Use the DescribeFeatureType request to obtain a schema description for features serviced by the OGC Web Feature Service (WFS). The schema description describes how feature instances are expected to be encoded (described) on input and how feature instances are generated on output. WFS is able, upon request, to describe the structure of any feature type it can service. The service returns the metadata (description) of a specific feature type (content) based on the returned GetCapabilities.

POST Request

The following sample calls the DescribeFeatureType method to get the description of a feature type called World. The response is an XML Schema. The request schema is defined by the following XML Schema fragment:

<xsd:elementname="DescribeFeatureType" type="wfs:DescribeFeatureTypeType"/>
        <xsd:elementname="TypeName" type="xsd:QName" minOccurs="0"
    <xsd:attributename="version" type="xsd:string"use="required"/>
        type="xsd:string"use="required" fixed="WFS"/>
        type="xsd:string"use="optional" default="text/xml; subtype=gml/3.1.1"/>


GET Request

The GET request contains the following:

Input Required Description
VERSION Yes This supported version of the Web Feature Service standard.
REQUEST=DescribeFeatureType Yes Set to DescribeFeatureType for a describe feature type operation.
OUTPUTFORMAT No For 1.1.0, the value is attribute has been set to text/xml; subtype=gml/3.1.1 to support GLM3. For 1.0.0, the value can be set to text/xml;subtype=gml/2.1.2 or XMLSCHEMA for GML2.
TYPENAME Yes A comma-separated list of feature types. If no value is specified, that is interpreted as all feature types.

For example: