Interactions - functionalities & workflows

This page describes key platform interactions, such as features or workflows.

The Interactions section will focus on what you can do on a Terria platform, once data is added to the map. There is a number of simple functionalities or features such as dragging a CSV file onto the map, activating the timeline, displaying a chart; and also, a number of more complex ones, workflows. They usually combine a couple or more simple functionalities for a specific use case: e.g. understanding change in vegetation cover from two satellite imagery datasets or understanding vegetation cover in relation to water discharge volumes at certain points in time etc.

The list of available interactions is constantly evolving.


  • Drag & Drop

  • Time interaction

  • Charts

  • Share & print

  • Compare - split map

  • 3D interactions

  • Search within 3D datasets

  • Opacity slider for 3D datasets

  • Help - "Take the tour"

  • Feedback


  • Style editor

  • 3D scene editor

  • Working with satellite imagery

  • Change detection - "Delta feature"

  • Combining satellite imagery and water discharge

  • Clip and ship

  • Workflow help - Step by Step Guide

Lets' dive into each of the interactions.


Drag & Drop

This feature is very popular with CSV files and is one of the ways you can upload data onto the map temporarily. For example, if a platform with a rich data catalogue is accessed, you can select and add a number of context layers (e.g. rainfall average, population estimates, Local Government Boundaries, air quality etc.), and then drag and drop or use the upload function to visualise your own data in that context.

The Map can display two kinds of CSVs/spreadsheets:

  1. Spreadsheets with a point location (latitude and longitude) for each row, expressed as two columns: lat and lon. These will be displayed as points (circles).

  2. Spreadsheets where each row refers to a region such as a local government area (council), state, postcode, or ABS statistical unit such as an SA2 or CED (Commonwealth Electoral Division). Columns must be named according to the CSV-geo-au standard. These will be displayed as regions, highlighting the actual shape of each area. Users can find samples of CSV files in the catalogue to facilitate the formatting process.

Spreadsheets must be saved as CSV (comma-separated values).

Other standard spatial data types such as GeoJSON and KML are also supported.

Here is a short video on how to drag the CSV file onto the map:

Time interaction

There are two ways time is displayed in a Terria platform.


When visualising time series data, you can choose to activate the timeline from map settings. It will appear at the bottom of the map, with a Play-Pause-Forward-Back menu and a cursor which can be dragged across the timeline.

Here is a short video using Pedestrian Traffic counters API showing how to move the timeline cursor.

Date selector

You have access to date and time selector in the workbench if the data is timeseries. To activate the date selector:

  • click on the Time menu in the Workbench to expand

  • select a year, month, time

  • use the back arrow to change the selection

Here is a short video on how the date selector works.


Charts can be displayed with timeseries data; these are the steps to activate charts:

  • add a timeseries data onto the map (e.g power generation, population, water levels etc.)

  • click on a data point or polygon to pop up the information feature panel (top right)

  • click expand to show the chart at the bottom of the map screen; depending on the data API it might take a while

  • once the chart is displayed, it can be zoomed in and out

  • to exit chart mode, simply click on X in the chart window

Here is a short video on how the charts are displayed.

Share & print

You can share the custom views of the map you created by simply clicking on Share tab at the top. Copying the URL will preserve the data layers, zoom levels when opened by other users. If local files are added to the map, the share link will not include those.

A new version of the Print functionality is now available. It includes downloading the map visualisation as an image, collapsible metadata sections, data and time stamp and an overall cleaner look and feel.

Here is a short video with Print v2.0.

Compare - split map

You can split a map to compare different versions of the same data or to show two datasets side by side. The compare can be enabled from:

  • From the Workbench when a dataset supporting comparison is added

Note: The Compare functionality is currently under re-development with a new version available soon.

3D interactions

Terria Platforms have used 3D data since 2014 by adopting CesiumJS and later Cesium ION for Cesium World Terrain. With the increased popularity of 3D data, we have built features and workflows to accommodate more use cases.

3D visualisation support

To visualise data in 3D, select the 3D terrain view under the Map settings tab, in the top right corner, followed by selecting a 3D dataset from the catalogue by using Explore Data.

Select 3D Smooth to show a Perspective View which has no elevation change. The maps or images are draped over a smooth globe.

Select 3D Terrain to show a Perspective View which shows the elevation changes in the terrain. 3D Smooth and 3D Terrain will look almost the same unless you are using Perspective View. The 3D terrain view is be default based on the Cesium World Terrain accessible via Cesium ION. Some digital twin platforms' owners use different terrains by default, in case the 3D data provided is developed using that specific terrain.

Note: 3D Terrain view may give the same result as 3D Smooth or may not work at all on some computers with older graphic cards or older web browser versions.

3D data comparing tool (splitter)

An option to visualise the 3D datasets is to activate the compare/splitter functionality. It is useful when adding 2 or more 3D datasets to the map.

Here is a short video on how to use it.

Clipping box

The clipping box is a feature added as another 3D data interaction to assist for example with 'removing' entire structures or parts of them in order to create space for others or to 'see' inside the buildings. Here is short video on how to use it.

3D data opacity slider

You can increase/decrease the opacity of the 3D datasets to help you visualise against a dark/light background and add other datasets on top of a photomesh for example.

Here is a video on how to use it.

Terrain & Underground navigation

"Show terrain" is a function available under Map Settings; it is mostly useful when displaying underground datasets. It lets you select if terrain is used for one or both sides of a split map view. When Terrain hides underground features is clicked on, pipelines would not 'appear' on one side of the map. To use:

  1. Add underground data (e.g utilities)

  2. Click on Compare

  3. Maintain underground data only on one side of the screen

  4. On the other side of the screen, maintain usually an imagery base map

  5. Maintain Terrain position on the side of the imagery

  6. Click on Terrain hides underground features

  7. Move the split screen back and forth to see the trajectory of pipelines

Visualisation of underground assets is available by using the terrain hiding feature slider. After opening the Map Settings, you can enable terrain only on one slide of the screen after clicking on the splitter tool.

Here is a short video on how to visualise underground data by toggling on and off from

Pedestrian mode

Pedestrian mode can be found in the Tools panel (right hand side); it helps "touring" a 3D landscape, navigating at the terrain level. The pedestrian is not yet built to navigate inside buildings.

Once active, control commands including a Mini View are appearing on the left hand side of the screen.

Search within 3D data

You can search by type of feature within selected 3D datasets. For example:

  • Go to 3D Buildings data onto NSW Digital Twin Visualisation Service

  • Select the Search feature available in the workbench when data has been added

  • Once you click on Search a feature selector panel is displayed

  • Select the features/filters to search by and click the "Search" button

  • The buildings with the selected feature will appear highlighted on the map

  • Close search by clicking on Exit or Search again using other filters

Note: The Search within 3D data is a feature under development and currently working for selected (configured) datasets. To check if the data you're interested has "Search" available, check the 3 dots tools menu in the workbench, next to the dataset name.

Opacity slider for 3D data

You can easily change the opacity for 3D tiles datasets now. It is a useful feature when overlaying different 3D data such as reality meshes with buildings and/or with point data, as live transport.

Here is a short video with both use cases.

Help - "Take the Tour"

The Tool tips tour can be accessed at first, when landing on the map, and from the Help menu (bottom right hand side).


You can send feedback directly from the maps, by clicking on the Feedback button (bottom right).

The messages are sent to the team maintaining the platform. Developers and maintainers of the platforms might have no control over datasets accuracy, visualisation or currency. By default the datasets are controlled and managed by the data custodians. Feedback relating to datasets is usually forwarded to custodians and you might have to take further steps to interact with data owners if necessary. You can find the custodian's contact details under About this dataset section in the workbench.


Style editor

The Style editor workflow is enabling users to change elements of the styling directly in their web browsers without making any changes to the source datasets. This feature helps visualising datasets with similar styles added concomitantly to the map, especially in situations when user data is added together with featured data.

Here is a story and video on how to use it.

3D Scene editor

This workflow is aimed at manipulating 3D models (glTF) within the platform; further developments are planned to support more formats and refine the controls.

  • Click on the Scene Editor under the Tools panel (right hand side).

  • Next use the workflow menu expanded at the bottom of the screen

  • Upload a model (glTF) and start manipulating into position on the map, using the controls

The Scene Editor workflow is being used by industry partners to test their 3d models in Terria Digital Twins. Here is one example illustrating Archistar (a property development technology company) using their glTF models in NSW Digital Twin.

Working with satellite imagery

Some platforms have catalogues of satellite imagery datasets. Terria supports imagery through functionalities like Compare - Split Map and Date selector.

Here is a short video on how to add and work with satellite imagery.

Note: the Compare - Split Map is currently under re-development and a new version will be launched soon.

You can navigate those datasets following these steps:

  • Select an area/location;

  • Select a data set from the Satellite Imagery catalogue group and add it to the workbench;

  • Note that timeframes (for the imagery) do overlap; it means that sometimes, different satellites collected imagery during the same timeframe; the quality of the imagery might be different;

  • Click on the Compare - Split functionality in your workbench; it will create a copy of the data already selected. Note that you can use the Compare with two different datasets, not just with copies of the same data;

  • Select different times (using the date selector) for the "left" and "right" sections of the screen; Use the back and forward arrows to explore imagery and select cloud-free views;

  • Drag the split on the screen to observe the differences;

  • You can turn off the splitter by clicking on the "Compare" icon in the right-hand side toolbar / menu.

Change detection - "Delta" workflow

Note: Version 1 of Delta workflow is almost complete and will be launched very soon

The change detection workflow is aimed to facilitate the understanding of changes in vegetation cover when working with satellite imagery.

Take the following steps:

  • search for location

  • select satellite imagery supporting delta feature (check the dots menu next to the satellite imagery data name once added to the Workbench)

  • workflow window will be expanded

  • select dates to calculate change (bottom of screen)

  • click on Calculate change detection

  • click close and exit once done

Here is a short video on how to use the workflow.

Combine Satellite imagery and water discharge levels

The workflow of combining satellite imagery and water discharge levels is currently suitable for Australian data services. The core functionality of showing graphs for sensor data and different views of satellite (or other) imagery exist in all Terria platforms.

For Australian Terria platforms, the workflow is mostly used for environmental monitoring i.e to understand changes in landscape and combine the visualisation realised through satellite imagery with sensor data coming from water observation stations.

Workflow steps:

  • Select a platform with both Satellite imagery and Water sensor data; e.g. or

  • Select Satellite imagery - Satellite Images - Multi Sensor Daily

  • Select Water regulations - Hydrologic reference stations - Watercourse discharge

  • Search location e.g. Gregors Creek (in the video example)

  • Click on the water station green dot (and wait until the service is showing data)

  • Click on the button in the Feature Info Panel: "Show daily Landsat and Sentinel 2 at this location"

  • Click expand to get the chart onto the main screen

  • Go back to workbench and split the Satellite imagery; move the satellite layers up in the workbench for better visibility

  • Select different dates for each satellite imagery side: e.g. Left 16 Jan 2011; Right 15 Jan 2011

  • Click on the graph symbol for initial (not copy) satellite dataset

  • Dates where satellite observations have been recorded will appear as dots on the chart

  • Zoom in the Jan 2011 on the timeline

  • Users will see a connection between the sensor data (i.e. high spike in water discharge level in Jan 2011) and flooded waters observed with the satellite imagery (Jan 2011)

Here is a video showing the above steps:

Clip and Ship

For some datasets, such as satellite imagery services, you can select a polygon and "export" the data available for that area as a GeoTIFF file.

  • A new dialogue window will appear at the top of the map

  • Follow the prompts, by selecting multiple points to draw your polygon

  • Click Download Extent and a a GeoTIFF file will appear in your Downloads folder

Here is a video showing the above steps:

Note: the Clip and Ship / Export functionality has a new version which includes native resolution download. You will need to zoom in very close. Even a tiny rectangle at whole-continent zoom level packs a LOT of native S2 pixels.

The feature is only available for selected datasets, such as Satellite Imagery. You can check if the data selected by you has it by opening the 3 dot menu, next to the data name in the workbench.

Workflow help - Step by step guides

"Step by Step Guide" can be accessed from the Help menu, bottom right corner of the map.

Once you select the workflow in the Step by Step menu, it's embedded in the map, at the top section. It prompts you at each stage of the workflow without exiting the application. Once done, it can be closed from the X button.

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