Coast News

Marine Scotland’s Online Mapping Portal Still Growing

'Time aware' layers added in the latest phase of the functionality development Marine Scotland's on-line mapping portal, which makes spatial data and information available to all.

New layers are continually becoming available in the NMPi, but it is not all about increasing the layer count. The latest functionality includes 'time aware' layers which allow users to see a time series of data in one layer (rather than multiple layers), and animate the movement from one period to another (usually yearly).

Layer names will include such terms as 'since' or '2013-2014' in their title to indicate the function. Users can access it by 'right clicking' on the layer name in the Layer Control Box.

The layers including time aware data will increase over time but so far include:
1 Maritime casualties since 2005
2 Marine strandings data 2013-2014
3 (cetaceans, seals, sharks, turtles)
4 Keep Scotland Beautiful
5 Blue Flag and Seaside Awards since 2012

Users have asked if the various screen control boxes can be hidden to facilitate cleaner screen shots. There are now minimising buttons for all control boxes and the ability to hide the main tool bar (by clicking on the far right icon on it).

The main tool bar now also includes:
1 Spatial query function allowing the user to draw a polygon of interest and identify the layers available for it. These can then be added to your layer control.
2 Draw circle based on a user input radius.
3 Zoom in and out
4 Print map option External WMS feeds can also now be printed but only at A4 size and the printed map legend now appears on a separate page.
5 Submit Fault Report / Comment button External WMS feeds can also now be printed but only at A4 size and the printed map legend now appears on a separate page.

The data input tool bar (registered users only) now has the ability to add points by a lat / long (three format) input and the Help pages have been updated, as has the Gazetteer to include the MEDIN gazetteer.

The portal is part of Scotland’s National Marine Plan Interactive (NMPi). Marine Scotland are also working with others to improve data flow to NMPi. Scottish Natural Heritage, one of NMPi's partners, has developed a web map service (WMS) that allows the Priority Marine Feature layers in the Healthy and Biologically Diverse Seas section to be replaced by a direct feed from SNH with new symbols, as well as add some new layers on basking shark, minke whale and Risso's dolphin for example. Access to the portal is available at

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