Water Observations from Space Access Details

The Water Observations from Space (WOfS) information consists of 5 web services that may be used directly in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) such as ArcGIS.

The WOfS web services are available at:


This is the location of the 5 underlying web services that create the WOfS product. They are for each grid cell:

  • the number of clear satellite observations over the period (1987-2014)
  • the number of occasions water was detected
  • the percentage of clear observations on which water was detected
  • the confidence (or probability) that a water observation in this location is correct. This is a percentage, based on a number of factors including the slope of the land and the existence of other corroborative evidence
  • the percentage of clear observations on which water was detected, filtered for confidence.

The last layer in the list - the Filtered layer - is the one we recommend to start with, as it removes a lot of cloud shadow and other artefacts from the water extents.

The filtered layer is the one which is displayed in the NFRIP Portal.

How to add to ArcGIS

If you're using ArcGIS you can add the service in Catalog:

  • Open Catalog
  • Expand GIS servers
  • Add WMS Server
  • Enter the address in the URL field: https://gsky.nci.org.au/ows/dea?
  • Click Get Layers
  • Click OK
  • Now expand this new server in the catalog list to its lowest level, which will allow you to see the individual layers.
  • Drag and drop the WaterSummaryFiltered layer into your Layers list.
  • Finally, double-click on the GeoServer Web Map Service header in the layer list and go to the Advanced tab. Set the background colour to black and the transparency should work correctly.
  • This will add the web server to your catalog.

If you have any issues connecting with the services or getting transparencies to work, please contact Client Services.