MapInfo Pro

MapInfo Monday: Opening WMTS Layers from Ordnance Survey or other providers

  • 1.  MapInfo Monday: Opening WMTS Layers from Ordnance Survey or other providers

    Posted 03-28-2021 06:43

    Happy #MapinfoMonday,

    Today we will look at taking advantage of the fast WMTS services provided by data providers throughout the World. In this example, we will use the new OS Maps API from the English Ordnance Survey.

    What is a WMTS Service?

    MapInfo Pro supports a number of ways to get base maps as images from services. WMTS is one. OGC WMS, Web Map Service, is another, and TMS, Tile Map Service is a third method. Where WMS is specified by OGC, TMS is defined by OSGeo. The TMS standard lies somewhere between the more complex OGC WMS specification and the very basic standard used by OpenStreetMap. MapInfo Pro also supports the basic OpenStreetMap Tile Service standard.

    The WMTS Service is an OGC standard web map tile service. This means it provides you with fast responses as most of the images are cached on the server and therefore it doesn't have to be rendered before passing it back to you. The OGC WMS Service, on the other hand, can request different map extents each time and so the map has to be rendered each time server-side.

    The initial URL lets the client request a capabilities document from which the final image requests can be generated.

    You can read more about the WMTS Service on Wikipedia.


    First of all, you need to make sure you have an account to be able to use the data from the Ordnance Survey. If you are using data from other vendors, you might also have to get an account for these services.

    Some of these accounts are free, others come at a cost.For the Ordnance Survey, you can create a free account here: OS Maps API.

    Add a WMTS Server

    The next step is to add the WMTS Server to the list of WMTS Server in MapInfo Pro. From the Open dropdown, click on Mapping (WMTS).

    In the WMTS Servers List dialog, click on the Add... button in the top right corner.

    In the WMTS Server Information dialog, paste the URL to the WMTS Server. For the OS Maps API, you should paste this URL:<yourkey>

    For your key, you need to enter the value that you can find for your specific account.

    For other services, you might have to add a token or a username as well as a password. This can differ from service to service.

    You should also add a description and use the Test URL... button to verify that the URL works as expected.

    Then click the OK button to add the server to the list of WMTS servers.

    Use the WMTS Server.

    When you are in the Open WTMS Table dialog, select the appropriate WMTS Server from the list. This will make MapInfo Pro request the capabilities from the servers and update the controls below with these values.

    For the OS Maps API, we can see a list of WMTS Layers, that we can choose from. In this example, I select the Road layer using the British National Grid coordinate system, epsg:27700.

    The next thing to do is to specify the location and name of the WMTS table that MapInfo Pro will create.

    Then you can hit OK, to open the selected layer into a map window.

    The WMTS layer will change and show more details as you zoom into a dedicated area.

    The next time you want to use this map, you can just open the table that MapInfo Pro created for you. This will automatically open the layer into your map.

    Are you using any specific WMTS layers at the moment? Have you found this in the list of WMTS Servers that come with MapInfo Pro or have you added the server yourself? Are we missing any of the obvious WMTS servers in the list?

    Peter Horsbøll Møller
    Principal Presales Consultant | Distinguished Engineer
    Precisely | Trust in Data