Data guide

Describes actions such as adding, downloading and contributing data to the map.


For the purpose of these guides, data are sometimes referred to as datasets or data layers. A dataset is a collection of related information, organised as one using a common data structure, e.g. "average house prices in Sydney for 2019", "minimum and maximum daily temperature" or "satellite images" etc.

Add data to your map

In most cases, when you land on the platform's home page, no data has been added to the map by default. The image of Australia or other regions showing when you land on the map is a base map i.e. a blank canvas onto which catalogue or your own data has to be added. There are some exceptions, where the platforms' owners decided to have a number of datasets active on the map before users make any decisions on selecting and adding data layers. Here is one example.

If no data has been added by default, there are 3 ways to populate your map with data:

Ways to add data


Explore map data

Adding from existing Catalogue

Add Local Data

Adding local files in supported formats

Add Web Data

Directly loading data by pasting a remote URL

Explore map data

The most common action to populate a map with datasets is by using the current catalogue, accessible when you click on "Explore map data". It means you can select one or more datasets from existing catalogue.

Each catalogue would include different groups of datasets, relevant to the theme or vertical the platform was build for.

By clicking on "Explore map data", you can browse the catalogue of available data and add one or more to the map.

When opening data groups in the catalogue and clicking on the name of one dataset, it highlights the name and a preview is opened on top of the base map. You can either click on the + button or the "Add to the map".

it may not be immediately obvious if selected spatial data has loaded on the map if does not cover a large part of Australia/other region. To locate loaded data on the map, you need to go to the Data Workbench (positioned on the left hand side of the page), and click the Ideal Zoom for desired data set. From here you can also click About this data to get more information about selected data set. One way to improve the data visualisation is by using the opacity slider in the same section as About this data.

To check how long datasets take to load (especially for Satellite imagery and 3D), you need to check the progress bar at the very top of the map.

Add Local Data

You can add own data to the map in supported formats.

To add local data:

  1. Click on Upload from Home page or if catalogue view is opened, click on My Data

  2. Click on Add local file option and select the format your data is in from the drop down list

  3. Click on Browse to find and add the data from local file system

None of the local datasets are hosted by Terria Platforms or sent to our servers; they only exist in the user's browser and once is closed, data is not any longer accessible. When adding own data files, users have to be aware of the supported projection coordinate system and the supported formats.

Supported projection coordinate system

Terria Platforms support the Web Mercator EPSG: 3857 - WGS84 and Australian Height Datum.

Supported formats

The list of supported formats is constantly evolving, especially with 3D data becoming mainstream. To check the supported formats, you should check the drop down list under Step 1: Select file type.

You can add local files also by dragging them onto the map. Here are more details on "drag & drop" interaction.

Data can be added in the following formats:

  • CSV

CSV support has been developed initially to work with Australian datasets, hence a new standard csv-geo-au was created. csv-geo-au is a specification for publishing point or region-mapped Australian geospatial data in CSV format onto and other open data portals. Here is the full documentation on how to create a csv-geo-au dataset to work on any Terria platform.

  • GeoJSON

  • KML or KMZ

  • CZML

  • JSON

  • Shapefile (zip)

  • GPX

  • GeoRSS

  • glTF (3D)

Add web data

Similarly to adding own files, you can add data URLs in supported APIs, or in this case, spatial data web services.

To add web services:

  1. Click on Upload from Home page or if catalogue view is opened, click on My Data

  2. Click on Add web data option and select the format your data is in from the drop down list

  3. Paste the URL and click Add

Web data can be added in the following open and proprietary formats.

The list is constantly evolving with more formats added or current ones better supported.

  • Web Map Service (WMS)

  • Web Feature Service (WFS) - Note: due to size, there is a limit of features supported. We're currently working to improve this support.

  • Esri ArcGIS Server

  • Esri ArcGIS MapServer (single layer)

  • Esri ArcGIS FeatureServer (single layer)

  • Open Street Map Server

  • GeoJSON

  • KML or KMZ

  • CSV (hosted on the web)

  • Web Map Tile Service (WMTS)

  • Web Processing Service (WPS)

  • Web Coverage Service (WCS)

  • Carto

  • CZML (hosted on the web)

  • GPX

  • GeoRSS

  • Shapefile (zip)

  • 3D tiles

Understanding the data - Feature Info Panel

Once datasets have been added to the map, you can click on the features displayed:

  • Points

  • Lines

  • Polygons/regions

You can see then see a display of the information available from the spatial data provider for that particular feature.

For points and lines, you need to click quite accurately to identify the feature. For regions/polygons, clicking on the boundary will give ambiguous results; you will needs to click within the region.

Download data

There are 2 ways to download data.

Ways to download


Raw data

Once a dataset has been selected, click the "About data" button, then scroll down to the Data URL / Export data and click on the link. Data download depends entirely on custodians making it available. Should the raw files not be available, you need to contact custodians directly; their details are available under Data Custodian or Service Contact, on the same page.

Feature info data

Information captured in the Feature info panel can be downloaded as a CSV or a JSON file. Once a point or a polygon on the map is selected and the Feature Information window is shown, you can download the data in that particular feature info window, by scrolling down and clicking on Download this Table, in CSV or JSON. It will just download the feature info table, not the actual, raw data.

Contribute data to the map

You can contribute datasets to the maps i.e. data to be included in the permanent catalogue list.

If you are working on spatial datasets or producing them and you think they would be beneficial to other users, we're encourage you to contact the platform's product owner or use the Feedback button. Details of platforms' owners can be usually found under the About tab.

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