The Web Feature Service (WFS) is used for searching, obtaining metadata descriptions, querying, and filtering spatial data (feature types) at the service level. The XML interface and syntax follow the WFS 1.0.0 and 1.1.0 OGC specifications. Both SOAP and HTTP POST/GET requests are supported. As a result, a standard compliant WFS client, such as MapInfo Professional, can access data by submitting an XML request through HTTP to display it on a map or to get vector geometries for calculations.
Use the Web Feature Service to help perform a search for features within a given distance from a point (or other type of geometry). For example, a real estate application determines a realistic value for a home by comparing the distance of it to numerous features, including railroad tracks, highways, shopping malls, and police stations. This application would call WFS to select a highway feature and a home (a point). The application would then calculate distance values for proprietary rating calculations.