First Time Here

Our Environment is an interactive map viewer for New Zealand land-related environmental information. Using this website you can explore cartographic depictions of many different layers of environmental data, get information about particular environmental features, access other data resources and print high-quality maps. This guide will introduce you to the basics of using this free service. The Frequently Asked Questions page (FAQ) contains answers to specific questions about the website and which browsers the site works in.

Warning: Some features are unavailable when Our Environment is used on tablets or mobile phones.

Warning: The Reporting feature does not work in Internet Explorer 11.

 

This page contains an overview of how to get started with the basic functionality of the site. A more detailed walkthrough of all aspects of the site can be accessed whenever you see Detailed Help in the text below.

 

Registration

You may use Our Environment without registering, however some functionality of the site will not be available to you until you register. Registering is quick and easy, and completely free. To register, click here.

 

Maps

Clicking on the explore maps button Explore the Atlas button on the home page, or the Maps & Tools > Explore NZ Land Atlas link in the top navigation bar, will take you to a page where you can select and view environmental maps of New Zealand.

The map page consists of a main map window, surrounded by a series of panels and controls which enable map navigation, map viewing, querying for data, reporting and printing of the environmental map layers.

map page main

Fig. 1. Map page.

 

1. Map window - Interact with and view maps.

2. Control panel - Various controls.

3. SEARCH panel - Search for a particular location using geographic coordinates, a place name or an address.

4. LAYERS panel - Control which layers are drawn on the map. Tick check boxes to turn layers on or off. Click layer name to view information about a layer. This will be displayed in the METADATA panel.

5. LEGEND panel - Displays a map key.

6. METADATA panel - Displays descriptive information about the selected map layer, including a link to download the original data, if available.

7. Navigation panel - Links to different pages of the site and other sites of interest.

8. ADD FEATURES panel - Add features of interest to the map to generate a report. Choose from point, area, map extent or predefined features. The data displayed depends on which science layer you have selected.

9. MY FEATURES panel - If you save a pin, this is where they will appear.

 

Interacting with the map

To move around the map, click and drag the map to pan (move) to another location. You can zoom into the map (to see more detail) and zoom out of the map (to see less detail) using the zoom buttons (+ / -). Detailed Help

 

Finding a particular place on the map

If you are looking for a particular place, the quickest way to find it is to use the SEARCH tool (3). Searching works with geographic coordinates, a place name or an address. Detailed Help

 

Viewing map layers including environmental science layers

When you first use the mapping tool, you will be presented with a popup window and asked to select one or more environmental science layers to view on the map. Select which layers you would like added to the LAYERS panel (4), then click the Explore Map button. Detailed Help

 

Learning about a particular map layer

The METADATA panel (6) displays background information about the layer you have currently selected. Further details about particular features (classes) making up a layer can be found in the LEGEND panel (5). To view this information, click on a layer in the LAYERS panel, and make sure the METADATA or LEGEND panel is open. The active layer will be highlighted.

 

View information for a particular location / area

You can view a report for a selected layer in the ADD FEATURES / FEATURE REPORT panel (8). You can obtain reports either for a single location drop pin, for an area you define yourself on the map draw area, the current map extent (window) map extent, or for areas (polygons) you select on the map from either the LINZ property boundaries, Territorial Authorities or the Regional Councils layers.

Each of these options requires you to perform a slightly different set of actions, but the basis of it is:

1) Choose what you want the report to be based upon.

2) Interact with the map to specify the location or area you are interested in.

Once the report has been requested using one of the above methods, this panel will change to FEATURE REPORT and a report preview will appear. The form of this report depends which type of report has been chosen.

3) Full Report: Click the "Generate full report" button, and a more detailed report will be generated for the location / area in question. This opens in a new window an example of which can be seen below in Fig. 2. The report is then accessible in your MY FEATURES panel, after you close the report window.


report window

Fig. 2. Report window.

In this window you can interact with the report in a variety of ways, including editing the title, changing the type of data visualisation, print or share the report via link. Detailed Help

 

Download the underlying data

We provide a link, Obtain Data in the Layer METADATA if the data used to produce a map layer is available for downloading. If you click on the link, the relevant page from the website hosting the data will appear in a new browser window. In most cases this will be Manaaki Whenua's LRIS Portal.

 

Printing a map

Use the Print facility  to create printable PDF maps in A4 and A3 size, in portrait or landscape layout and at various scales. Detailed Help

 

New Zealand Landcover Explorer

This is a currently experimental map tool that allows you to view changes and issues relating to New Zealand's land cover, by exploring different versions and 'views' of the Landcover Database NZ.

To access it, select the Maps & Tools > Explore NZ Landcover Change option from the menu at the top of the page (or click here). On first load of the tool, it is recommended to choose the "Take a tour" option from the popup window, as this will give you a quick overview of how the site works.

N.B.

  • Landcover maps don't appear until you zoom in to the map to around 1:550k.
  • The direction of change buttons: landcover explorer buttonlandcover explorer button allow you to switch the map between looking at where land cover has become a particular type and where land cover is no longer a particular type.

Last updated: 6 June 2019

Our Environment is an interactive map viewer for New Zealand land-related environmental information. Using this website you can explore cartographic depictions of many different layers of environmental data, get information about particular environmental features, access other data resources and print high-quality maps. This guide will introduce you to the basics of using this free service. The Frequently Asked Questions page (FAQ) contains answers to specific questions about the website and which browsers the site works in.

N.B. Using the site on a tablet device results in a reduced feature set. To enjoy all the functionality we recommend viewing the site on a desktop / laptop. The more detailed help is also available when you use the site on a desktop or laptop device.

The images shown below may differ slightly to how things look on your device. This is due to the differences in screen size and resolution across different tablet devices. The layout of the website may also vary depending on whether you are viewing the site in portrait or landscape.

 

This page contains an overview of how to get started with the basic functionality of the site. A more detailed walkthrough of all aspects of the site can be accessed whenever you see Detailed Help in the text below.

 

Registration

You may use Our Environment without registering, however some functionality of the site will not be available to you until you register. Registering is quick and easy, and completely free. To register, click here.

 

Maps

Touching the explore maps button Explore the Atlas button on the home page, or the Maps & Tools > Explore NZ Land Atlas link at the top of the page will take you to a page where you can select and view environmental maps of New Zealand.

The map page consists of a main map window, surrounded by a series of panels and controls which enable map navigation, map viewing, querying for data, reporting and printing of the environmental map layers.


map page main Fig. 1. Map page.

1. Map window - Interact with and view maps.

a. Zoom buttons - Zoom in and out of the map.

b. Layer transparency - Alter the transparency of the environmental science layers.

c. Overview map - Shows the larger geographic context of your current map.

d. Locate me - Zoom the map to your current location.

e. Attribution - Copyright information.

f. Scale Bar.

2. Control panel - Various controls relating to interacting with the map and querying for data, printing, sharing and advanced settings.

a. Reset - Reset map and layers to default settings.

b. Set map scale - Zoom in and out by changing the map's cartographic scale. This is approximate.

c. Previous / next extent - Cycle between previously viewed maps.

d. Full screen - Switch to full screen mode.

e. Max extent - Zoom map to full geographic extent.

f. Share map - Create a URL link to share the current map with other users.

g. Print map - Open the print window to create a custom PDF.

h. Send Feedback - Opens the contact form for sending us feedback or telling us about a problem you are having.

i. Help - Display summary help window.

j. Settings - Displays the advanced settings window. In this window you can change the image resolution of the map, allow more control of map layers, and change the interaction style between mouse and touch (if you have a touch enabled device).

3. SEARCH panel - Search for a particular location using geographic coordinates, a place name or an address.

4. MY LAYERS panel - Control which layers are drawn. Tick check boxes to turn layers on or off. Touch layer name to view layer information, which will be displayed in the LEGEND panel.

5. MY FEATURES panel - Saved pins and features, generated from the FEATURES panel, will appear here.

6. LEGEND panel - Displays a map key.

7. METADATA panel - Displays descriptive information about the selected map layer, including a link to download the original data, if available.

8. FEATURES panel - Generate reports by touching the map to add pins, areas (polygons) or choose from predefined areas.

9. Navigation panel - Links to different pages of the site and other sites of interest.

 

Interacting with the map

To move around the map, tap and drag the map to pan (move) to another location, or zoom into the map (see more detail) and zoom out (see less detail) using the zoom buttons (1a). Detailed Help

 

Finding a particular place on the map

If you are looking for a particular place, the quickest way to find it is to use the SEARCH tool (3). Searching works with geographic coordinates, a place name or an address. Detailed Help

 

Viewing map layers including environmental science layers

When you first use the mapping tool, you will be presented with a popup window and asked to select one or more environmental science layers to view on the map. Select which layers you would like added to the MY LAYERS panel (4), then tap the Explore Map button. You can then view the different environmental science layers using the MY LAYERS panel. Detailed Help

 

View information for a particular location / area

You can view a report for a selected layer in the ADD FEATURES / FEATURE REPORT panel (8). You can obtain reports either for a single location drop pin, for an area you define yourself on the map draw area, the current map extent (window) map extent, or for areas (polygons) you select on the map from either the LINZ property boundaries, Territorial Authorities or the Regional Councils layers.

Each of these options requires you to perform a slightly different set of actions, but the basis of it is:

1) Choose what you want the report to be based upon.

2) Interact with the map to specify the location or area you are interested in.

Once the report has been requested using one of the above methods, this panel will change to FEATURE REPORT and a report preview will appear. The form of this report depends which type of report has been chosen.

3) Full Report: Touch the "Generate full report" button, and a more detailed report will be generated for the location / area in question. This opens in a new window an example of which can be seen below in Fig. 2. The report is then accessible in your MY FEATURES panel (5), after you close the report window.


report window

Fig. 2. Report window.

In this window you can interact with the report in a variety of ways, including editing the title, changing the type of data visualisation, print or share the report via link.

 

Download the underlying data

We provide a link, Obtain Data in the Layer METADATA if the data used to produce a map layer is available for downloading. If you tap on the link, the relevant page from the website hosting the data will appear in a new browser window. In most cases this will be Manaaki Whenua's LRIS Portal.

 

Printing a map

Use the Print facility  to create printable PDF maps in A4 and A3 size, in portrait or landscape layout and at various scales. Detailed Help

 

New Zealand Landcover Explorer

This is a currently experimental map tool that allows you to view changes and issues relating to New Zealand's land cover, by exploring different versions and 'views' of the Landcover Database NZ.

To access it, select the Maps & Tools > Explore NZ Landcover Change option from the menu at the top of the page (or touch here). On first load of the tool, it is recommended to choose the "Take a tour" option from the popup window, as this will give you a quick overview of how the site works.

N.B.

  • Landcover maps don't appear until you zoom in to the map to around 1:550k.
  • The direction of change buttons: landcover explorer buttonlandcover explorer button allow you to switch the map between looking at where land cover has become a particular type and where land cover is no longer a particular type.

Last updated: 6 June 2019

Our Environment is an interactive map viewer for New Zealand land-related environmental information. Using this website you can explore cartographic depictions of many different layers of environmental data, get information about particular environmental features, access other data resources and print high-quality maps. This guide will introduce you to the basics of using this free service. The Frequently Asked Questions page (FAQ) contains answers to specific questions about the website and which browsers the site works in.

N.B. Using the site on a smart phone device results in a reduced feature set. To enjoy all functionality we recommend using the web site on a desktop / laptop.

The images shown below may differ slightly to how things look on your smart phone device. This is due to differences in screen size and resolution across different devices. The layout of the web site may also vary depending on whether you are viewing the site in portrait or landscape.

 

This page contains an overview of how to get started with the basic functionality of the site. A more detailed walkthrough of all aspects of the site can be accessed whenever you see Detailed Help in the text below.

 

Exploring the maps and science data

Touching the explore maps button Explore the Atlas button on the home page, or the Maps link at the top of the page will take you to a page where you can select and view environmental maps of New Zealand.

The map page consists of a main map window, surrounded by a series of panels and controls which enable map navigation, map viewing, querying for data and reporting of the map layers.

map page main Fig. 1. Map page.

  1. Main menu - Contains links to all major sections of the site.
  2. LAYERS panel - Control which layers are drawn. Tick check boxes to turn layers on or off. Click layer name to view layer information, which will be displayed in the LEGEND panel.
  3. SEARCH panel - Search for a particular location using geographic coordinates, a place name or an address.
  4. MY FEATURES panel - Saved pins and features, generated from the FEATURES panel, will appear here.
  5. LEGEND panel - Displays a map key.
  6. Zoom buttons - Zoom in and out of the map.
  7. Layer transparency - Alter the transparency of the environmental science layers.
  8. Map window - Interact with and view maps.
  9. Locate me - Zoom map to your current location.
  10. Attribution - Copyright information.
  11. Settings - Displays the advanced settings window. In this window you can change the image resolution of the map, allow more control of map layers, and change the interaction style between mouse and touch (if you have a touch enabled device).
  12. ADD FEATURES menu - Generate reports by touching the map to add pins, areas (polygons) or choose from predefined areas.

 

Interacting with the map

To move around the map, tap and drag the map to pan (move) to another location, or zoom into the map (see more detail) and zoom out (see less detail) using the zoom buttons (6). Detailed Help

 

Finding a particular place on the map

If you are looking for a particular place, the quickest way to find it is to use the SEARCH tool (3). Searching works with geographic coordinates, a place name or an address. Detailed Help

 

Viewing map layers including environmental science layers

When you first use the mapping tool, you will be presented with a popup window and asked to select one or more environmental science layers to view on the map.

You can view the different layers using the LAYERS panel (2).

Make sure the LAYERS panel is expanded by tapping the  button. Tick a box to view the layer on the map. Tick another box to view another layer. Only one science layer can be viewed at a time on the map.

 

View information for a particular location / area

You can view a report for a selected layer in the ADD FEATURES / FEATURE REPORT panel (12). You can obtain reports either for a single location drop pin, for an area you define yourself on the map draw area, the current map extent (window) map extent, or for areas (polygons) you select on the map from either the LINZ property boundaries, Territorial Authorities or the Regional Councils layers.

Each of these options requires you to perform a slightly different set of actions, but the basis of it is:

1) Choose what you want the report to be based upon.

2) Interact with the map to specify the location or area you are interested in.

Once the report has been requested using one of the above methods, this panel will change to FEATURE REPORT and a report preview will appear. The form of this report depends which type of report has been chosen.

3) Full Report: Touch the "Generate full report" button, and a more detailed report will be generated for the location / area in question. This opens in a new window an example of which can be seen below in Fig. 2. The report is then accessible in your MY FEATURES panel (4), after you close the report window.


report window

Fig. 2. Report window.

In this window you can interact with the report in a variety of ways, including editing the title, changing the type of data visualisation, print or share the report via link.

 

Learning more about a map layer

Further details about particular features (classes) making up a layer can be found in the LEGEND panel (5). To view this information, tap on a layer in the LAYERS panel, then open the LEGEND panel.

 

Last updated: 6 June 2019