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ESSP Open Data Viewer help

About the ESSP Open Data Viewer

The ESSP Open Data Viewer is a map viewer that helps you explore and visualise environmental data from ESSP organisations, provided free under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

Select from map layers covering topics such as bedrock geology and terrain, soil descriptions and topsoil characteristics (e.g. nutrients, invertebrates), long-term weather, and flood risks and warnings. Zoom and pan around the maps, visualise and query information, capture prints or download the underlying data.


Move around the map by left-clicking and dragging the mouse in the direction you wish to travel.

To zoom in or out of the map, use the plus and minus buttons on the bottom- left of the map.

Alternatively, you can use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out of the map. Holding the Shift key and dragging a rectangle allows you to zoom in to that extent. You can also move directly to the particular location you would like to investigate by entering a place name or postcode in the search box as indicated in the image below.

Moving to a particular location

Add map layers

Click the plus button on the map layers tool (top-right of the map) to add data to the map.

Moving to a particular location

Initially, all available map layers are listed, grouped by the organisation supplying the layers.

Layers can be filtered (top right of map control) to only show layers from a particular organisation or relating to a particular topic.

By selecting the ‘keyword’ option, a search term can be entered to return a list of matching layers.

Filtering layers

Click the information icon associated with a layer to view a summary of the layer.

Click the green plus button to add the layer to the map, added map layers are automatically displayed on the map.

Any number of layers can be added although it is recommended to limit the selection to three or four layers at any one time for map clarity.

Map layers that cannot display at the selected zoom are shown hatched through (e.g. BGS Bedrock Geology layer in the image below). Zoom in or out as necessary to display the layer.

Once added to the map, the layers appear in the map control (top right of the map) as shown below.

Add layers to map

Remove map layers or switch off their visibility

A layer’s visibility can be switched off by un-ticking the checkbox associated with the layer in the map control. The layer can be made visible again at any time by re-ticking the box.

Clicking the red cross removes the layer from the map control altogether, removed layers can be re-selected by following the method described in the ‘Add Map Layer’ section of this guide.

Layers can also be removed by clicking the red minus sign in the map layer tool.

Remove map layers Remove map layers

Other functionality available for each layer:

provides further information about the layer with a link to more detailed information

provides a legend image for the data layer

allows use of a slider to change the transparency of the map layer in order to compare the layer with others drawn on the map.

provides a link to download the data behind the map layer

provides a link (WMS) that allows you to view the map layer in another system (e.g. GIS software or alternative web-based map viewer)

Querying map features

Left click on a point on the map to find out about the data layer attributes at that location, the chosen location will be marked by a red cross. Information from all currently displayed map layers will be returned and displayed in a separate data record box as shown in the examples below. Use the arrow symbols in the header of the record box to step through the attributes of all features returned for the chosen location.

Query map features

Terms of use and copyright

The ESSP website is hosted by the British Geological Survey and as such is subject to their terms of use for websites.

The ESSP Open Data Viewer includes data layers from the ESSP partners. IPR and copyright details for each layer are indicated in its layer information.

Additionally, the ESSP Open Data Viewer contains Ordnance Survey data Crown Copyright and database right 2015.

November 2016 Newsletter
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May 2016 Newsletter
Demonstrating DataSpring at our first Preview event held in March. Bringing together a small group of software developers for a hands–on, creative day using our live prototype service. Contact us if you would like to be involved

Autumn 2015 Newsletter
Introducing DataSpring; Connected data for a connected environment; Working together; Open Government Licence; What do you think?; Here to help

Spring 2015 Newsletter
DataSpring; OpenViewer; Collaborating on Licensing Agreements and Technical Solutions; Engagement; We need your help

Autumn 2014 Newsletter Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed; Hello from the Head of ESSP; Data that’s easy to use; Potential users of our data services; Resilience Pilot Project; Construction Pilot Project; We need your help

Spring 2014 Newsletter
Data, Data, Data; Collaborating on technical solutions and licensing agreements; Engagement; Formats and standards; ESSP is different from...; We need your help