Back to: Mapping Tool - Introduction

Back to: First Time Here

 

Registration

To use S-map Online, you must first register. Registering is quick and easy, and completely free (for non-commercial use). To register, click here.

 

Quick Links

Use one of the links below to jump to what you're keen to learn about.

About the map page

How to find a location on the map

About our map layers

How to create reports

How to print your map

Downloading the data

More advanced features

 

The Home Page

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

Clicking on the fthFIRST TIME HERE? button will take you to a page which summarises the main elements of the site.

The explore maps EXPLORE MAPS button or the Maps & Tools > Maps link at the top of the page will take you to a page where you can select and view S-map soil maps.

Finally, the sibling finderSIBLING FINDER button will take you to a tool which allows you to search for, compare, and filter S-map soil siblings, which are the most detailed level of soil classification in New Zealand.


 

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. These panels can change dependent on actions carried out in the map. For instance, the GET REPORTS panel (Fig. 1) becomes the SOIL REPORT panel (Fig. 2) after a feature is queried from the map.

map page main

Figure 1. The Map page

 

1. Map window - Interact with and view 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 information about a layer. This will be displayed in the METADATA panel. Learn more.

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. GET REPORTS 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 soil layer you have selected. The information is returned in this panel, but the panel is renamed to 'SOIL REPORT '. See 10, below. Learn more.

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


map page main

Figure 2. The Map page, after a feature information query

 

10. SOIL REPORT panel - Returned information is displayed here. Learn more.

11. Dropped feature information pin.

12. My features panel – here you will find a list of pins or features you have saved. Click on a pin or feature to have it displayed again on the map.

13. Report preview window - Short version of generated report. Click on Soil Map Unit Factsheet to view the factsheet. Click on soil sibling factsheet link to download either the "classic" or "improved" factsheet for that soil sibling. Expand the "Soil Chemistry" panel to view various attributes relating to the soil chemistry at the clicked location.


 

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

Figure 3 The Map window

 

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


 

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.

control panel

Figure 4. 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. This is approximate.
  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. Soil Summary - Activate Soil Summary query mode.
  8. Share map - Create a URL link 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 the contact form for sending us feedback or telling us about a problem you are having.
  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 (3a).
  • 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 (4f) 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 (4b).

To move quickly to a particular part of the country, use the Overview map (3c). The Overview map shows you your current location on a smaller scale map. You can move the current map view to another location by clicking on the overview map, or by clicking and dragging the small crosshair / 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 (3). 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 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.

Please note

  • You need to have zoomed into a scale of at least 1:250,000 or larger to view the S-map polygons and labels.
  • The layers in the "Soil chemistry grid (National)" section are not suitable for viewing at scales larger than 1:250,000, so they will automatically switch off when zoomed further in than 1:250,000.

 

Learning about a particular map layer

The METADATA panel (7) 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 (6). To view this information, click on a layer in the LAYERS panel (4), and make sure the METADATA (7) or LEGEND panel (6) 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 GET REPORTS / SOIL REPORT panel (Fig.5).

You can obtain reports either for a single location, for an area you define yourself on the map, the current map extent (window), or for areas (polygons) you select on the map from either the LINZ parcels or Māori Land Blocks.

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

Step 2) Choose what you want the report to be based upon. Choices are: drop pin Soil Summary, draw area Draw area on map, map extent Use map extent, or "Predefined features", such as polygons you select from LINZ Parcels or Māori Land Blocks.

Step 2a) drop pin Soil Summary: the report will be generated by you clicking on a location on the map. A pin marker will appear at the location you have clicked.

Step 2b) map extent Use 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 2c) draw area Draw area on map: the report will be generated using an area defined/drawn by you. If you choose this option you need 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.

Step 2d) "Predefined features": the report will be generated from the selected LINZ parcel / Māori Land Block (MLB). Choosing this option will switch on the corresponding layer (if not currently on) and it will be displayed on the map. You must then click on the map within the area you want included in the report. The area you have selected will be highlighted. A report will be generated for the property parcel / MLB. If you click on additional parcel / MLB they will be highlighted and the values will be added to the report. To remove a parcel / MLB from the report, click inside the parcel / MLB again to deselect it. To deselect all parcels / MLBs and start again click BACK. Note that the LINZ parcels 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). Below the generated report, there is a switch which allows you to show / hide the layer in question.

Soil Report Panel

Once the report has been requested using one of the above methods, this panel will change to SOIL REPORT and a report preview will appear. The form of this report depends which type of report has been chosen. For example, if you chose "Soil Summary", the report is split into three sections: S-Map Data, containing sibling information and a link to a Soil Map Unit Factsheet; Soil Chemistry, which contains various soil chemistry attributes; and Location Information, listing attributes about that location, such as LINZ Parcel details, Easting/Northing coordinates for that location, and an approximate height. If you chose "Draw area on map" or one of the predefined features options, the report preview will be in the form of a chart, with information relating to the classes that make up the chosen map layer.


add feats > feat report

Figure 5. GET REPORTS panel becomes SOIL REPORT panel when a report is generated

 

Select the BACK button to go back to Step 2.

If you choose another soil layer (by clicking the layer name to open a dropdown menu), the report will be automatically updated. However, the report is NOT updated if you pan or zoom to another location. In this case you will need to select the BACK button, and start again at Step 2.

Important things to be aware of:

  • The larger the geographic extent of the map, the longer it will take for the report to be calculated and the report displayed. In some cases, because of the complexity of the underlying data, the reporting tool will not work if the map is displaying a very large geographic extent.

Viewing a soil factsheet

You can obtain various soil factsheets that describes the typical average properties of that specified soil type from the links in the S-map Data section in SOIL REPORT panel. Choosing 'Soil Map Unit Factsheet' will open a new window which contains detailed information, including charts and tables about the various soil properties of that map unit, including texture, permeability and available water. This report can be shared and printed.

In addition, two forms of soil sibling factsheet can be viewed / downloaded by clicking on a soil name in the table, these are 'improved' and 'classic'. Choose one of these and 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.

map page main

Figure 6. A Soil Map Unit Factsheet

Saving your Pins / Features

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

Deleting Pins / Features

You can delete a pin or feature by clicking REMOVE in the SOIL REPORT panel.


 

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 (4h) to create printable PDF maps in A4 and A3 size, in portrait or landscape layout and at various scales.

Click on the  Print Map icon (4h) 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.


 

More advanced map features

 

Altering the transparency of a map layer

You can use the Layer Transparency slider (3b) to vary the transparency of a layer displayed on the map. This allows you to gradually fade-in/fade-out the layer against the basemap.

 

Activating Locate Me functionality from within the map

Click the Locate Me (3d) button to zoom the map to your current location (within NZ only).

 

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 the globe icon (4e) 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 (4c) in the toolbar to see the maps you were looking at previously. You can also use the forward arrow (4c) 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 (4d) .

 

Last updated: 26 August 2020

Back to: Mapping Tool - Introduction

Back to: First Time Here

Registration

To use S-map Online, you must first register. Registering is quick and easy, and completely free (for non-commercial use). To register, click here.

 

Quick Links

Use one of the links below to jump to what you're keen to learn about.

About the map page

How to find a location on the map

About our map layers

How to create reports

How to print your map

Downloading the data

More advanced features

 

The Home Page

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

Clicking on the fthFIRST TIME HERE? button will take you to a page which summarises the main elements of the site.

The explore maps EXPLORE MAPS button or the Maps & Tools > Maps link at the top of the page will take you to a page where you can select and view S-map soil maps.

Finally, the sibling finderSIBLING FINDER button will take you to a tool which allows you to search for, compare, and filter S-map soil siblings, which are the most detailed level of soil classification in New Zealand.


 

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 Figure 1. The 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 soil 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. Learn more.

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. Learn more.

5. MY FEATURES panel – here you will find a list of pins or features you have saved. Tap on a pin or feature to have it displayed again on the map.

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. GET REPORTS panel - Generate reports by touching the map to add pins, areas (polygons) or choose from predefined areas. 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. 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 (3). 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, 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.

Please note

  • You need to have zoomed into a scale of at least 1:250,000 or larger to view the S-map polygons and labels.
  • The layers in the "Soil chemistry grid (National)" section are not suitable for viewing at scales larger than 1:250,000, so they will automatically switch off when zoomed further in than 1:250,000.


 

View information for a particular location / area

You can view a report for a selected layer in the GET REPORTS / SOIL REPORT panel (Fig.2).

You can obtain reports either for a single location, for an area you define yourself on the map, the current map extent (window), or for areas (polygons) you select on the map from either the LINZ parcels or Māori Land Blocks.

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

Step 2) Choose what you want the report to be based upon. Choices are: drop pin Soil Summary, draw area Draw area on map, map extent Use map extent, or "Predefined features", such as polygons you select from LINZ Parcels or Māori Land Blocks.

Step 2a) drop pin Soil Summary: the report will be generated by you touching on a location on the map. A pin marker will appear at the location you have touched.

Step 2b) map extent Use 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 2c) draw area Draw area on map: the report will be generated using an area defined/drawn by you. If you choose this option you need to define your area by touching multiple times around the map, to create a custom area.

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

Step 2d) "Predefined features": the report will be generated from the selected LINZ parcel / Māori Land Block (MLB). Choosing this option will switch on the corresponding layer (if not currently on) and it will be displayed on the map. You must then touch on the map within the area you want included in the report. The area you have selected will be highlighted. A report will be generated for the property parcel / MLB. If you touch on additional parcel / MLB they will be highlighted and the values will be added to the report. To remove a parcel / MLB from the report, touch inside the parcel / MLB again to deselect it. To deselect all parcels / MLBs and start again touch on START AGAIN. Note that the LINZ parcels 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). Below the generated report, there is a switch which allows you to show / hide the layer in question.

Soil Report Panel

Once the report has been requested using one of the above methods, this panel will change to SOIL REPORT and a report preview will appear. The form of this report depends which type of report has been chosen. For example, if you chose "Soil Summary", the report is split into three sections: S-Map Data, containing sibling information and a link to a Soil Map Unit Factsheet; Soil Chemistry, which contains various soil chemistry attributes; and Location Information, listing attributes about that location, such as LINZ Parcel details, Easting/Northing coordinates for that location, and an approximate height. If you chose "Draw area on map" or one of the predefined features options, the report preview will be in the form of a chart, with information relating to the classes that make up the chosen map layer.


add feats > feat report

Figure 2. GET REPORTS panel becomes SOIL REPORT panel when a report is generated

 

Select the BACK button to go back to Step 2.

If you choose another soil layer (by tapping the layer name to open a dropdown menu), the report will be automatically updated. However, the report is NOT updated if you pan or zoom to another location. In this case you will need to select the BACK button, and start again at Step 2.

Important things to be aware of:

  • The larger the geographic extent of the map, the longer it will take for the report to be calculated and the report displayed. In some cases, because of the complexity of the underlying data, the reporting tool will not work if the map is displaying a very large geographic extent.

Viewing a soil factsheet

You can obtain various soil factsheets that describes the typical average properties of that specified soil type from the links in the S-map Data section in SOIL REPORT panel. Choosing 'Soil Map Unit Factsheet' will open a new window which contains detailed information, including charts and tables about the various soil properties of that map unit, including texture, permeability and available water. This report can be shared and printed.

In addition, two forms of soil sibling factsheet can be viewed / downloaded by clicking on a soil name in the table, these are 'improved' and 'classic'. Choose one of these and 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.

map page main

Figure 3. A Soil Map Unit Factsheet

 

 

Saving your Pins / Features

If you have registered, and are logged in, you can save your pin / feature so that it's available when you login again later. If you want you can give the pin / feature a name. Do this before tapping the SAVE button. Choosing SAVE will add the pin or feature to the MY FEATURES panel (5). Pins and features are stored and will appear in the MY FEATURES panel when you next use S-map Online. You can delete saved pins or features using the DELETE button.

Deleting Pins / Features

You can delete a pin or feature by tapping REMOVE in the SOIL REPORT panel.


 

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

Touch the  Print Map icon to open the PRINT window. The extent of your map is shown by the pink box. Touch 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, tap 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 and browser are set up, you will either be able to view the PDF file directly or save it 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 MY 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 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, 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 on the  button.

Last updated: 26 August 2020

Back to: Mapping Tool - Introduction

Back to: First Time Here

Quick Links

Use one of the links below to jump to what you're keen to learn about.

About the map page

How to find a location on the map

About our map layers

How to create reports

More advanced features

 

The Home Page

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

Clicking on the fthFIRST TIME HERE? button will take you to a page which summarises the main elements of the site.

The explore maps EXPLORE MAPS button or the Maps & Tools > Maps link at the top of the page will take you to a page where you can select and view S-map soil maps.

Finally, the sibling finderSIBLING FINDER button will take you to a tool which allows you to search for, compare, and filter S-map soil siblings, which are the most detailed level of soil classification in New Zealand.


 

Exploring the maps and soil data

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 Figure 1. The main 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. Learn more.
  3. SEARCH panel - Search for a particular location using geographic coordinates, a place name or an address. Learn more.
  4. MY FEATURES panel – here you will find a list of pins or features you have saved. Tap on a pin or feature to have it displayed again on the map.
  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 soil 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. GET REPORTS menu - Generate reports by touching the map to add pins, areas (polygons) or choose from predefined areas. Learn more.


 

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 (2). 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. 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.

Please note

  • You need to have zoomed into a scale of at least 1:250,000 or larger to view the S-map polygons and labels.
  • The layers in the "Soil chemistry grid (National)" section are not suitable for viewing at scales larger than 1:250,000, so they will automatically switch off when zoomed further in than 1:250,000.


 

View information for a particular location / area

You can view a report for a selected layer using the GET REPORTS menu, accessed via thedrop pin button. Tapping this button opens the GET REPORTS menu (Fig.2).


add features menu Figure 2. The Add Features menu

 

You can obtain reports either for a single location, for an area you define yourself on the map, the current map extent (window), or for areas (polygons) you select on the map from either the LINZ parcels or Māori Land Block layers.

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

Step 2) Choose what you want the report to be based upon. Choices are: drop pin Soil Summary, draw area Draw area on map, map extent Use map extent, or "Predefined features", such as polygons you select from LINZ Parcels or Māori Land Blocks.

Step 2a) drop pin Soil Summary: the report will be generated by you touching on a location on the map. A pin marker will appear at the location you have touched.

Step 2b) map extent Use 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 2c) draw area Draw area on map: the report will be generated using an area defined/drawn by you. If you choose this option you need to define your area by touching multiple times around the map, to create a custom area.

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

Step 2d) "Predefined features": the report will be generated from the selected LINZ parcel / Māori Land Block (MLB). Choosing this option will switch on the corresponding layer (if not currently on) and it will be displayed on the map. You must then touch on the map within the area you want included in the report. The area you have selected will be highlighted. A report will be generated for the property parcel / MLB. If you touch on additional parcel / MLB they will be highlighted and the values will be added to the report. To remove a parcel / MLB from the report, touch inside the parcel / MLB again to deselect it. To deselect all parcels / MLBs and start again touch on START AGAIN. Note that the LINZ parcels 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). Below the generated report, there is a switch which allows you to show / hide the layer in question.

Soil Report Panel

Once the report has been requested using one of the above methods, this panel will change to SOIL REPORT and a report preview will appear. The form of this report depends which type of report has been chosen. For example, if you chose "Soil Summary", the report is split into three sections: S-Map Data, containing sibling information and a link to a Soil Map Unit Factsheet; Soil Chemistry, which contains various soil chemistry attributes; and Location Information, listing attributes about that location, such as LINZ Parcel details, Easting/Northing coordinates for that location, and an approximate height. If you chose "Draw area on map" or one of the predefined features options, the report preview will be in the form of a chart, with information relating to the classes that make up the chosen map layer.

 

If you choose another soil layer (by tapping the layer name to open a dropdown menu), the report will be automatically updated. However, the report is NOT updated if you pan or zoom to another location. In this case you will need to select the BACK button, and start again at Step 2.

Important things to be aware of:

  • The larger the geographic extent of the map, the longer it will take for the report to be calculated and the report displayed. In some cases, because of the complexity of the underlying data, the reporting tool will not work if the map is displaying a very large geographic extent.

Viewing a soil factsheet

You can obtain various soil factsheets that describes the typical average properties of that specified soil type from the links in the S-map Data section in SOIL REPORT panel. Choosing 'Soil Map Unit Factsheet' will open a new window which contains detailed information, including charts and tables about the various soil properties of that map unit, including texture, permeability and available water. This report can be shared and printed.

In addition, two forms of soil sibling factsheet can be viewed / downloaded by clicking on a soil name in the table, these are 'improved' and 'classic'. Choose one of these and 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.

map page main

Figure 3. A Soil Map Unit Factsheet

Saving your Pins / Features

If you have registered, and are logged in, you can save your pin / feature so that it's available when you login again later. If you want you can give the pin / feature a name. Do this before tapping the SAVE button. Choosing SAVE will add the pin or feature to the MY FEATURES panel (4). Pins and features are stored and will appear in the MY FEATURES panel when you next use S-map Online. You can delete saved pins or features using the DELETE button.

Deleting Pins / Features

You can delete a pin or feature by tapping REMOVE in the SOIL REPORT panel.

 

Learning more about a map layer

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


 

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 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: 26 August 2020