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Error "Cannot retrieve the WMS server capabilities"


Published: 01 Oct 2020
Last Modified Date: 14 Oct 2020

Issue

When adding a URL in the Add WMS Map dialog, the following error may occur:

Cannot retrieve the WMS server capabilities.

Environment

  • Tableau Desktop

Resolution

Use a valid URL for a WMS Service. 

For assistance with obtaining the correct URL for your WMS service, contact the WMS server administrator, or the publisher of the WMS service.

Cause

The URL entered does not point to a WMS service.

Additional Information

Being able to load a URL in a web browser is not a sufficient test to verify that the URL is for a WMS service. For example, the following URL loads in a web browser, but gives the above error when entered in the Add WMS Map dialog:
http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/arcgis/rest/services/public/NSW_Imagery/MapServer

However, the WMS link on the above page http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/arcgis/services/public/NSW_Imagery/MapServer/WMSServer?request=GetCapabilities&service=WMS can be added using the Add WMS Map dialog.

Other examples of URLs for WMS services include:
  • http://maps.heigit.org/osm-wms/service?
  • https://www.gebco.net/data_and_products/gebco_web_services/2019/mapserv?
  • http://giswebservices.massgis.state.ma.us/geoserver/wms?request=GetCapabilities&service=WMS&version=1.1.1
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