What is ARC3WMS ?

The ARC3WMS client is an ArcView 3 extension (.AVX) that provides access to data sets stored on a Web Map Server (WMS).

WMS is an internet mapping protocol published by the OpenGIS Consortium. WMS servers publish map images to remote clients using standard internet technologies. There are WMS servers for LandSat data, USGS DOQ photos, bathymetry, and many other data types.

The current beta release of ARC3WMS is free to download and use - installation and connection instructions are provided below.

Please help us to improve both final and PRO versions by reporting any bugs you may find to:


For more information, please contact the developers at Refractions Research:



How do I install the ARC3WMS client ?

The WMS Client is packaged as an ArcView extension. Download and/or run the file ARC3WMS_Beta2_0_1.exe to install the extension locally.

Open ArcView and choose the Extensions item from the File menu. Select the "WMS Support" entry and click OK to proceed.


How do I connect to a WMS server ?

ARC3WMS works by reading a configuration file that tells it what server to connect to and what layers to read from that server.

To demonstrate this, try opening one of the example configuration files:

  • Select View -> Add Theme ...
  • Change your "Data Source Type" to "Image Data Source"
  • Browse to the ARC3WMS install directory (usually C:\Program Files\WMSClient)
  • Browse to the Examples\Canada directory
  • Select the Dm Solutions Bathymetry LatLon.ogc file

To connect to a different WMS server, open one of the example .OGC files in a text editor and edit it to point to the new server and layers. Note that you will have to provide valid entries for layer names, spatial reference systems, etc. This information can be easily read from the service "capabilities file".


The ARC3WMS client extension is currently available for beta-testing:


The final release of the ARC3WMS client will also be free to download.

Download ARC3WMS_Beta2.exe now !

If you find bugs in the ARC3WMS client, please report them to us so we can make the product better !

Send your bug reports to:


Thank you !

Help us kill bugs !