What is Our Environment?

Our Environment is an online service providing access to some of Manaaki Whenua's considerable holdings of environmental data. Using Our Environment you can:

  • Explore interactive maps.
  • Learn about your local environment.
  • View further details about particular data themes.
  • Create custom PDF maps for printing.
  • Read supporting material to help you understand the meaning of particular environmental terms used in describing the information shown on the maps and in tables.

What is the accuracy of the maps viewable in Our Environment?

See the information provided on the Data Provenance page.

Where can I find information on soils?

You can view soils information through two another Manaaki Whenua websites, S-map Online and the New Zealand Soils Portal.  S-map Online is the web delivery service for S-map a new digital soil spatial information system for New Zealand. Like Our Environment, it has been developed and is operated by Manaaki Whenua's Informatics team. For areas of the country not yet covered by S-map Online, visit the maps section of Manaaki Whenua's Soils Portal.

Can I download Our Environment data to use on my computer?

Much of the data used in Our Environment are available through the Manaaki Whenua's LRIS Portal (https://lris.scinfo.org.nz/). Within Our Environment, each layer that is available for download has a corresponding "Obtain Data" button in the METADATA panel. Clicking on the link will take you to the relevant download page in the LRIS Portal. If you can't find the data you want, please contact us.

Are these map layers available for me to use in my own web site or desktop applications?

We are slowly making map layers available through web services.  You can find out what layers are currently available and how to access the services at http://maps.scinfo.org.nz.


Task or functionality related questions...

I'd like to be able to create a map by selecting data from particular datasets, e.g. the Land Resource Inventory, LENZ, etc?

Use the "Source" listing view in the "Configure your map" window to select data from a particular dataset. Further information on the First Time Here page.

How do I maximise the size of the map I see on the screen?

Use the    button in the top menu bar of the mapping application. Alternatively, on most browsers there is a simple and quick way to expand your browser display with a one key press. Find the key labelled F11. (You will find it on the very top row of your keyboard). F keys are normally labelled F1 through F12. F11 is your current target. Hit the key and the browser window will go full screen. Press F11 again to return to the normal browser window.

When I click the Print button, nothing happens.  What's wrong?

If nothing happens when you click the Print button your web browser is probably set to block pop-up windows. To change this you need either to allow all pop-ups, or specifically allow those from https://ourenvironment.scinfo.org.nz.  Use can do this in the browser Settings. The location of the setting facility varies from one browser to another.

Sometimes, because of the number of users requesting PDF files, print fails to work. Wait a few minutes and try again.

I'd like to be able to combine some of the map layers, e.g., to see what threatened indigenous vegetation is found on steep slopes. Can I do this?

Not at the moment. It would be a very valuable capability but we are conscious that we do not want to increase the complexity of the mapping application thus making it hard to use. This might be something we support in the future.

Will my browser be able to view this site? 

The Our Environment website has been designed for and tested against standards compliant browsers from various software providers and on common tablet and smart phone devices. Browsers that should be fully supported include: Chrome, FireFox, Edge desktop, Safari (OSX & iOS) and newer native Android browsers. Older browsers that do not support all of the required standards may not be able to access all of the site's functionality. We recommend that, where possible, you use Firefox or Chrome.

There is an issue with the Our Environment map application causing iOS devices to run out of graphics memory. When this happens, parts of the map will be missing - large areas of science layers will appear blank where data is present. It can look like there are holes in the map. This issue can be mitigated - but not completely fixed - by changing the settings in the map page. Click image2020 6 17 14 59 54  to open the settings dialogue. Select Map Resolution: standard and Class Level Control: combined. This will reduce the number and size of the tiles that make up a map, reducing memory consumption.

If you encounter any unexpected difficulties please let us know through the Contact Us page.

What is the preferred browser for mobile devices such as tablets?

Google Chrome. Other browsers such as the default that comes with Android are not fully supported.


Last updated: 10 June 2024