Discover Server

Discover provides high-performance imagery and base maps services in WMS and WMTS formats. For information about the services and directions to sign up, please see the main Discover page.

Coordinate System and Datum

The native coordinate system for the Discover services is Web Mercator with a WGS 1984 datum (EPSG 3857). Many users work in coordinate systems with a different datum (for example, EPSG 3566: Utah Central with NAD 1983). Users who need the highest locational precision must use the appropriate geographic transformation conversion to remedy the roughly one meter difference between the WGS84 and NAD83 datums’ “realization points.” AGRC uses the NAD_1983_To_WGS_1984_5 transformation when creating base map tiles and web applications, but there may be more accurate transformations based on the data and area you are working with. The default (no transformation specified) will likely introduce several feet of horizontal positional error. More information about these transformations can be found on ESRI’s NAD 1983 To WGS 1984 How-To.

Horizontal Positional Accuracy

Stated horizontal accuracy of the Google imagery is expected to achieve or exceed one meter (CE90) in most areas without significant vertical relief. You can generally expect higher precision in urban areas where existing supplemental ground control was more abundant.

The pre-2018 NAIP layers have a stated horizontal positional accuracy of 5 meters, while the 2018 NAIP products have a horizontal positional accuracy of 4 meters.

Adding a WMTS or WMS Service to ESRI Products

ArcGIS Pro 2.x:

  1. Insert -> Connections -> New WMTS Server
  2. Paste the WMTS link you have been provided into the Server URL: line and click OK
  3. Navigate to the newly added utah imagery - WMTS on discover.agrc.utah.gov.wmts connection under Servers in the Catalog window.
  4. Expand the nodes until you see a list of all of the imagery and base map services that are available to your login. The full list can be viewed on the main Discover page.
  5. Add your desired service to your map like you would any other layer.

ArcMap 10.x

  1. Add Data, select GIS Server from the Look in: dropdown list, and double-click Add WMTS server
  2. Paste the WMTS link you have been provided into the URL: line and click OK (don’t worry about Parameters, Server Layers, or Username/Password)
  3. Navigate to the newly added utah imagery – WMTS on discover.agrc.utah.gov connection and double click to connect.
    • You can rename the connection after it has been added
  4. Expand the nodes until you see a list of all of the imagery and base map services that are avialbe to your login. The list can be viewed on the main Discover page.
  5. Add your desired service to your map like you would any other layer.

Adding a WMTS or WMS Service to a Web Map

Interested in using AGRC’s Web Mercator services in your web maps? Take a look at this page for more information. Remember, if the web map is going to be public facing you need to request a separate quad-work link. To do this send an email to Jake Adams from AGRC at jdadams@utah.gov and provide your web map URL domains.

Adding a WMS Service to CAD

Adding a WMTS Service to QGIS

  1. Add a new “WMS/WMTS” connection and paste in the URL to the discover WMTS service.

Go to this page for more details.

Printing Web Maps with Discover Services

Take a look at this blog post for information about Printing Web Maps with Discover Services.

Google Archive Services

In addition to the statewide Google imagery service layer, there are archive layers available (ex. Google 2011archive) of the Google imagery organized by year collected.

Google Flight Dates

The dates of each Google imagery flight block can be downloaded as a shapefile or geodatabase, viewed in ArcGIS Online, or utilized through the SGID10.INDICES.Google_UtahServiceDates SGID layer.

Pro/ArcMap User Considerations

Legacy username/password users: If you have not yet received quad-word links to the service (ex. https://discover.agrc.utah.gov/login/path/your-unique-quad-word/) that do not require a username and password, please contact Jake Adams from AGRC at jdadams@utah.gov.

Users experiencing problems with the service, such as blurry tiles or different year vintages at different scales, may need to clear their local cache:

  • ArcMap Go to the service’s Layer Properties -> Cache tab and selecting Clear Local Cache Now. Be patient as this could take several minutes. If the blurry tiles persist you have the options to Clear cache when the session ends or Don't cache any data locally. Another option is to completely clear your ArcMap cache by going to Customize -> ArcMap Options -> Display Cache -> Clear Cache.

  • ArcGIS Pro Go to the service’s Layer Properties -> Cache tab and selecting Clear Cache. You can also clear your entire Pro cache by going to the Pro project’s Options -> Display and check Clear cache and selecting OK.

ArcMap 10 and 10.1 users should use WMS instead of WMTS. ArcMap 10 and below do not support WMTS, and ArcMap 10.1 has issues rendering WMTS data.

Usage Tracking

Individual organizations will be provided URL links for the Discover services that are unique to their organization. This will allow us to track general usage metrics and monitor the performance of the services. Do not distribute your URL links outside of your organization or division.

Google Logos

Our license with Google requires you to put the appropriate logo on any products made using the Google imagery.

Download zipfile of Google logos

white transparent white on black

Requests for On-Premise Use

You may request a local copy of the NAIP, HRO, and Google imagery for off-line consumption when the provided imagery service does not meet your needs. Please provide the following information to Jake Adams from AGRC at jdadams@utah.gov for consideration:

  • Name & organization:
  • Reason for request:
  • Working on behalf of:
  • Project names:
  • Project locations:

Layers Not Exporting When Using WMS

If you are using a WMS connection, you may find that the Discover layer does not show up when you export or print your map. This is due to a technical limitation of the WMS protocol. The only fixes are to use WMTS, export at a lower resolution, or use a local copy (for aerial imagery).

Background

In WMS, the client (ArcMap, a browser, etc) requests a map of a specific extent and resolution. The server creates a single image matching the request and returns it to the client—a 8.5” x 11” image at 100 dpi would be 850 x 1,100 pixels (just shy of one megapixel). Every time the user pans or zooms, the server creates and sends a completely new image, which consumes server processing power and bandwidth. To maintain performance for all users, WMS servers will not create and return an image if its dimensions exceed a certain size.

Applications like ArcMap and web browsers have a relatively small window and use a resolution of 96 dpi, resulting in requests that fit within the server’s allowed size. However, exporting a 20” x 30” map at 300 dpi results in a 6,000 x 9,000 pixel (54 megapixel) image. This far exceeds the server’s limit, so it does not return an image. ArcMap dutifully finishes exporting the map instead of raising an error, resulting in a map without the layer. You can try changing the Output Image Quality (Resample Ratio) setting to reduce the requested resolution, but the output quality will suffer.

In contrast, WMTS works by delivering a set of fixed-dimension tiles at the requested zoom level that cover the requested extent. Because the tiles are pre-rendered, all the server has to do is figure out which tiles to send and then send them—and this is sped up by the client caching previously received tiles and only requesting ones it hasn’t seen yet. This allows WMTS to quickly serve up tiles for much larger and/or more detailed maps than WMS without clogging the server.

Other Tidbits

  • We suggest that you occasionally refresh the connection to the imagery services by right-clicking your service connection in ArcCatalog or ArcMap’s Catalog Viewer and selecting the Refresh button to see the latest list of available services.
  • Since the Google acquisition flight blocks are not done all at once (as opposed to the NAIP products, which cover the whole state for every acquisition), there will be distinct color and positional changes at flight block boundaries. For large area maps, the color-balanced NAIP may be a more aesthetically pleasing cartographic choice.
  • A tile index of the original .jp2 images that make up the Google imagery services is available from the SGID as SGID10.INDICES.Google_Tiles or as a download from our ftp.
  • For future imagery updates, we can certainly pass along requests to Google for additional update areas or for specific collection periods. However, there is no provision in the current contract to create any expectation that those requests will be acted upon.
  • AGRC has downloaded a statewide master set of the image files for redistribution, as the download process directly from Google incurs transactional costs for cloud server & bandwidth usage.
  • AGRC has a feedback reporting form for imagery users around the state to report imagery and service issues so they can be passed along to Google. Please submit your feedback through this form.