This article will help you understand what a Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) is and which steps are required to properly use it. The article also describes the main difference between WMS and WMTS.
The WMTS functionality requires at least a FLEX plan subscription. For more information, read about the different MapTiler Cloud plans.
The Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) is a standard for serving digital maps using predefined image tiles. WMTS is a faster and more efficient way of sharing data relative to WMS because the tilesets are pre-generated and the client only requests the transportation of the tiles, not their generation and transportation. A WMS request typically contains both the generation and transportation of the data and is thus more resource-intensive.
The WTMS standard specifies three operation types. Two of them are required in the WMTS implementation, and the third one is optional:
The GetCapabilities response is defined in a “ServiceMetadata” document, describing how to identify the WMTS resources or generate WMTS request operations.
The “ServiceMetadata” document contains information about the TileMatrixSet, bounding box, supported coordinate reference system (CRS), whether a defined scale set is available, and TileMatrix data about any number of zoom levels.
The GetTile operation under a procedural-oriented architectural style allows WMTS clients to take information from the GetCapabilities response, in order to request a particular Tile of a particular TileMatrixSet in a predefined format.
GetFeatureInfo requests may be made about features at, or near, a particular pixel location.
Requests must specify the tile alongside a pixel location on that tile, and the WMTS server may choose which information to provide about nearby features.
How to open a WMTS in desktop GIS software (QGIS and ArcGIS Pro)
First, choose the style you want to add into your GIS software from the MapTiler Cloud or MapTiler Server administration and scroll down to the section called “Web map tile service.” There, copy the pre-rendered WMTS link.
The difference between MapTiler Cloud and Server when adding WMTS is that the Maptiler Server uses a locally hosted link without a defined account key.
In QGIS, on the left is a section called “Browser.” There, you can browse data by folder, database, or service, including the “WMS/WMTS” services. To add a new WMTS, right-click and select “New Connection.”
For adding the WMTS layer into the map in QGIS, double-click “Browser” on the layer or right-click on “Add Layer to Project.”
Adding web services in ArcGIS Pro is enabled under the “Connections” drop-down, under the “Insert” menu. Click on “Connections” and select “New WMTS Server”.
The connected WMTS can be found in “Catalog” under “Servers.” You can add the WMTS to the map by double-clicking on the layer or right-clicking on the layer and selecting “Add To Current Map.”