XMAP has the functionality to give access to XMAP-hosted Map Layers through three methods:

  • QGIS QLR file (using WFS-T)
  • WMS
  • WFS

These options give you the ability to view and edit XMAP-hosted Map Layers in a variety of desktop GIS software.

CAUTION: Using this functionality will allow you to create, edit and delete Map Objects within a Map Layer which could result in permanent deletion of your data. So use extreme caution and only allow access to trusted users.


Please not this feature is only available to:

  • XMAP for Business
  • XMAP for Local Government

It is not currently available to:

  • Parish Online

Using External Access


To use a .qlr file for QGIS you'll need to set some credentials first;

  1. Open QGIS
  2. Go to Settings > Options
  3. Select Authentication from the left-hand menu
  4. Go to Utilities > Input Master Password
  5. Enter a Master Password. This can be anything you like. To find out why you need to do this, read this.
  6. Click the green + icon to enter your XMAP credentials (remember, do not share your XMAP login details. All users should set their own xmap login details in this step).
    1. Name: Enter anything you like
    2. ID: Click the padlock icon then enter 'xmapows'
    3. Authentication: Basic Authentication
    4. Username: Your XMAP username
    5. Password: Your XMAP password
    6. Realm: leave blank
  7. Click Save
  8. Click OK to close the Settings pop-up

To load a .qlr file:

  1. Log into XMAP
  2. Go to the Admin Panel
  3. Go to Data and select the Map Layer you want to connect to
  4. Go to External Access tab
  5. Click the QLR File option. Your browser will download the file
  6. Open QGIS
  7. Find the .qlr file in your File Browser and drag-and-drop the file into the QGIS window.


The file will load and display the data with associated styling as best as QGIS can do to match your XMAP styling. Graphical styling such as icons will not display.

If the style is changed in XMAP, you'll need to download a new QLR file to see those changes in QGIS.


If the Map Layer has been edited in XMAP, you can press F5 on your keyboard to request the latest version.


To use QGIS editing functionality, please refer to the QGIS documentation. REMEMBER: adding, editing or deleting objects in a Map Layer in QGIS will save the changes to XMAP as soon as you press Save. There's no going back from that. Use with caution.

CAVEAT: These instructions are based on QGIS 3. Other versions of QGIS may be slightly different. 


  1. Clicking the WMS option will pop-up URLs for the WMS feed. 
  2. Copy the Resource URL and use it in your desktop GIS.

NOTE: Some clients (such as QGIS) require layers to be advertised in the GetCapabilities document. Toggle the "Enable Layer Advertising" button to do this. This feature should not be used if you are a Map Share module user. 


Clicking the WFS option will pop-up URLs for the WFS feed. Copy the Resource URL and use it in your desktop GIS.