Pentagon: Search for Data

Pentagon: Navigating the Map


Exploring Map Layers

In this section the user will learn how to explore map layers, as well as hide and display layers in the map view. The user will also learn how to adjust

a layers visibility by applying transparency to the layers in the map using the ‘Manage Layers’ map tool.



Base Map

There are many map layers that serve as the Base Map. The Base Map is the default map which appears when the user logs in. In this WebGIS

application the Base Map includes layers such as segments (road network), boundaries, property parcel data, settlements, lakes and rivers, lot

and concession lines, wetlands and much more. You will find features such as these on topographic maps.


Operational Layers

The map layers from the Base Map are used as the geographic base for showing operational layers, such as water, cultural, official plans, natural

resources, recreation, utility features and much more.  An ‘Operational Layer’ is essentially a category that houses sub categories which are the

layers that make up the ‘Operational Layer’. As an example, ‘Atlas Coverage’ is an ‘Operational Layer’ that houses the layers such as the

‘Atlas 40K page numbers’ layer as shown in Figure 3.3 below.

Manage Layers Map Tool

Since a map is a reduced representation of the real world, a map legend is used to represent real objects on the map. Using the ‘Manage Layers’

map tool the user can hide or display layers or make a layer less apparent in the map view.


How to open ‘Manage Layers’ Map Tool

 Use this icon to view and manage the ‘Operational Layers’ for display in the map view. To open the ‘Manage Layers’

map tool, position the cursor over the ‘Map’  menu and select the ‘Manage Layers’ icon as shown in Figure 3.0. The ‘Manage

Layers’ map tool will open as shown in Figure 3.1.



Figure 3.0 – ‘Map’ menu

Figure 3.1 – ‘Manage Layers’ map tool



How to use the Manage Layers Map Tool


The tools used by the ‘Manage Layers’ map tool to hide and display layers and apply a transparency to the layers in the map view

Is as follows:



 Layer Visibility – This icon allows the user to explore the layers by hide or display layers in the map view.


 Layer Options (Transparency) – This icon allows the user to adjust the transparency of a layer that is visible in the map view.


 Minimize – This icon allows the user to minimize the ‘Quick Find’ map tool. To maximize or reopen the map tool, simply select

the binoculars of the minimized tool.


 Close – This icon allows the user to close the map tool.



Layer Visibility


Follow the below steps to perform hide or display layers in the map view.


1)     Click and hold the mouse button to scroll up or down the list of ‘Operational Layers’ to see what ‘Operational Layers’ are



Note: By default all ‘Operational Layers’ are automatically selected, this does not mean the ‘Operational Layer’ is visible

 in the map view. ‘Operational Layers are basically categories, and each category has a list of layers.


2)     In order to select a layer to display or hide in the map view, select the arrow beside the ‘Operational Layer’ of choice as

shown in Figure 3.2.


Figure 3.2   Arrow to collapse ‘Operational Layer’


3)     A list will collapse showing the individual layers within the ‘Operational Layer’ as shown in Figure 3.3 below.


Figure 3.3 – ‘Operational Layers’ drop down list

4)     Next, simply select the check mark box beside the layer(s) of choice to display in the map view as shown in Figure 3.4. The

layer will appear in the map view.


Note: Some layers when selected may take some time to load as they are large in size. When a layer is selected, at the bottom

 left of the screen a message will appear, “Waiting for hcgis”, proceeded by “Transferring data from hcgis”. This means the data

 is being retrieved from the server to be displayed in the map view.


 If it is taking too long to display the layer(s), refresh the browser (F5) and try turning the layer(s) on again. Also if the data

does not appear it is because the user may need to zoom in closer on the map view for it to appear.


Figure 3.4 – Turning on a Layer in the Map


Applying Transparency to Layers


Follow the below steps to apply transparency to a layer, so that the user can visually see layers that are beneath the layer in the map view.


1)      Click the ‘Layer Options’  icon in the ‘Manage Layers’ map tool to open the ‘Layer Transparency’ screen as shown

in Figure 3.5


Figure 3.4 – Layer Transparency screen


2)     Place the mouse over the slider  of the desired ‘Operational Layer’ to adjust the transparency for all layers related to that ‘Operational

Layer’, then click and hold the mouse button while dragging the slider either left or right, and release the mouse button. As the user moves

the slider, the percentage of visibility is reflected in the map view and as shown in Figure 3.5.


Note: All Layers within the ‘Operational Layer’ will be set with the same amount of transparency, not just the layer that is turned on

within the ‘Operational Layer’.


Figure 3.5 – Layer Transparency percentage



To illustrate layer transparency refer to Figure 3.6, notice there is no transparency set on the Atlas 20K Grid (4 km) layer.

However the user can visually see the difference when the transparency of the same layer is set to 35% as shown in Figure 3.7.


Figure 3.6 – No Transparency                                                                          Figure 3.7 –Transparency Set to 53%



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