Map Page User Guide

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1- Introduction

2- Opening the Map Page

3- Map viewer interface

4- Basic map navigation

4.1- How to zoom in and out

4.2- How to pan the map

4.3- How to rotate the map

1 – Introduction

This User Guide provides basic information on the map viewer interface.  Some of the more complex map tools have their own User Guide, with links provided here.

The map viewer is a core component of the geospatial data service, and allows you to view the various data products available through the service.  It can be used to help in deciding whether a particular dataset is relevant to your requirements, and if so to place an order for the data.  The map viewer provides access to a wide range of tools to make this process simple, as well as some additional useful capabilities such as the ability to compare several datasets by changing layer transparencies, draw and annotate on the map, save the current map and layer configuration as a project, and share this with other users.

This User Guide provides an introduction to some the basic controls, and links to more detailed User Guides where relevant.

2 – Opening the map page

To access the Map Page of the website, click on the ‘Map’ button on the top menu banner:

Your browser will then open the map viewer:


By default, the map viewer is populated with OpenStreetMap backdrop mapping of the UK.  It is possible to change this basemap, please find out more from our User Guide Resources.

You can return to the landing page of the website at any time by clicking on the ‘Geospatial data’ text in the far left of the top menu banner:


3 – Map viewer interface

The map viewer has been designed to be easy to use and have an intuitive, simple interface.

There are a range of tools presented in the interface:


 1 Data Catalogue menu
This is a multi-purpose menu which allows you to interact with the Data Catalogue to:

  • Browse the Data Collections to find data products
  • View summary information by expanding a layer item
  • View a link to more detailed information pages
  • Add a data layer or layer group to the map
  • View the data extents for each layer
  • Order the data for download by adding to Basket
  • Access the Map Tools to:
  • Draw and annotate maps
  • Define spatial order areas
  • Measure distances and areas on the map
  • Access the Projects Tools to:
    • Create, edit, and delete projects
    • Share projects with other users
See the Data Catalogue Menu User Guide for detailed information on this Menu.
2 CRS Tool
This allows you to view the current Coordinate Reference System, and to change the map viewer to a different CRS by using the drop down menu.
3 Coordinate Display
This displays the map coordinates of the mouse cursor, as it moves within the map viewer.  You can use this to identify the coordinates of a particular location.  The coordinate units are defined by the current setting of the CRS Tool.
4 Map Toolbar
This menu provides icons for the following functionality:

  • Zoom to home bookmark
  • Open the bookmarks panel
  • Zoom in on the map (increase the scale)
  • Zoom out on the map (decrease the scale)
  • Open the Layer Manager menu, which allows you to:
    • Add external data to the map
    • Change the layer ordering on the map
    • Change each layer’s opacity setting
    • Turn each layer’s visibility on or off
    • Zoom to each layer’s extent
    • Remove a layer from the map
    • Add a layer to a comparison map
    • Display the map legend
See the Map Toolbar User Guide for more information
5 Search Tool
The Search Tool allows you to find locations on the map by searching any text you enter
See the Search Tool User Guide for more information


Most of these tools are described in their own User Guides, but the basic map navigation controls are described below.


4 – Basic map navigation

Basic map navigation describes how to change the map to the desired extent – this includes:

  • Zooming in and out to change the map scale
  • Moving sideways to pan the map
  • Rotating the map


4.1 – How to zoom in and out

There are three main methods you can use to zoom in and out, depending on your device and preference:


Method 1
    • If you have a desktop mouse you can use the scroll wheel
    • If you have a multi-touch screen you can use the pinch gesture
Method 2 You can double click on the map to zoom in.  You can hold the [shift] key and double click on the map to zoom out.
Method 3 Alternatively, you can use the zoom in and zoom out buttons in the lower right of the map view icon menu (shown below)



You can also hold down the [shift] key and draw a box with the mouse to zoom in – click and hold the left mouse button at one corner and release at the other (note the box itself is not visible).

The map zoom adjusts incrementally to a series of pre-set zoom thresholds.


4.2 – How to pan the map

To pan the map, simply click-and-drag with the left mouse/pointer device button.  Releasing the button will refresh the map at the new extents.

Use of this simple method negates the requirement for the provision of a dedicated pan tool.


4.3 – How to rotate the map

To rotate the map, hold down [shift] & [alt] and then click-and-drag with the left mouse/pointer device button.  This will cause the map to rotate around the centre of the map view extent, and subsequently change the compass bearing pointing ‘straight up’ in the map viewer.