, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 447–479 | Cite as

The OGC web coverage processing service (WCPS) standard

  • Peter BaumannEmail author


Imagery is more and more becoming integral part of geo services. More generally, an increasing variety of sensors is generating massive amounts of data whose quantized nature frequently leads to rasterized data structures. Examples include 1-D time series, 2-D imagery, 3-D image time series and x/y/z spatial cubes, and 4-D x/y/z/t spatio-temporal cubes. The massive proliferation of such raster data through a rapidly growing number of services make open, standardized service interfaces increasingly important. Geo service standardization is undertaken by the Open GeoSpatial Consortium (OGC). The core raster service standard is the Web Coverage Service (WCS) which specifies retrieval based on subsetting, scaling, and reprojection. In 2008, OGC has issued a companion standard which adds flexible, open-ended coverage processing capabilities. This Web Coverage Processing Service (WCPS) specifies a coverage processing language allowing clients to send requests of arbitrary complexity for evaluation by the server. This contribution reports on the WCPS standard by giving an introduction to its coverage model and processing language. Further, design rationales are discussed, as well as background and relation to other OGC standards. 1-D to 4-D use case scenarios illustrate intended use and benefits for different communities. Although the paper focuses on conceptual issues, the WCPS reference implementation, PetaScope, is briefly addressed. The author is co-chair of the coverage-related working groups in OGC.


Geo services Raster services Sensor services Standardization OGC WCPS WCS 



The author gratefully acknowledges is indebted to Arliss Whiteside, with whom he co-chairs the WCS.SWG. Steven Keens, with whom the author co-chairs the WCS.SWG, and Arliss Whiteside have contributed substantial suggestions for improvement during their proofreading of the WCPS draft. Ben Domenico continuously provides invaluable input, discussion, and insight as initiator and leader of the GALEON network. A big “thank you” goes to the rasdaFolks for their great work in implementing rasdaman, PetaScope, and EarthLook. The reviewers’ insightful comments have allowed to significantly improve the paper.


  1. 1.
    Hahn K, Reiner B (2002) Intra-query parallelism for multidimensional array data. In: 28th International conference on very large data bases (VLDB), Hongkong, China, 20 August 2002Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baumann P (ed) (2008) Web coverage processing service (WCPS) implementation specification. Number 08-068. OGCGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Baumann P (ed) (2008) Web processing service (WPS) and web coverage processing service (WCPS). Number 08-070. OGCGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Baumann P (2006) Large-scale raster services: a case for databases (invited keynote). In: 3rd Intl workshop on conceptual modeling for geographic information systems (CoMoGIS). Lecture notes on computer science, vol 4231. Springer, pp 75–84, 6–9 November 2006Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Baumann P (1992) Language support for raster image manipulation in databases. In: Proc. int. workshop on graphics modeling, visualization in science and technology 13–14 April 1992Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Baumann P (1999) A database array algebra for spatio-temporal data and beyond. In: Proc. 4th international workshop on next generation information technologies and systems (NGITS ’99). Lecture notes on computer science, vol 1649, 5–7 July 1999. Springer, New York, pp 76–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Botts M, Robin A, Davidson J, Simonis I (eds) (2006) Sensor web enablement architecture. Number 06-021r1. OGCGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cornacchia R, Heman S, Zukowski M, de Vries A, Boncz P (2007) Flexible and efficient IR using array databases. Number Report INS-E0701. CWIGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    de la Beaujardiere J (ed) (2004) OGC Web map service (WMS) implementation specification. Number 06-042. OGC, 2004-01-20Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dehmel A (2001) A compression engine for multidimensional array database systems. Ph.D. thesisGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Diedrich E, Buckl B, Dietrich D, Seifert P (2001) Www-based information retrieval from full resolution satellite images using a multi-dimensional data management system. In: Online proceedings of EOGEO workshop,, 27.06.2001
  12. 12.
    Furtado P, Baumann P (1999) Storage of multidimensional arrays based on arbitrary tiling. In: Proceedings of the 15th international conference on data engineering, IEEE Computer Society, 23–26 March 1999Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gutierrez AG, Baumann P (2007) Modeling fundamental geo-raster operations with array algebra. In: IEEE international workshop in spatial and spatio-temporal data miningGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gutierrez AG, Baumann P (2008) Computing aggregate queries in raster image databases using pre-aggregated data. In: International conference on computer science and applications (ICCSA’08), 22–24 October 2008Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hahn K, Reiner B, Hoefling G, Baumann P (2002) Parallel query support for multidimensional data: inter-object parallelism.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Inmon WH (1996) Building the data warehouse. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    ITT (2009) 25 April 2009
  18. 18.
    Jucovschi C (2008) Precompiling queries in a raster database system. Bachelor thesis, Jacobs University BremenGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kleese K, Baumann P (2000) Intelligent support for high i/o requirements of leading edge scientific codes on high-end computing systems—the estedi project. In: Proceedings of the sixth European SGI/Cray MPP workshop, 7–8 September 2000Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Leica Geosystems (2009) 25 April 2009
  21. 21.
    Libkin L, Machlin R, Wong L (1996) A query language for multidimensional arrays: design, implementation and optimization techniques. In: Proc. international conference on management of data (SIGMOD’96), pp 228–239Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Marathe AP, Salem K (2002) Query processing techniques for arrays. VLDB J 11(1):68–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    The Mathworks (2009) 25 April 2009
  24. 24.
    Moody DL, Kortink MA (2000) From enterprise models to dimensional models: a methodology for data warehouse and data mart design. In: Jeusfeld M, Shu H, Staudt M, Vossen G (eds) Proc. international workshop on design and management of data warehouses (DMDW 2000), 5–6 June 2000Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Nebert D, Whiteside A, Vretanos P (eds) (2007) Catalogue service implementation specification. Number 07-006r1. OGCGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    n.n. (2005) Geographic information—coverage geometry and functions. Number 19123:2005. ISOGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    N.n. (2007) Abstract specification topic 6: schema for coverage geometry and functions. Number 07-011. OGCGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    n.n. (2008) Rasdaman query language guide. rasdaman GmbH, 7.0 editionGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Panagiotis V (ed) (2005) Web feature service (WFS) implementation specification. Number 04-094. OGCGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Reiner B, Hahn K, H”ofling G (2002) Tertiary storage support for large-scale multidimensional array database management systems. In: 28th international conference on very large data bases (VLDB), 20 August 2002Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ritsch R (2002) Optimization and evaluation of array queries in database management systems. Ph.D. thesisGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ritter G, Wilson J, Davidson J (1994) Image algebra: an overview. Comput Vis Graph Image Process 49(1):297–336Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Sapia C (1999) On modeling and predicting query behavior in olap systems. In: Proceedings of the intl. workshop on design and management of data warehouses, DMDW’99, 14–15 June 1999Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Schut P (ed) (2007) Web processing service implementation specification. Number 05-007r7. OGC, 2007-06-08Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Stancu-Mara S (2008) Using graphic cards for accelerating raster database query processing. Bachelor thesis, Jacobs University BremenGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Vowles G (ed) (2004) Geospatial digital rights management reference model. Number 06-004r3. OGC, 2004-01-20Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Whiteside A (ed) (2007) OGC Web services common specification. Number 06-121r3. OGCGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Whiteside A (ed) (2008) Web coverage service (WCS) transaction operation extension. Number 07-068r4. OGCGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Whiteside A, Evans J (eds) (2008) Web coverage service (WCS) implementation specification. Number 07-067r5. OGCGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Widmann N, Baumann P (1998) Efficient execution of operations in a DBMS for multidimensional arrays. In: Statistical and scientific database management, pp 155–165Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jacobs University BremenBremenGermany

Personalised recommendations