First time here

S-map Online is a web site where you can view detailed soils information using an interactive map viewer and obtain soil factsheets for specific locations. This guide will introduce you to the core features of this service including how to navigate and explore the maps, how to query the data, how to use 'Search by soil name', how to create a custom PDF soil map for printing, and other important features.

 

The Home Page

The home page provides various buttons and links to help you navigate around the site.

Clicking on the  EXPLORE MAPS button or the Maps link at the top of the page will take you to a page where you can select and view S-map soil maps.

The  BROWSE FACTSHEETS button or Factsheets link at the top will take you to a page where you can search for and download S-map soil factsheets.

Clicking on the  LOCATE ME button will take you to the soil maps page, with the map displayed showing your current location. This functionality is enabled only if you are located within New Zealand.

Finally, clicking on the  FIRST TIME HERE? button will bring you to this page.

 

Maps

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 soil map layers.

 

map page main 

 

  1. Map window - Interact with and view S-map soil maps. Learn more.
  2. Control panel - Various controls. Learn more.
  3. SEARCH panel - Search for a particular location using geographic coordinates, a place name or an address. Learn more.
  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 layer information, which will be displayed in the METADATA panel. Learn more.
  5. MY PINS panel - Click on the map to add a pin and view the soil type at that location. If you save a pin, this is where they will appear.
  6. SOIL SUMMARY panel - Click on the map to add a pin and view the soil type at that location. Learn more.
  7. STATISTICS panel - Use the area reporting tool to get soil statistics for a particular area and information on soil siblings. Learn more.
  8. METADATA panel - Displays descriptive information about the selected map layer.
  9. LEGEND panel - Displays a map key.
  10. Navigation panel - Links to different pages of the site and other sites of interest.

 

1. The Map Window

This window contains various controls which you can use to interact with the map. You can also interact with the map (zoom in and out) using tools in the Control Panel

map panel 

  1. Zoom buttons - Zoom in and out of the map.
  2. Layer transparency - Alter the transparency of the science layers.
  3. Overview map - Shows the larger geographic context of your current map.
  4. Locate me - Zoom map to your current location.
  5. Attribution - Copyright information.

 

2. The Control Panel

This panel contains a number of controls relating to map interaction and interrogation, along with other functionality such as printing, sharing and advanced settings. A very important control is Soil Summary (2g) which allows you to see soil data for locations you select on the map (where S-map data is available).

 control panel

  1. Reset - Reset map and layers to default settings
  2. Set map scale - Zoom in and out by changing the map's cartographic scale.
  3. Previous / next extent - Cycle between previously viewed maps.
  4. Full screen - Switch to full screen mode.
  5. Max extent - Zoom the map to full geographic extent.
  6. Zoom to rectangle - Draw a box on map by clicking and dragging out a box. The map will redraw using your rectangle as the map extent. (Mode change)
  7. Add soil summary pin - Switch to enable you to click on the map to view soil  information.
  8. Share map - Create a hyperlink which you can copy to share the current map with other users.
  9. Print map - Open the print window to create a custom PDF.
  10. Send Feedback - Opens contact form for sending us feedback.
  11. Help - Display summary help window.
  12. 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).

 

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) in a number of ways.

  • To view more or less map detail, use the zoom buttons (1a).
  • Double-click to zoom in closer or use your mouse's scroll wheel to zoom in and out.
  • To zoom to a particular portion of the map, you can switch to "Zoom to rectangle" mode (2f) by clicking the  button. Click and drag out a box of the map area you are interested in. Release the mouse button. After releasing the mouse button, the map will automatically zoom to the area that was selected. You need to select the  button to turn off zoom mode. Alternatively, while holding down the SHIFT key, click and drag out a box of the map area you are interested in. Release the mouse button.
  • If needed, you can repeat the same steps to zoom further into the area. Finally, to zoom to a particular scale e.g., 1:25,000, select a scale from the scale drop down menu (2b).

To move quickly to a particular part of the country, use the Overview map (1c). The Overview map shows you your current location on a smaller scale map and the coverage of the S-map data. You can move the current map view to another location by clicking and dragging the small crosshair or dotted box. To hide the overview map, click on the "«" button to the bottom left of the overview map.

 

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. Searching works with geographic coordinates, a place name or an address.

To search using a place name or an address

If searching for a place name or address, the tool should recognise what you are typing and show you a list of suggestions. From the suggestions list, click on a place name or address to display the map of that location. You can also select a place name or address using the up and down arrow keys and the enter key.

To search using coordinates

Type the coordinates into the search box. You can type NZTM coordinates (e.g. 1890671, 5819114) or latitude-longitude (e.g. -37.73, 176.29). Press the return key to display the map of that location.

In all cases, the place you are looking for is shown on the map by a red flashing dot.

 

Viewing map layers including soil information layers

You can view the different soil layers using the LAYERS panel (4).

Make sure the LAYERS panel is expanded by clicking on the  button. Tick a box to view the layer on the map. Tick another box to view another layer. Only one S-map layer can be viewed at a time on the map. However, you can turn on or off specific features (classes) within a layer to view just those classes on the map.

You need to have zoomed into a scale of 1:250,000 or larger to view the S-map polygons and labels.

 

View soil information for a particular location

To view soils information for a particular location, make sure you have a layer visible on the map (see Viewing map layers including soil information layers).

Click on the Soil Summary control on the Control panel.

Then single click the location on the map you are interested in. A pin will appear on the map at this location, and the SOIL SUMMARY panel (6) will open.

After a moment or two, if S-map data is available for this location, a table will appear in the SOIL SUMMARY panel listing the name of the soils to be found at that location, key soil properties, a confidence rating and the Easting/Northing coordinates for that location. 

For those land areas for which S-map data is not yet available, the SOIL SUMMARY panel (6) presents a soil summary table with links to Soil Order and Drainage maps in Manaaki Whenua's Soils Portal. The source for this data is the pre S-map Fundamental Soil Layers.

If you click on a location in the Canterbury region for which there is currently no S-map data, the SOIL SUMMARY panel (6) provides a link to a separate website, the Interim Canterbury Soils website. Soil factsheets can be obtained for this interim soil data.

If you click on a location where there is no S-map data or alternative data, you will see a message saying 'You have clicked in the sea or a river – no soils data.'

Saving your Pins

You can save your pin so that it's available when you login again later. If you want you can give the pin a name. Do this before clicking the SAVE button. Choosing SAVE will add the pin to the MY PINS panel (5). Pins are stored and will appear in the MY PINS panel when you next use S-map Online. You can delete saved pins using the DELETE button. You can also zoom the map to the location of a saved pin by clicking the checkbox for the pin and clicking on the ZOOM TO button.

Deleting Pins

You can delete a pin by clicking REMOVE UNSAVED PINS in the SOIL SUMMARY panel. You can also delete pins directly from the map. Move your mouse to the pin you want to delete. On Windows, click the right mouse button. A Remove Pin message will appear. Click on the message to permanently delete the pin from the map. 

 

Viewing a soil factsheet

From the soil summary table in the SOIL SUMMARY panel (6), you can obtain a soil factsheet that describes the typical average properties of that specified soil type. Click on a soil name in the table to request and view/download a PDF factsheet. After a few moments a window will appear asking you what you want to do with the PDF file. Depending on how your computer and browser is set up, you will either be able to view the PDF file directly or save it to your computer.

 

Learning more about a soil map layer

The METADATA panel (8) 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 (9). To view this information, click on a layer in the LAYERS panel (4), and make sure the METADATA (8) or LEGEND panel (9) is open. The active layer will be highlighted.

 

Statistics

You can view soil statistics for an area for each property in a selected layer in the STATISTICS panel (7). You can obtain reports either for the current map view extent (window), for an area you draw on the map or for areas (polygons) you select on the map from the LINZ property boundary layer. You can also use this facility to get a list of all the siblings within an area and the area in hectares they make up.

Step 1) If you haven't already down so, choose a soil layer to display on the map. Statistics are displayed faster if you have zoomed in to a small area on the map.

Step 2) Choose what area you want the statistics to be based upon. Choices are: the current MAP EXTENT, AN AREA YOU DRAW on the map, and polygons you select from the LINZ PROPERTY BOUNDARIES.

Once an option for this step is chosen, and any follow up steps (for Step 2b & Step 2c only) performed, a tabular report will appear under the 'PROPERTIES' tab, within the STATISTICS panel.

Step 2a) Map extent: the report will be generated using the current visible extent, in the map window. Choosing this option will then generate a report for the map extent.

Step 2b) An area you draw: the report will be generated using an area defined/drawn by you. If you choose this option you will be presented with instructions on how to define your area by clicking multiple times around the map, to create a custom area. You should use the mouse to draw an area on the map.

  • Click on the map to add a point and begin drawing
  • Subsequent clicks will add additional points
  • Click back close to the starting point, or double click anywhere, to finish and generate a report.

Select the RESTART button to remove the area you have drawn on the map, and begin to choose another area.

The area values and list of siblings are not updated if you pan or zoom to another location or change the S-map map layer. You will need to select the RESTART button to refresh the report.

Step 2c) LINZ property boundaries: the report will be generated using the area defined as you select LINZ property boundaries. Choosing this option will switch on the LINZ property boundaries layer (if not currently on) and the property boundaries will be displayed on the map. Instructions will then appear to 'Click within property parcels to query them'. You must click on the map within the property parcel you want included in the report. The property boundary you have selected will be highlighted. A report will be generated for the property parcel. If you click on additional parcels they will be highlighted and the S-map soil property values added to the report. To remove a parcel from the report, click inside the property boundary again to deselect it. To deselect all parcels and start again click on RESTART. Note that this layer is best viewed at a large scale (zoomed in), perhaps at 1:25,000, although for very rural areas you will probably need to view the map at smaller scales (more zoomed out).

To view a list of the siblings found in that area, click on the 'SIBLINGS' tab.

Important things to be aware of:

  • The larger the geographic extent of the map, the longer it will take for the statistics to be calculated and the report displayed. In some cases, because of the complexity of the underlying data, the Statistics tool will not work if the map is displaying a very large geographic extent.
  • Make sure you read the disclaimer presented with each report on how the area values are being calculated.

Share a report

Select the  Share Map button to generate a link for the report you have chosen. This link can then be shared with others e.g. in an email. If the person receiving the link clicks on it, their  browser will open, S-map Online will load, they then need to log in and then the area report you specified will be displayed to them. (The individual provided with the link will need to be a registered S-map Online user.) 

 

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 (2i) to create printable PDF soil maps in A4 and A3 size, in portrait or landscape layout and at various scales.

Click on the  Print Map icon to open the PRINT window. The extent of your map is shown by the pink box. Click on the box and drag it around to change the geographic location of your map.

Changing the scale or paper size will affect the amount of detail or the size of the geographic area that will appear on the map.

You can enter a title for the map.

To request the PDF file, click on 'CREATE AND DOWNLOAD MAP' button.

Note that the time it takes to create the PDF file will vary depending upon the complexity, size and scale of the map. You may have to wait a couple of minutes for the file to be created and downloaded. Depending on how your computer and browser are set up, you will either be able to view the PDF file directly or save it to your computer.

 

Browse Factsheets

Search by soil name

If you know the name of a soil, click the Factsheets tab at the top of the page or the  BROWSE FACTSHEETS link on the home page. Select the region then type in the soil name or part of the name into the search box. Clicking the Search button with no text in the search box results in a list of all soils currently in S-map in that region. A soil symbol (a short code that was used in local soil surveys) can also be entered into the search box. From the resulting list of matching soils, click on the factsheet link in the Reports column to view/download the factsheet pdf. Depending on how your computer and browser are set up, you will either be able to view the PDF file directly or save it on to your computer.

 

More advanced map features

 

Altering the transparency of a map layer

You can use the Layer Transparency slider (1b) to vary the transparency of a soil layer displayed on the map. This allows you to gradually fade-in/fade-out the layer against the basemap.

 

Changing the underlying base map

By default, map layers are shown on top of a topographic map. However, some map layers are easier to read on top of alternative base maps (e.g. "monochrome topographic"). You can change the basemap by selecting a different base map in the LAYERS panel (4).

 

Resetting the map back to a national extent

At any time you can click on the globe icon on the top bar to reset the map extent back to the whole of New Zealand.

 

Returning to a previous map view

Use the back arrow in the toolbar to see the maps you were looking at previously. You can also use the forward arrow to go forward through the maps you have looked at previously.

 

Maximise the size of the map you can see on the screen

You can hide all various information panels, thus increasing the size of the map you can see on the screen. To do this, click on the name / icon of the panel you wish to minimise. Clicking on the name / icon again, opens the panel.

 

Go Full Screen

You can make the browser window go into full screen mode by clicking on the   button.

 

Last updated: 29 January 2018

S-map Online is a web site where you can view detailed soils information using an interactive map viewer and obtain soil factsheets for specific locations. This guide will introduce you to the basics of this service including how to navigate and explore the maps, how to query the data, how to use 'Search by soil name', how to create a custom PDF soil map for printing, and other important features.

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.  

The Home Page

The home page provides various buttons and links to help you navigate the site.

Clicking on the  EXPLORE MAPS button or the Maps link at the top of the page will take you to a page where you can select and view S-map soil maps.

Clicking on the  LOCATE ME button will take you to the soil maps page, with the map displayed showing your current location. This functionality is enabled only if you are located within New Zealand.

Finally, tapping on the  FIRST TIME HERE? button will bring you to this page.

 

Maps

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 soil map layers. 

map page main tablet portrait 

1. Map window - Interact with and view S-map soil maps.

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

b. Layer transparency - Alter the transparency of the 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.

2. Control panel - Various controls relating to interacting with the map and querying for data, printing, sharing and advanced settings. A very important control is Soil Summary (2g) which allows you to see soil data for locations you select on the map (where there is S-map data).

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

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

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. Add soil summary pin - Switch to enable you to query for soil information by touching a location on the map.

g. Share map - Create a hyperlink to share the current map with other users.

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

i. Send Feedback - Opens contact form for sending use feedback.

j. Help - Display summary help window.

k. 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. Learn more.

4. LAYERS panel - Control which soil 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. Learn more.

5. LEGEND panel - Displays a map key. 

6. MY PINS panel - Click on the map to add a pin and view the soil type at that location. If you save a pin, this is where they will appear

7. SOIL SUMMARY panel - Click on the map to add a pin and view the soil type at that location. Learn more. 

8. STATISTICS panel - Use the area reporting tool to get soil statistics for a particular area and information on soil siblings. Learn more.

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.

Use one of the following to zoom into the map (see more detail) and zoom out (see less detail).

  • Use the zoom buttons (1a).
  • Double-tap to zoom in closer or use a pinch action to zoom in and out.
  • To zoom to a particular scale e.g., 1:25,000, select a scale from the scale drop down menu (2b).

To move quickly to a particular part of the country, use the Overview map (1c). The Overview map shows you your current location on a smaller scale map and the coverage of the S-map data. You can move the current map view to another location by tapping in the overview map where you'd like the map to move to. To hide the overview map, tap the "«" button to the bottom left of the overview map.

 

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. Searching works with geographic coordinates, a place name or an address.

To search using a place name or an address -

If searching for a place name or address, the tool should recognise what you are typing and show you a list of suggestions. From the suggestions, tap on a place name or address to display the map of that location. 

To search using coordinates -

Type the coordinates into the search box. You can type NZTM coordinates (e.g. 1890671, 5819114) or latitude-longitude (e.g. -37.73, 176.29).

In all cases, the place you are looking for is shown on the map by a red flashing dot.

 

Viewing map layers including soil information layers

You can view the different soil layers using the LAYERS panel (4).

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. Note that only one S-map layer can be viewed at a time on the map. However, you can turn on or off specific features (classes) within a layer to view those classes on the map.

You need to have zoomed into a scale of 1:250,000 or larger to view the S-map polygons and labels.

 

View more information about a particular location

To view soils information for a particular location, make sure you have a soil layer visible on the map (see Viewing map layers including soil information layers).

Touch on the Soil Summary control on the Control panel.

A pin will appear in the centre of the map. Drag the map around until the pin is in the location you are interested in, then click the 'Confirm location' button. The SOIL SUMMARY panel (7) will open.

After a moment or two, if S-map data is available for this location, a table will appear in the SOIL SUMMARY panel listing the name of the soils to be found at that location, key soil properties, a confidence rating and the Easting/Northing coordinate for that location. 

For those land areas for which S-map data is not yet available, the SOIL SUMMARY panel (7) presents a soil summary table with links to Soil Order and Drainage maps in Manaaki Whenua's Soils Portal. The source for this data is the pre S-map Fundamental Soil Layers.

If you tap on a location in the Canterbury region for which there is currently no S-map data, the SOIL SUMMARY panel (7) provides a link to a separate website, the Interim Canterbury Soils website. Soil factsheets can be obtained for this interim soil data. Note that this site is not optimised for viewing on tablets.

Where there is no soils data, you will see a message saying 'You have clicked in the sea or a river – no soils data.'

Saving your Pins

You can save your pin. If you want you can give the pin a name. Do this before tapping the SAVE button. Choosing SAVE will add the pin to the MY PINS panel (6). Pins are stored and will appear in the MY PINS panel when you next use S-map Online.

Deleting Pins

You can delete a pin by tapping DELETE.  

You can delete all the pins that have not been saved by clicking REMOVE UNSAVED PINS in the SOIL SUMMARY panel.

 

Viewing a soil factsheet

From the soil summary table in the SOIL SUMMARY panel (7), you can obtain a soil factsheet that describes the typical average properties of that specified soil type. Touch on a soil name in the table to request and view/download a PDF factsheet. After a few moments a window will appear asking you what you want to do with the PDF file. Depending on how your tablet is set up, you will either be able to view the PDF file directly or save it.

 

Learning more about a soil map layer

Further details about particular features (classes) making up a layer can be found in the LEGEND panel (5), along with layer metadata. To view this information, tap on a layer in the LAYERS panel (4), and make sure the LEGEND panel (5) is open. The active layer will be highlighted.

 

Statistics

You can obtain soil statistics for an area for each property in a selected layer using the STATISTICS tool (8). You can obtain reports either for the the current map view extent (window), for an area you draw on the map or for areas (polygons) you select on the map from the LINZ property boundary layer. You can also use this facility to get a list of all the siblings within an area and the area in hectares they make up.

Step 1) If you haven't already down so, choose a soil layer to display on the map. Statistics are displayed faster if you have zoomed in to a small area on the map.

Step 2) Choose what area you want the statistics to be based upon. Choices are: the current MAP EXTENT, AN AREA YOU DRAW on the map, and polygons you select from the LINZ PROPERTY BOUNDARIES.

Once an option for this step is chosen, and any follow up steps (for Step 2b & Step 2c only) performed, a tabular report will appear under the 'PROPERTIES' tab, within the STATISTICS panel.

Step 2a) Map extent: the report will be generated using the current visible extent in the map window. Choosing this option will then generate a report for the map extent.

Step 2b) An area you draw: the report will be generated using an area defined/drawn by you. If you choose this option you will be presented with instructions on how to define your area by tapping multiple times around the map, to create a custom area. You should use your finger to draw an area on the map.

  • Tap on the map to add a point and begin drawing
  • Subsequent taps will add additional points
  • Tap back close to the starting point, or double tap anywhere, to finish and generate a report.

Select the RESTART button to remove the area you have drawn on the map, and begin to choose another area.

The area values and list of siblings are not updated if you pan or zoom to another location or change the s-map map layer. You will need to select the RESTART button to refresh the report.

Step 2c) LINZ property boundaries: the report will be generated using the area defined as you select LINZ property boundaries. Choosing this option will switch on the LINZ property boundaries layer (if not currently on) and the property boundaries will be displayed on the map. Instructions will then appear to 'Click within property parcels to query them'. You must tap on the map, within the property parcel you want included on the report The property boundary you have selected will be highlighted. A report will be generated for the property parcel. If you tap on additional parcels they will be highlighted and the s-map soil property values added to the report. To remove a parcel from the report, tap inside the property boundary again to deselect it. To deselect all parcels and start again tap on RESTART. Note that this layer is best viewed at a large scale (zoomed in), perhaps at 1:25,000, although for very rural areas you will probably need to view the map at smaller scales (more zoomed out).

To view a list of the siblings found in that area, tap on the 'SIBLINGS' tab.

Important things to be aware of:

  • The larger the geographic extent of the map, the longer it will take for the statistics to be calculated and the report displayed. In some cases, because of the complexity of the underlying data, the Statistics tool will not work if the map is displaying a very large geographic extent.
  • Make sure you read the disclaimer presented with each report on how the area values are being calculated.

Share a report

Select the  Share Map button to generate a link for the report you have chosen. This link can then be shared with others e.g. in an email. If the person receiving the link clicks on it, their  browser will open, S-map Online will load, they then need to log in, and then area report you specified will be displayed. (The individual provided with the link will need to be a registered S-map Online user.) 

 

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 (2h) to create printable PDF soil maps in A4 and A3 size, in portrait or landscape layout and at various scales.

Click on the  Print Map icon to open the PRINT window. The extent of your map is shown by the pink box. Click on the box and drag it around to change the geographic location of your map.

Changing the scale or paper size will affect the amount of detail or the size of the geographic area that will appear on the map.

You can enter a title for the map.

To request the PDF file, touch the 'CREATE AND DOWNLOAD MAP' button.

Note that the time it takes to create the PDF file will vary depending upon the complexity, size and scale of the map. You may have to wait a couple of minutes for the file to be created and downloaded. Depending on how your computer is set up, you will either be able to view the PDF file directly or save it to your computer.

 

Browse Factsheets

Search by soil name

If you know the name of a soil, touch the Factsheets tab at the top or the  BROWSE FACTSHEETS link on the home page. Select the region then type in the name or part of the name into the search box. Clicking the Search button with no text in the search box results in a list of all soils currently in S-map in that region. A soil symbol (a short code that was used in local soil surveys) can also be entered into the search box. From the resulting list of matching soils, tap the factsheet link in the Reports column to view/download the factsheet pdf. Depending on how your tablet is set up, you will either be able to view the PDF file directly or save it on to your computer.

 

More advanced map features

 

Altering the transparency of a map layer

You can use the Layer Transparency slider (1b) to vary the transparency of a soil layer displayed on the map. This allows you to gradually fade-in/fade-out the layer against the basemap.

 

Changing the underlying base map

By default, map layers are shown on top of a topographic map. However, some map layers are easier to read on top of alternative base maps (e.g. "monochrome topographic"). You can change the basemap by selecting a different base map in the LAYERS panel (4).

 

Resetting the map back to a national extent

At any time you can tap the globe icon on the top bar to reset the map extent back to the whole of New Zealand.

 

Returning to a previous map view

Use the back arrow in the toolbar to see the maps you were looking at previously. You can also use the forward arrow to go forward through the maps you've looked at previously.

 

Maximise the size of the map you can see on the screen

You can hide all various information panels, thus increasing the size of the map you can see on the screen. To do this, touch the name / icon of the panel you wish to minimise. Tapping on the name / icon again, opens the panel.

 

Go Full Screen

You can make the browser window go into full screen mode by tapping the   button.

 

Last updated: 29 January 2018

S-map Online is a web site where you can view detailed soils information using an interactive map viewer and obtain soil factsheets for specific locations. This guide will introduce you to the basics of this service including how to navigate and explore the maps, how to query the data, how to use 'Search by soil name', how to create a custom PDF soil map for printing, and other important features.

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.  

The Home Page

The home page provides various buttons and links to help you navigate around the site.

Clicking on the  EXPLORE MAPS button or the Maps link at the top of the page will take you to a page where you can select and view S-map soil maps.

Clicking on the  LOCATE ME button will take you to the soil maps page, with the map displayed showing your current location. This functionality is enabled only if you are within New Zealand.

Finally, tapping on the  FIRST TIME HERE? button will bring you to this page. More detailed help can be obtained by viewing the site on a desktop or laptop.

 

Exploring the maps and soils data - a quick summary

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 soil map layers. 

map page main mobile portrait

1. Main menu - Contains links to all major sections of the site.

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

3. LEGEND / METADATA panel - Displays a map key & information about a layer. 

4. MY PINS panel - Click on the map to add a pin and view the soil type at that location. Saved pins will appear here

5. 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. Learn more.

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

7. Layer transparency - Alter the transparency of the science layers.

8. Map window - Interact with and view S-map soil maps.

9. Add soil summary pinSwitch to enable you to query for soil information by touching a location on the map.

10. Locate me - Zoom map to your current location.

11. Attribution - Copyright information

12. 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).

 

Exploring the maps and soils data - a more detailed explanation 

Interacting with the map

To move around the map, tap and drag the map to pan (move) to another location.

Use one of the following to zoom into the map (see more detail) and zoom out of the map (see less detail).

  • Use the zoom buttons (6).
  • Double-tap to zoom in closer or use a pinch action to zoom in and out.

 

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. Searching works with geographic coordinates, a place name or an address.

To search using coordinates, type the coordinates into the search box. You can type NZTM coordinates (e.g. 1890671, 5819114) or latitude-longitude (e.g. -37.73, 176.29).

In all cases, the place you are looking for is shown on the map by a red flashing dot.

 

Viewing map layers including soil information layers

You can view the different soil layers using the LAYERS panel (5).

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 S-map layer can be viewed at a time on the map.

You need to have zoomed into a scale of 1:250,000 or larger to view the S-map polygons and labels.

 

View more information about a particular location

To view soils information for a particular location, make sure you have a layer visible on the map (see Viewing map layers including soil information layers).

Tap the button on the map to enable feature information on touch of map.

A pin will appear in the centre of the map. Drag the map around until the bottom of the pin is in the location you are interested in, then click the 'Confirm location' button. The SOIL SUMMARY panel will open.

After a moment or two, if S-map data is available for this location, a table will appear in the SOIL SUMMARY panel. 

  • For those land areas for which S-map data is not yet available, the SOIL SUMMARY panel presents a soil summary table with links to Soil Order and Drainage maps in Manaaki Whenua's Soils portal. The source for this data is the pre S-map Fundamental Soil Layers.
  • If you tap on a location in the Canterbury region for which there is currently no S-map data, the SOIL SUMMARY panel provides a link to a separate website, the Interim Canterbury Soils website. Soil factsheets can be obtained for this interim soil data. Note that the Interim Canterbury Soils website has not been optimised for viewing on a mobile device. 
  • Where there is currently no soils data, you will see a message saying 'You have clicked in the sea or a river – no soils data.'

Saving your Pins

You can save your pin. If you want you can give the pin a name. Do this before tapping the SAVE button. Choosing SAVE will add the pin to the MY PINS panel (4). Pins are stored and will appear in the MY PINS panel when you next use S-map Online.

Deleting Pins

You can delete a pin by tapping DELETE. 

You can delete all the pins that have not been saved by clicking REMOVE UNSAVED PINS in the SOIL SUMMARY panel.

 

Viewing a soil factsheet

From the soil summary table in the SOIL SUMMARY panel, you can obtain a soil factsheet that describes the typical average properties of that specified soil type. Touch on a soil name in the table to request and view/download a PDF factsheet.

After a few moments a window will appear asking you what you want to do with the PDF file. Depending on how your mobile device is set up, you will either be able to view the PDF file directly or save it.

 

Learning more about a soil map layer

Further details about particular features (classes) making up a layer can be found in the LEGEND panel (3), along with layer metadata. To view this information, tap on a layer in the LAYERS panel (5), then open the LEGEND panel (3). 

 

More advanced map features

Altering the transparency of a map layer

You can use the Layer Transparency slider (7) to vary the transparency of a soil layer displayed on the map. This allows you to gradually fade-in/fade-out the layer against the basemap.

Changing the underlying base map

By default, map layers are shown on top of a topographic map. However, some map layers are easier to read on top of alternative base maps (e.g. "monochrome topographic"). You can change the basemap by selecting a different base map in the LAYERS panel (5).

 

Last updated: 29 January 2018