Web Map Services

hosted by

Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research

New Zealand


Science maps and base layers of New Zealand for use in desktop and web mapping applications

Introduction

This site provides information and explanations on how to access Manaaki Whenua's Web Map Services. These services provide access to science and base maps of New Zealand, for use by developers and users of desktop mapping applications.

Currently our Web Map Services are provided in several forms, which fall into two groups: uncached maps that are rendered on the fly, and a more restrictive but generally quicker to render, set of cached map tiles. Use our cached services if performance, specifically the time it takes to draw the map, is a key requirement. The uncached services are more suited if quality and sharpness of image at all scales is important, for example for producing static maps for reports in a desktop mapping application.

These services have been established and are operated by the Informatics team at Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research New Zealand Limited. We intend to make additional Web Map Services available in the future. The services provide access to a topographic base map of New Zealand (shown in a dynamic OpenLayers map to the right), a landcover relief base map of New Zealand which uses ECOSAT Landcover data, layers from the New Zealand Land Resource Inventory (NZLRI), layers from the Land Cover Database (LCDB) (all versions) and a layer from the Fundamental Soil Layer (FSL) New Zealand Soil Classification (NZSC). The NZLRI is a national database of physical land resource information. You can find out more about the NZLRI on the LRIS Portal. The LCDB is a thematic classification of land cover and land use classes. The current version LCDB v4.1 contains 33 classes designed to be compatible with earlier LCDB versions. You can download the data about the LCDB dataset on the LRIS Portal, and can find out more at the LCDB website. Developed in the 1980s, the NZSC has a hierarchical structure with five levels: Order, Group, Subgroup, Family, Sibling. Further information can be found at Landcare Research's Soil Portal.

The uncached services can be accessed through the OpenGIS® Web Map Service Interface Standard (WMS) (Versions 1.1.1 & 1.3.0). The OpenGIS® Web Map Service Interface Standard (WMS) provides a simple HTTP interface for requesting geo-registered map images from one or more distributed spatial databases. A WMS request defines the geographic layer(s) and area of interest to be processed. The response to the request is one or more geo-registered map images (returned as JPEG, PNG, etc) that can be displayed in a browser application. We have implemented WMS using MapServer. For details of using WMS version 1.3.0, check out a description and example requests here and the OpenLayers section on the Using Services page.

The pre-cached map tiles can be accessed using one of the supported tile service protocols. Perhaps the easiest way is using the commonly used standard OpenGIS Web Map Service Version 1.1.1 requests. OpenGIS Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) is also supported. WMTS is an official OGC standard for delivering tiled geographic data. This service follows the standard OGC WMTS requests and supports both the OGC style key-value pairs encoded and REST style requests. In addition, our layers are accessible using the GoogleMaps XYZ Service, or the Tile Map Service (TMS). TMS is a specification for storing and retrieving geographic data, developed by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, however it is not an official standard. We have implemented our cached services using Mapserver's Mapcache.

Web Feature Services (WFS) are available for some of Landcare Research’s data through the 'Services' tab of the respective layers in the LRIS Portal.

In the example requests shown on this site, click the button to copy the request to your clipboard.

To find out how to use our services in Openlayers or desktop GIS like Quantum GIS and uDig click here.

GetLegendGraphic requests are supported by the WMS. To view these legends and their corresponding requests click here, alternatively click on a record in one of the tables.

About The Services

The sections below describe the key aspects of our services, including supported protocols and standards. Each section contains a link to the relevant capabilities document, the URL used for a getCapabilities request, and example GetMap & GetLegendGraphic requests. Tables are provided which are dynamically populated by a getCapabilities request and summarises what layers are currently available.

These services are being run from the Amazon Cloud using a MapServer and Mapserver's Mapcache on top of a PostgreSQL / PostGIS database. Projections currently supported are NZTM (EPSG:2193), NZGD49 (EPSG:27200), WGS84 (EPSG:4326) and Google's Spherical Mercator (EPSG:3857 / EPSG:900913).

OGC WMS

Our services support both version 1.1.1 & 1.3.0 of the OpenGIS® Web Map Service Interface Standard (WMS). The OpenGIS® WMS Interface Standard is the most widely used standard for generating maps on the web and provides a simple HTTP interface for requesting geo-registered map images from one or more distributed spatial databases.

The major differences between WMS versions 1.1.1 & 1.3.0 are:

  • In 1.1.1 geographic coordinate systems specified with the EPSG namespace are defined to have an axis ordering of longitude/latitude. In 1.3.0 (for certain Coordinate Reference Systems, e.g. EPSG:4326) the ordering is latitude/longitude.
  • The 'srs' parameter in the GetMap operation is called 'crs' in 1.3.0.

Manaaki Whenua's NZ Topographic Basemaps

This WMS is for Manaaki Whenua's Topographic Basemaps, operated as part of the SCENZ-Grid project. The data contained includes the terrain, hydrography, transport infrastructure, settlements, coastline and coastal features of New Zealand.

Basemap Layers Available

Example GetCapabilities request for Basemaps service:

Manaaki Whenua's Land Resource Inventory (LRI)

This is a WMS for Manaaki Whenua's Land Resource Inventory, operated as part of the SCENZ-Grid project. The data is sourced from Manaaki Whenua's New Zealand Resource Inventory (NZLRI), a single spatial (polygon) layer with national coverage. It comprises several physical resource themes: Land Use capability, Lithology, Soil, etc.

The raw data can be downloaded from the LRIS Portal. In addition, Web Feature Services (WFS) are available through the 'Services' tab of the NZLRI layers in the LRIS Portal.

LRI Layers Available

Example GetCapabilities request for LRI service:

Legends/keys for our science layers should display in the preview map window next to the map, alternatively, they can all be viewed here. Dynamic legends can be accessed via the GetLegendGraphic request, see below for an example.

New Zealand Land Cover Database(s)

This is a WMS for the New Zealand Land Cover Database(s), operated and maintained by Manaaki Whenua. The data is sourced from the Land Cover Database (LCDB), a thematic classification of land cover and land use classes. The current version, LCDB v4.1, contains 33 classes designed to be compatible with earlier LCDB versions. You can download the data at the LRIS Portal, use the WFS via the 'services' tab or obtain more in depth information from the LCDB website.

LCDB Layers Available

Example GetCapabilities request for LCDB service:

Legends/keys for our science layers should display in the preview map window next to the map, alternatively, they can all be viewed here. Dynamic legends can be accessed via the GetLegendGraphic request, see below for an example.

Fundamental Soil Layer - New Zealand Soil Classification

This is a WMS for the Fundamental Soil Layer (FSL) - New Zealand Soil Classification (NZSC), operated and maintained by Manaaki Whenua. The NZSC was developed in the 1980s and consists of four levels: orders, groups, subgroups and soilforms. Currently only the soil groups level is provided. The classification represents the best attempt to classify New Zealand soils, at our current state of knowledge. You can download the data at the LRIS Portal, use the WFS via the 'services' tab or obtain more in depth information from the Soils Portal.

FSL Layers Available

Legends/keys for our science layers should display in the preview map window next to the map, alternatively, they can all be viewed here. Dynamic legends can be accessed via the GetLegendGraphic request, see below for an example.

Cached Tile Services

Using one of the supported tile service protocols allows our maps to be accessed faster, and reduces server load. We currently support the following tile service protocols:

Standard OpenGIS Web Map Service Version 1.1.1 requests. This service follows the key-value pairs encoded style.

OpenGIS Web Map Tile Service is an official OGC standard for delivering tiled geographic data. This service follows the standard OGC WMTS requests and supports both the OGC style key-value pairs encoded and REST style requests.

Tile Map Service (TMS) is a specification for storing and retrieving geographic data, developed by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, however it is not an official standard. It uses a z/x/y tile naming scheme, where z is zoom level, x is column number, y is row number.

Example

'Capabilities' request:

Tiles are requested using the following scheme:

"/cached/tms/1.0.0/<tileset_name>@<grid_name>/<z>/<x>/<y>.png"

GetMap request:

Google Maps XYZ Service. Further information and an example page can be found in the Google Maps section.

Unlike our WMS, which are accessed via 'maps.scinfo.org.nz/basemaps/wms', 'maps.scinfo.org.nz/lri/wms', 'maps.scinfo.org.nz/fsl/wms' or 'maps.scinfo.org.nz/lcdb/wms', all our cached maps are accessed through 'maps.scinfo.org.nz/cached/'. This means a getCapabilities request to the cached service will return information relating to *all* layers available.

Projections

Currently NZTM (EPSG:2193), WGS84 (EPSG:4326) & Spherical Mercator (EPSG:3857 / EPSG:900913) are fully supported across all layers.

Available Cached Layers

The tables below summarise the layers that are available through our cached service. The tables are dynamically populated via a (filtered) getCapabilities request. Although our cached service has a single endpoint ('https://maps.scinfo.org.nz/cached/'), and therefore all layers use the same base URL (dependent on protocol), these tables have been organised in a similar way to our straight WMS tables. A getCapabilities request to our cached service will return all available layers, examples of which can be found above. Below each table is an example getMap request, which relates to one of the layers in each table.

Cached Topographic Basemap Layers Available

Cached LRI Layers Available

Cached LCDB Layers Available

Cached FSL Layers Available

Further Information

If you have any enquiries about the information or services provided, please contact us: lris_support@landcareresearch.co.nz

We also provide an OGC CSW (Catalog Services for the Web) which can be used to discovery information on spatial data sets held by Manaaki Whenua. More information on the CSW service can be found here.

Web Feature Services (WFS) are available for some of Manaaki Whenua’s data through the 'Services' tab of the respective layers in the LRIS Portal.

The web services provided here are one element of scinfo.org.nz, a new repository of authoritative New Zealand science datasets and information. It is has been created in response to a growing expectation that government and publicly funded science data should be readily available in authoritative human and machine readable forms.

scinfo.org.nz is hosted by the Informatics Team at Manaaki Whenua. We are a team of 30 data researchers, software developers and system engineers with deep experience in managing specialist science data resources and using them for our research and to support natural resource policy and management. We have particular specialist knowledge of spatial datasets, satellite image analysis, taxonomic data, laboratory data and web services.

Known Issues

In attempting to provide useful and usable operational web map services we have encountered a number of issues.

  1. When viewing tiles from the cached service in desktop GIS applications, the best results are achieved using one of the recommended scales (see using services for more information).
  2. The Capabilities document, provided in response to the GetCapabilities request using the WMS protocol to the cached service, is limited in the amount of metadata provided about the layers.

Last updated: 15th March 2019