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1 Portal user guide

The AuScope portal displays geospatial data obtained from a number of organisations around Australia. The portal provides a way to find geospatial data and display that data on the map. Finding the data to display is managed by the data services panels at the left hand side of the window.

The AuScope Portal

The AuScope Portal

The data services are a collections of web-based services from organisations around Australia that provide geospatial data, such as Geoscience Australia, CSIRO, State Governments and several Universities.

The following sections describe the portal: the first section of this document is an overview of the portal. Later sections provide details on the portal's operations. The Examples section contains steps to perform common activities.

2 Overview

2.1 Data Services

Various organisations provide data to the portal: it may be as simple as satellite imagery or a view into a geospatial database. The data provided by these servcies are draw as layers overlaying the background map. Selecting the data to view is managed by the panel to the left hand side of the window.

Data service panels

Data service panels

To view a data service you have to:

  1. Select the data source from one of the lists;
  2. Optionally filter the data (for example, a specific mineral type); and
  3. Add the data as a map layer.

The panel implement these steps:

The panel lists the data services that have been registered with the portal. The services are grouped into several different themes -- see Layer collections below.

The filter display expands when a layer is selected. Depending on the type or complexity of the layer's data you can filter it to obtain a subset of the original data. If the data service provides a view into a database you will be able to filter the data by entering specific values for database fields, for example the name of the mineral being mined or selecting the data provider. Filters include plain text and wildcards to match database fields or select lists containing data values fetched from the database or service.

Click the Add layer to map button to apply any filters to the data and display the results on the map.

The icon arrow on the layer will update accordingly to trash when the layer is rendered onto the map. The functionality to remove layer from map is also enabled for trash

Warning Note that adding a layer may not display the data immediately: the data has to be fetched from the providers and so it may take a few minutes and be displayed in batches.

2.2 Map

The map area is a standard web-based map display: showing a background map with zero or more layers overlaying the map to display selected features. You can zoom in or out by using the mouse wheel and move the map by dragging the mouse around. The map is based on several standard web technologies provided by:

3 Portal operations

3.1 Data Services

3.1.1 Layers

Each row on the panel provides the following information

3.1.1.1 Processing status

This icon is animated when data is being fetched from a provider. If you hover your mouse over the icon a pop-up window will display details on where the data is coming from and its progress.

Adding a layer onto the map

Adding a layer onto the map

Once the processing has completed (the animation has stopped), clicking on the icon will provide a summary of the data fetched from the provider. The summary will vary depending on what types of data is being provided. It can include:

3.1.1.2 Layer icons

Layer types are identified using these icons:

Selecting Layer type icon:

Layer processing status

Layer processing status

3.1.1.3 Searching layers

Searching for layers

Searching for layers

You can search for layers using their name: enter part of the name in the search box and click the magnifying glass or press Enter. The list of layers will be reduced to the ones that match the text you entered in the search box.

Warning The search string matches the beginning of each word in the layer name. For example "bore" will match layers "All Boreholes" and "Borehole view" but will not match "Arboreum."

To remove the search filter in order to see all layers again click the X button next to the search box.

3.1.1.4 Filtering displayed layered

Filter Layer by option

Filter Layer by option

Allows the filtering of the displayed layers based on:

3.1.1.5 Layer collections

The tabs at the top of the Layers panel separate the data services into several collections:

3.1.1.6 Custom Layers

Custom Layers allow you to add layers from any mapping server in the world. You will need the link (URL) to the web service and enter it into the field in the panel:

Custom layers

Custom layers

Press Enter to connect to the service and the portal will query the service's capabilities. In the above figure OpenWeatherMap.org provides precipitation and cloud maps amongst other weather data. These capabilities are treated like normal map layer and can be added to the map by selecting the row and click the Add layer to map button.

Warning Custom Layers are not saved -- you will have to add them again when you revisit the portal.

Alert Some WMS services are not compatible with the Portal. They may provide capabilities that are not supported by the portal or provide data in a format that cannot be used. The most common problem is the service provides data in a "spatial reference system" ( SRS ) that is not supported by the mapping software.

Type of data WMS Linky
GA Historic flood maps http://eos.ga.gov.au/geoserver/NFRIP-WOfS/wms
OpenStreetMap example http://irs.gis-lab.info/?layers=osm
OpenWeather http://wms.openweathermap.org/service (not working)

3.1.2 Filters

Each layer provides different ways to filter the data depending on the structure its data. The following image shows a sample of the filters from three different mining layers. Note that each filter provides fields of several types: plain text, dates and select lists.

Sample layer filters

Sample layer filters

Warning Some layers may not have any filters. Layers that supply imagery may only provide a filter to change the layer's opacity when the images are drawn on the map.

Alert Some layer fields are numeric, for example the amount of ore processed. There are no checks to verify that you have entered a numeric value in these fields. Entering non-numeric will result in either no data or the filter will be ignored.

Click the Add layer to map button to apply any filters to the data and display the results on the map. If the layer is already active it will be replaced by a layer with the new filter.

Warning A number of data services provide data from external sources and when they are added to the map a copyright notice will be show.

3.1.2.1 Complex filter example

The following filter is from the Synthetic Aperture Radar data service...

Raw Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from ERS-1 and ERS-2 satellites. Data is provided in the standardised CEOS format under licence from the European Space Agency (ESA).

Synthetic Aperture Radar filter

Synthetic Aperture Radar filter

The filter has a complex collection of fields that are used to reduce the amount of data being drawn on the map:

3.1.2.2 Wildcards

Wildcards are special characters that allow filters to match all or part of a text field. They may also position the match at the beginning or end of the field.

Warning A data provider may choose not to implement wildcards (for example, to reduce processing overheads) or limit their behaviour. This means a filter on a text field may accept any of these matching rules:

  1. A strict match of the entire text field, usually case insensitive.
  2. A match to any portion of the field. For example a filter of "old" will match "goldfield lease" and "the folding chair".
  3. A "match any" beginning/end wildcard (asterisk: *). For example "sil*" will match "silver mine" and "silicon chip". Similarly "*ts" will match "hot spots" and "polar orbits"
  4. A "single character" wildcard (Hash: #). For example "*9#" will match "bore 295" and "mine number 1294"

3.1.3 Additional Option

Expanding the displays on the layers provide additional access to more functionality via Option:

3.1.3.1 Downloading data

If you would like to perform further analysis on the data being viewed in the portal you can download the data to your workstation by accessing the menu via right click or selecting the setting button on the layer and selecting Download Layer ( download ). Depending on the type of data being provided by the service, you will have to complete a number of dialogs to identify the data you want and, possibly, the format of the data.

A sample sequence is show in these screenshots:

Download layer data

Download layer data

The sequence is usually:

  1. Identify the data to be archived for download;
  2. Provide an email address (no email is sent, this is just a unique identifier for you);
  3. Submit the request by clicking the Download button;
  4. Use the Check status button to report on the status of the download request; and
  5. Once Check status reports that the processing has finished, download the data by clicking the link in the status dialog message. The data is usually archived as a ZIP file to reduce the file size and package multiple files into one download.

The download uses standard filenames for the ZIP files. They are:

If you would like to save the current state of the portal, e.g. view and (some) layers, use the Permanent Link button at the top-right of the map to generate a special link (URL) that can be sent to other people or saved as a browser bookmark. The link contains encoded information recording the map's viewpoint, zoom level and which layers are displayed. An example link is:

http://portal.auscope.org /portal/gmap.html?s=XQAAAQBDAAAA9776I776J776iNyzvv783 OwsD776KbVnvvpvvv4jvv6Hvvp0m77+6S+++rTnv v60iBn/vv4bvvqDvv6gKFRlNNu++ u3zvv6pm776s 77+Geu++nu++i++/mUtX77++77+zaO+/nQA=&v=3

Warning Some layers, such as Custom Layers, cannot be saved.

3.3 Map Navigation

Map controls

Map controls

There are several ways to navigate around the map.

4 Examples

4.1 National Virtual Core Library

The National Virtual Core Library (NVCL) is a geospatial database holding high resolution pictures of drill samples to help explore the mineralogy and composition of the upper 1-2 km of the Australian continent. The drill samples in the library come from a number of sources including State agencies and industry.

Example core sample

Example core sample

The following steps displays the NVCL data on the portal's map and views the details for one of the core samples.

  1. Select the National Virtual Core Library from the list of layers.
  2. Click on the Add layer to Map button to draw the data points on the map. You may also filter the data to a subset using the options in the filter panel (remember to select the filters before adding the layer to the map).

    Add Core Library locations to the map

    Add Core Library locations to the map

  3. Zoom in to a region by selecting the rectangle tool; and
  4. Draw a rectangle on the map -- in this case the top of Tasmania. The map will zoom to that area.

    Select a core, and its properties

    Select a core, and its properties

  5. Click on a location/pin and the summary of the core's data will be displayed in a pop-up window.
  6. Click on the Spectral Datasets tab to view pictures and measurements taken of the core. By default, the detail window will show thumbnail images of each core section. Clicking a thumbnail will show the original picture for that section in a new browser window or tab.

Core images

Core images

4.1.1 Scalars

The Scalars tab of the Spectral Datasets shows all datasets obtained from measurements of the core samples. For example infra-red spectroscopy measurements of the samples.

Scalar list and sample plot

Scalar list and sample plot

Clicking the Scalars tab displays the list of available measurements on the left-hand side of the window -- you can see a brief description of them by hovering the mouse over each item. You can plot the measurements by selecting one or more scalars and clicking the Plot button.

On the right-hand side of the window are some options that affect how the plot is drawn:


5 Glossary

Term Meaning
CSW Catalog Service for the Web (Catalog Service - Web)
GA Geoscience Australia
GML Geography Markup Language
OGC Open Geospatial Consortium
SRS Spatial Reference System
WCS Web Coverage Service
WFS Web Feature Service
WMS Web Mapping Service
XML Extensible Markup Language