Help & FAQ's
The VAS portal contains extensive information from over 200 layers across Australia. This dynamic map is an interactive spatial interface to the underlying information. The instructions are a general guide on how to use the map. Please be aware that the system is regularly being refined and updated and these instructions will be updated from time to time.
Quick guide to get started
There are several ways to navigate around using the map interface, your pointer device (mouse) and your keyboard.
- Double-click on the map to zoom in
- Click and drag to pan around the map
- If your mouse has a scroll-wheel, you can use this to zoom in and out.
- You can also use the 'zoom bar' in the top left hand corner of the map to zoom and pan.
Categories and layer switcher
The layer switcher allows you to manipulate the data which is displayed on the map. It is organised into data type themes. Simply click on the various layers under the folders to toggle them on or off. Information on the active layer is provided below the folder list.
Some layers take longer to load than others and some are slower to load at the full map extent. Underneath the map in the status bar you will see a loading animation which will be activated when the map is loading..
- Turn layers off to speed up navigation and zooming, the more layers you have turned on the longer you may have to wait each time you zoom or pan.
- Turning on a layer may trigger other parts of the interface to change. The Info/Legend/Tools areas will update to reflect the layers you have switched on or off.
Querying the map layers for information
To query a map layer ensure the that the relevant layer is highlighted in the 'Categories and layers' list and click on the point or feature of the map you are interested in, information related to that point will be displayed in a popup window. Note some layers are not queryable.
- Zoom in and out
- Navigate around the map (pan)
- Base maps (satellite view)
- Reorder map layers (move layer to front/back)
- Scale of map
There are multiple ways to zoom in and out:
- Zoom in and out scroll the mouse wheel up and down.
- Zoom in only double left-click the mouse over the area you would like to zoom in.
- Zoom to a selection hold down the shift-key and left-click and hold the mouse button then drag a rectangle over the map area.
- Zoom slider press the zoom in or out button in the top left hand corner of the map (Figure 1).
- Pan/move the map left-click and hold mouse button in map area and drag the mouse in any direction.
Tip - Turn layers off to speed up navigation. The more layers you have turned on, the longer it will take for everything to load each time you zoom or pan.
Layers allow you to choose which data is displayed on the map.
- The base map layers are located in the top right corner of the map (Figure 2).
- Click the icon to expand and reveal alternative Base maps e.g State-based aerial imagery
- The layer displayed on the map will be highlighted with a green border.
- Left-click Left-click mouse on the map name to change the view e.g. OpenStreetMap.
- Layers display a wide range of information such as soil tests, soil series mapping, Digital Soil Maps, and other suplemental information.
- To display a layer on the map, tick the box next to the layer name (Figure 3).
- Multiple layers can be chosen, however this may slow down your ability to navigate the map as each layer reloads.
- This tool changes the order that a layer appears (e.g. bring soil test location to the front so you can see them over a soil series map).
- Click on the Tools menu located in the top right above the map.
- Under 'Layer stacking order' (Figure 4) the layers you have selected to appear on the map will be listed.
- The layers are in order from the top of the list to the bottom as they are on the map front to back.
- To move a layer, left-click mouse over layer and drag up or down to desired position.
Tip: You can still use the map and its functions whilst Map Tools is open. You can also move and resize it to a more convenient location within your window.
- The map scales are found in the lower left corner of the map. These will change as you zoom in and out.
- This option is found in upper right of the portal (Figure 5).
- A legend will appear for each layer that is selected and displayed.
- If multiple layers are selected, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
- To search by address, click on 'Search' tab on the panel right of the map (Figure 1).
- Type in the desired address into the box.
- This can be a town/suburb or part/full address.
- If you type in a street name without a town, the search will display a list of all matches and you can click on the correct one.
- Click on the button next to your desired location and the map will take you to it and put a green point on the map (Figure 2). If you search somewhere broad like Geelong, you will simply be taken to a point within the locality.
Hints and Information
Introductory information and getting started using the map.