Main Map Settings
Zooming – There are three different ways to zoom in and out of the map.
Click the plus and minus icons in the top left corner to move in or out for the map.
Use your mouse to scroll in or out of the map.
Hold shift and draw a rectangle over the map of where you would like to zoom to.
To go back to the original extent of the map, click the icon in the top let corner.
To move the map it can either be done by clicking and holding to drag the main map or you can click and hold to drag the inset map in the bottom left corner.
The scale can be seen in the bottom left corner or the map. As the map zooms in and out, the scale information will automatically adjust.
The coordinates of the mouse’s location are displayed in the bottom left corner of the map. As the mouse move around the map, the coordinates will be constantly updating.
GeoPlatform Map Viewer Menu

To begin using the GeoPlatform Map Viewer, choose one of the options available in the menu bar, which is found along the right edge of the window.

Please note that the menu bar will be collapsed initially, displaying only icons for each of the panels. While not necessary to use the menu options, click to expand the menu to see labels for each option.

Menu Options

Hide – expands or collapses the menu bar

My Map – allows you to save and export your map

Layers – lists layers current on the map

Legend – lists legend graphics for current layers

Features – lists vector features

Tools – allows viewport manipulation through geocoding and bookmarking

Find Layers – discover layers from map services

Find Maps – discover maps created by users

Errors – displays messages related to layers that are unable to visualize

Saving the Map

Once you are ready to save your map, open the My Map panel.

Important Note!
You must be signed in to your GeoPlatform account in order to create maps or save changes to existing maps. Please sign in before building your map as the data will be lost if you attempt to sign in afterwards.

Your account information will automatically be used to populate the author information of a map.

Exporting Maps

Use the controls provided to export your saved map into one of the supported formats or upload a new map into Map Viewer.

You may export your map in OGC WMC, JSON, or KML format by selecting a format in the dropdown and clicking . Your map will be exported as “MyMap.format”. For example: MyMap.kml

Layer Controls

After adding one or more layers, open the Layers panel to view and manipulate those layers.

At the top of the panel are the overlay layers currently added to the map. Selected layers can be adjusted in the Overlay layers section.
Visibility – Each layer’s visibility can be turned on or off by click on the eye icon
Transparency – Each layer’s transparency can be adjusted by moving the green dot on the slide bar.
Order – Layers are displayed in visibility order from top-to-bottom (the first layer shown in the panel is the top-most visible layer on the map).The order of the layers can be change by the blue arrow icons. The arrows and shift the layer up or down one space. The and buttons move the layer to the top or the bottom of the list.
Layer Details – The detail for each layer can be view by selecting the information icon at the top left of each layer box
Delete – To delete a layer, click on the red trashcan in that layer’s box
Adding Layers – To add more layers to the map, click the plus sign in the top right of the “Overlay Layers” section
Erase All Layers – To erase all layers, click the eraser button in the top right or the “Overlay Layers” section.

The order of the layers can be change by clicking the blue arrow icons. The arrows shift the layer up () or down () one space. The and buttons move the layer to the top or the bottom of the list.

Click to open a layer’s control block. Inside are buttons to toggle visibility () and activate feature description (WMS only, ) and a slider to adjust opacity.


Beneath the overlay layers are the set of base layers from which to choose. Only one base layer may be selected at a time.


At the bottom of the panel is a legend identifying the availability rankings.

Layer Legends

Layer legends are visualized in the Legend panel. Use the arrows to the right of each layer to expand () or hide the legend ().


Incorporate vector features into a map using the Features panel.


Use the draw features button to open a window providing controls for digitizing point, line, and polygon features. TO start drawing, select the type of feature you would like to add to the map. When finished, re-click the selected type of feature.

Points are added by clicking the location you would like to mark on the map.

Lines can be drawn by clicking points along a desired path. Click again on the last point to complete the line.

Polygons are added by clicking a location on the map and then clicking continuously in the direction to complete the polygon. To complete your polygon, click again on the first point.


Use the file input selector to upload features in one of the supported formats. Supported formats are KML, GeoJSON, CSV, and Shapefiles (in ZIP).

Your feature file must be less than 2MB and the coordinates must be in long/lat, WGS84 coordinate system.

Note: Map Viewer limits the number of features which may be added via uploading files to 100 per file.


To edit a feature, select the pencil to the right of the features name () to open a menu allowing editing of the feature. When editing the feature you have the option to edit the title, description, id, color, width, and opacity. When finished editing, click the “done” button. To delete any feature, select the red trashcan to the right of the features name.

In the top right of the listed features, there are two icons. Click the eye icon () to turn on and off the visibility of all features. Click the red eraser () to delete all features.


Additional tools, such as geocoding, bookmarks, measurements, and importing data are available in the Tools panel.


Use the Bookmark controls to set a location and extent you want to repeatedly return to. Zoom to the extent of the location you would like to bookmark, provide a name in the text field, and then click the add button . Return to your bookmarked location at anytime by clicking its name in the Bookmarks list. To delete bookmarks, click the options icon () then click the red trashcan to the right of the bookmarks title ().


Use the Location controls to focus the map on a specific location. The geolocation button uses your computer or mobile device’s location to center the map. The input field is used to search the OpenStreet Map public gazetteer for named places, which once selected are used to center the map.


Select whether you would like to measure the distance or the area to determine geodetic distance or area on the map. After making your selection, begin placing points on the map to define the measurement shape. To finish the line double click the last dot. To finish the polygon, re-select the first dot. After completing the shape, the calculated distance/area is displayed in the measurement controls window.


Add new WMS and ESRI REST MapServer layers to GeoPlatform Map Viewer by specifing the URL of the remote service. Common parameters, such as “REQUEST=GetCapabilities” of WMS, are not required, but specific parameters needed by the desired map server are required. After supplying the URL and pressing the submit button, Map Viewer will display either a success message and a link to browse the new layers in the Find Layers panel or an error message indicating layer import was unsuccessful.

Find Layers to Visualize

Discover layers from thousands of map services using the Find Layers panel.

Find Layers Screenshot

The controls in the left column in this panel are used to filter GeoPlatform Registry layer results.

  • Free text search (name and keyword)
  • Sorting
  • Filter by theme
  • Filter by publisher
  • Filter by type
  • Filter by reliability

Results can also be filtered by location. On the right side of the page, under the “Preview” tab, the preview map exposes controls to define a geographic bounding rectangle or specify a named location with which to filter layer results.

Bounding box – To filter the results by using a bounding box, click on the icon below the preview map (). Then, click on drag the cursor over the section of the map that you are interested in. The result should automatically adjust. To further narrow the results, check the “Completely within requested extent?” box. To clear the filter, click the button.

Type location – Below the preview map, type in the location or interest. As you are typing, options may list below the search bar, select the option of interest. The results should automatically filter. To clear the results, click the “X” on the right side of the search bar.


Layers matching the user-specified query are displayed in the central column of the panel, along with a total count of matching layers and controls to move between pages of results. To order the results use the sort option. Layer can be sorted by the following catagories:

  • Name (A-Z)
  • Name (Z-A)
  • Most Recently Modified
  • Least recently Modified
  • Most Reliable
  • Least Reliable
  • Most Popular
  • Least Popular

Selecting a layer from the results will render it on the preview map and append it to the list of selected layers in the “selected” panel on the right. De-selecting the layer in the results will remove it from the preview map and selected layers list.


When selecting results, there are two options: layer and base layer. A base layer is the background of the map. It is the layer that every other layer is displayed on top of. To select a layer, click the green plus sign on the right side of the desired layer (). To select a base layer check the box for “Use as base layer”.

As layers are selected, they will be listed in the “Selected” tab on the right side of the page. To remove selected layers, click the “X” to the right of the layer title.

For more information on layers before selecting them or applying them to the map, click the “Details” button on the layer card. This should open the “About” tab on the right side of the page with information from the selected layer.


After populating the Selected tab with layers, click in the top right corner of the page to add the selected layers.


The initial set of layers and map services tracked by Map Viewer are cultivated from a list of servers associated with NGDA datasets and a list of other approved servers providing map layers. users can add new map services and layers using the Viewer’s tools.

Find Maps Created by Users

Browse maps that you’ve created and that others have created.


Find previously created maps – by yourself and others – using search controls similar to those used while browsing layers. Search by map name or keywords, author name or publisher, NGDA theme, modified date, or by geographic extent or location. When filtering by theme or publisher, click the dropdown arrow to expand the list of options. To clear the selected options either re-click each selects option or select “Any Theme” or “Any Publisher” at the top of the list to clear the selection. To clear all filters, click the button.


As filters are used the map results will automatically adjust. For more information on each map, click the arrow on the map card. As more map results are listed, use the sort option to quickly find the best map to fit your needs. The sort option is located in the top right dropdown menu. The amount of results per page can also be adjusted by selecting the desired “# per page” drop down menu option. When selecting results click on the thumbnail image or the title to open on a map. Depending on the environment that the map was created in, the map will either open in the Map View or the GeoPlatform AGOL site.

Updated on March 3, 2020
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