Our Environment and scinfo.org.nz
The Our Environment website is a Land Atlas of New Zealand. It provides you with free online maps and reports illustrating various aspects of the land, land resources and landscapes of New Zealand including land use capability, land suitability, vegetation, surface geology, erosion, ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, grassland; and protected land. Our Environment eliminates the need for desktop geographic information system software, or advanced technical expertise, by processing and presenting data for you.
Our Environment can be used to views maps, query features shown on the maps, and follow links to explanatory information. With a thematic focus, it has been designed to be usable by non-experts, although experts should find it of value too.
Landcare Research is the custodian of a number of nationally significant biological and land resource collections and databases. Increasingly these data are being made available on-line. Our Environment is one such service providing individuals working in regional and central government, business, research and education with quick and easy access to maps of aspects of the New Zealand land environments and environmental data. The Our Environment website was originally created as part of the government-funded Spatial Information Programme run by Landcare Research.
The Our Environment website is the second portal within a growing portfolio of online services that make up scinfo.org.nz, a new repository of authoritative New Zealand science datasets and information. It is has been created in response to a growing expectation that government and publicly funded science data should be readily available in authoritative human and machine readable forms.
- Phase 1: Initial release: Data search, selection and download - Completed (LRIS Portal).
- Phase 2: Metadata harvesting by cataloguing services such as data.govt.nz - Completed (LRIS portal and related CSW web service).
- Phase 3: Support for data published as web services, data browsing, query and visualization - Commenced (see http://maps.scinfo.org.nz/ to access our maps through a web mapping API (OGC WMS and WMS-C).
- Phase 4: Within the LRIS portal, data upload, support for groups and sharing with group members, NZFed single sign-on - Commenced.
- Phase 5: Portals for scientific data visualization, query and printed output - Commenced. (Our Environment is the first example under the scinfo.org.nz banner but see also S-map Online).
- Pahse 6: Role out of geospatial web data services using the OGC web feature services (WFS) specificfation. Commenced.
scinfo.org.nz Who's Who
scinfo.org.nz is being developed and operated by the Informatics Team at Landcare Research. We are a team of 25 data researchers, software developers and system engineers with deep experience in managing specialist science data resources and using them for our research and to support natural resource policy and management. We have particular specialist knowledge of geospatial datasets, data and satellite image analysis, taxonomic data, laboratory data and web-services. You can find out more about the Informatics team on our blog.
This site makes use of the icon by Paomedia which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence.
Our Environment is built on a software platform made up of open source components including Ubuntu Server, Postgres/GIS, MapServer, Mapcache, Berkley DB, GeoTools, GDAL, GEOS, GeoExt, Openlayers, D3, and Mapfish Print.
Visit the OS Geospatial Foundation for more information about open source geospatial software.
- Provided an alternative way to select the information to view on the map. As an alternative to the original question based issues page, you can now view the data as a content listing. Tick every box that corresponds to something you are interested in and then press the blue button at the top of the screen to view the maps. As well as the layers and classes, the content view lists the source of each data layer and what information can be viewed using the Feature Information facility in the mapping application.
- The feature for visualising the area of each feature (class) in a layer has been moved into a separate pop-up window. We have also added bubble charts as an alternative way to view the area report data.
- It is now possible to visualise the area report data for wetlands.
- Re-enabled area reporting for steepness and direction of slope layers.
- It is now possible to make the mapping window full screen. Use the 'Toggle full screen' button in the top menu bar.
- Updated the provenance page.
- Made the metadata in the Feature Information pop-up windows and the Layer Metadata panel more consistent.
- Added more glossary terms so more of the terms used in the website are now explained.
- The Help pop up window now only appears once in a session.
- Made user interface changes so that Our Environment now gives a better experience for tablet users. (Note: Our Environment can be used on smart phones but there are known usability problems.)
- Fixed problems with long legends in landscape oriented PDFs.
- Fixed IE 10 print issue.
- Fixed problems so that Our Environment now runs properly in Internet Explorer 10.
- Fixed problem with legends in PDF maps when either A3 or A4 landscape is selected.
- Re-designed the way information on slope is displayed in the legend.
- Area now reported for Wetlands.
- Other minor fixes.
- Moved whole service to a more stable production infrastructure and also made changes to speed up the display of the maps.
- Added height information to Feature Information window at scales 1:100,000 and larger.
- Improved the layout of information in Feature Information window.
- Moved the link for downloading or obtaining data for a layer to the top of the metadata panel.
- If data are available from the LRIS portal, clicking on the 'Obtain Data' link results in the LRIS portal opening and defaulting to the same map extent as currently being viewed in Our Environment. This means you can easily download the data for the same geographic area you are viewing in Our Environment.
- You can now create reports for user defined extents.
- Added wetlands dataset; both current and historic wetlands maps can be viewed.
- Added Basic Ecosystems dataset.
- Updated the vegetation layer using the Land Cover Database Version 3 (LCDB3).
- 'Labels, hydrology and roads' relabelled 'Context Layers'.
- Added fault lines to Context Layers. Data derived from GNS 1:250K Faults data. Viewable at scales greater than 1:500,000.
- Added two new base map layers: colour and monochrome Hybrid Topographic & Relief maps.
- Improved the cartography of the colour and monochrome topographic base maps.
- Begun to harmonise S-map online and Our Environment glossary entries.
- Minor changes made to the user interface and fixes to a number of small bugs.
- PDF maps created using the colour or monochrome hybrid topographic & relief map layers are of lower quality than if the other base map layers are used.
- Transparency slider does not work correctly in older versions on Internet Explorer. This is a function of how older versions of Internet Explorer handle images. Solution: Upgrade to IE 8/9, or better still install a browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.
- Piecharts (Report tool) do not display properly in IE 10.
Last updated: 25 June 2015