02 Jan 2015 - 14:24 PeterBaumann 09-045r1 WPS Application Profile - Coverages
09-146r3_Coverage-Implementation-Schema_2016-04-14.zipzip manage 731 K 14 Apr 2016 - 16:04 PeterBaumann Coverage Implementation Schema 1.1 (draft, incorporating RFC comments)
13-057_WCS_Extension_-_Transaction_2014-09-15.zipzip manage 146 K 09 Dec 2015 - 14:50 PeterBaumann 13-057 WCS Extension - Transaction
14-121_WCS_Extension_-_XPath_2014-12-01.docxdocx 14-121_WCS_Extension_-_XPath_2014-12-01.docx manage 96 K 17 Dec 2015 - 15:33 PeterBaumann 14-121 WCS Extension - XPath (draft)
14-121_Web-Information-Service_2016-05-18.zipzip manage 94 K 03 Jun 2016 - 21:14 PeterBaumann OGC Web Information Service (WIS) 1.0
15-065r1_Testbed_11_Referenceable_Grid_Harmonization_Engineering_Report_FINAL.pdfpdf 15-065r1_Testbed_11_Referenceable_Grid_Harmonization_Engineering_Report_FINAL.pdf manage 1 MB 03 Oct 2017 - 14:29 PeterBaumann Testbed-11 Engineering Report motivating CIS 1.1
16-083_ReferenceableGridCoverage_Extension.zipzip manage 101 K 24 Jun 2016 - 20:58 EricHirschorn GMLCOV 1.0 ReferenceableGridCoverage Extension, updated on June 24, 2016
17-089_WCS-core_2017-11-25.zipzip manage 99 K 03 Dec 2017 - 18:11 PeterBaumann WCS 2.1 draft (prepared for upcoming OGC TC vote)
2021-09-01_CovSwg_19123-3.pptxpptx 2021-09-01_CovSwg_19123-3.pptx manage 903 K 02 Sep 2021 - 08:59 PeterBaumann Coverages.SWG presenttion of 19123-3 draft
2021-10-21_GWF-21_OAPI-Coverages.pdfpdf 2021-10-21_GWF-21_OAPI-Coverages.pdf manage 1 MB 27 Oct 2021 - 13:04 PeterBaumann OAPI-Coverages overview
ISO_19123-1_for-FDIS-ballot.docxdocx ISO_19123-1_for-FDIS-ballot.docx manage 1 MB 22 Dec 2022 - 11:58 PeterBaumann ISO 19123-1 Abstract Coverage Model -- successfully passed DIS, now under FDIS ballot
ISO_19123-3_for-FDIS-ballot.docxdocx ISO_19123-3_for-FDIS-ballot.docx manage 919 K 22 Dec 2022 - 11:58 PeterBaumann ISO 19123-3 Abstract Coverage Processing Model -- successfully passed DIS, now under FDIS ballot
WCS-internal-organization.pngpng WCS-internal-organization.png manage 30 K 19 Jun 2019 - 11:18 PeterBaumann WCS-internal data organization
cis_1-1.zipzip manage 867 K 04 Apr 2017 - 10:18 PeterBaumann Coverage Implementation Schema 1.1 (adopted standard)
wcs-spec-hierarchy.pngpng wcs-spec-hierarchy.png manage 65 K 09 Nov 2020 - 13:19 PeterBaumann OGC coverage data and service standards overview diagram
wcs_2019-06-05.eapeap wcs_2019-06-05.eap manage 3 MB 19 Aug 2021 - 13:40 PeterBaumann Coverage data and service UML model (non-authoritative)
Topic revision: r54 - 22 Dec 2022, PeterBaumann
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