NBN Atlas Scotland progress update

We have been continually collating and logging user feedback on the new NBN Atlas Scotland, and have been working hard with our developer over the last month to make sure we’re constantly improving the Atlas, and creating new functionality that’s really useful to our Network of data partners and data users.

Thanks for all of your feedback- we’ve been kept busy with ordering, prioritising, actioning and testing all of it, and hope you’ll enjoy the resulting new features developed so far.  Rest assured, more will follow!

5 Things To Know About the NBN Atlas Scotland:

  1. Mapping Interfaces: The NBN Atlas has two mapping interfaces, the Interactive Map and the Spatial Portal.  Lots of you have been asking how you can load your own shapefile into the Atlas.  You can do this through the Spatial Portal which offers more advanced functionality than the basic Interactive Map.  You can now link through to the Spatial Portal from the Interactive Map, as well as going straight there using the ‘Analyse’ button on the top navigation bar.  Do these two names work for you?  If not, we are open to suggestions on what we should call the Interactive Map.
  1. Grid square mapping: You can now view records as both points and now also as grid squares in both the interactive map and the spatial portal. Given records come in a range of precisions, we heard that you want to be able to see records at both their finest resolution available but also to get an overview of the coverage of the record distribution. You can select from an option of ‘Variable grid size’, which shows all the available resolutions from 10km – 100m on the map, or ‘Responsive resolution’ which will only show the highest available resolution at your given zoom, changing as you zoom in and out of the map.  There is also the option to only show 10 km grid squares. We have built this grid mapping functionality in, as the original Australian platform that the NBN Atlas is based on wasn’t designed to cater for grid squares. What’s the most useful option for you?  Maps can also now be exported displaying these grid squares on them.
  1. Grid references in downloads: A lot of the feedback suggested that grid references were essential in data downloads. Grid references now appear in downloads (as well as lat/longs) and are broken down into columns detailing Grid refs for 100km precisions, 10km, 2km, 1km, 100m (where available) and any location name provided.
  1. Finding data you can use: You can now filter by licence. This will help users only view the data that they know they are able to use.  In the Interactive Map, select the button in the top left hand corner to ‘Customise Filters’.  Select ‘Licence’ under the Attribution heading and Update.  This will add the heading ‘Attribution’ on the left hand side for you to expand and select and deselect the licence as necessary. In the Spatial Portal, records can only be filtered and coloured when they are displayed as points.  This is due to the fact that one grid square may contain multiple records, each with different attributions.  So, select ‘Points’ in the left hand panel, then ‘Colour By’ and select ‘Licence’.  As with the Interactive Map, you can then toggle on and off the licences you require.
  1. Visibility of Data Licences: Licence information is now given in the downloads. So you can filter and sort data after download and each record is clearly marked with the licence governing its use.

We hope that this blog post has helped you to learn something new about the functionality of the NBN Atlas Scotland. We are aware that there is still work to do, but please do continue giving us your feedback, we’d rather receive a suggestion twice (or thrice!) than not at all!

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