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A tiny local Web Map Server - serving OpenStreetMap, Google Maps, Yahoo Maps and local image maps as WMS.

See also WMS, WorldFileTool and Georeferenzieren von Bildern (de).


Many GIS/geodata editors nowadays include the Web Map Server protocol (WMS) from OGC, but often they lack support of free map services like OpenStreetMap and local images. OpenStreetMap serves as a free background map and it's cached, tiled and remote. Georeferenced local images are handy for getting special local knowledge into one's own geodata.

Note that local images need to be georeferenced and aligned to north before hand. See WorldFileTool for more information about georeferencing.

DesktopWMS is based on an initial idea from GoogleWMS and has been reported to work with the following GIS and map viewer:

Users or programmers, please contact me (sfkeller(ät) if there are any questions. Programmers can browse and download the code here at Developer's Wiki.


Basic features:

  • Runs locally in the background as a server.
  • Can be accessed as a WMS service version 1.1.1.
  • Contains the following predefined layers from remote tile server (requires internet access, see Tiling):
    • OpenStreetMap
    • Yahoo! Maps
    • (Google Maps - Google stopped services?)
  • Serves local images:
    • 'Ad-hoc' image layer (file); requires one image file (no tiling) and a World file as configuration (use e.g. WorldFileTool to georeference]).
    • Supported formats: jpg, gif, png.


Running DesktopWMS

after starting the application with "java -jar desktopwms.jar" the server will start automatically. If you use big images, then start the desktopwms with "java -Xmx512M -jar desktopwms.jar".

Available commands

you could use following commands:

  • "start" to start the server
  • "stop" to stop the server
  • "restart" to restart the server
  • "isrunning" to check if the server is running
  • "exit" to exit the application
  • "help" to get a list of all available commands with description

Change capabilities

adjust the files in the folder capabilities

Change settings

adjust the properties in the file desktopwms.config in the folder config

Demo/test with WMS calls (default port is 8998)

  • GetMap:
    • with layer name 'openstreetmap': [1]
    • with layer name 'google': [2]
    • with layer name 'yahoo': [3]
    • with layer name 'myimage.jpg' (= local image file in ./data directory of DesktopWMS): [4]
  • GetCapabilities: [5].


Look for latest version here: