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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 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.


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 services are drawn as layers overlaying the background map. Selecting the data to view is managed by the panel to the left hand side of the window.


WarningNote 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.


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 OpenLayers

Portal operations in more detail

Filter Panel

Filter Panel

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.


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


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.
WarningA 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"

Info Panel

Clicking on the tab marked "Info" will open up the info panel like that shown below. A map of the coverage of each provider's service and some other general information about the service is revealed.


Info Panel                                                                                                      Mouse over provider name to display its coverage on map               Click on provider name to display service details

Download Panel

Download Panel

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 selecting the Download Tab.


Once a bounding box has been defined, the Download Panel will display its coordinates (above), and you can click on the Download button to get the results.

Searching and filtering layers

Searching and filtering layers


  • Active Layer: Only display layers that are currently active on the map.
  • Data Layer: Only display layers that contains data.
  • Image Layer: Only display layers that contain only image data.

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:


Service Availability Messages

If you click on the bell icon in the top right hand corner of the browser window, you can get a list of messages regarding service availability.

Message Feed

Permanent Link

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: /portal/gmap.html?s=XQAAAQBDAAAA9776I776J776iNyzvv783 OwsD776KbVnvvpvvv4jvv6Hvvp0m77+6S++rTnv v60iBn/vv4bvvqDvv6gKFRlNNu+ u3zvv6pm776s 77+Geu+nui/mUtX7777+zaO/nQA=&v=3


WarningSome layers, such as Custom Layers, cannot be saved.

Map Navigation

Map controls

Using the magnify button to zoom to a certain area on the map


  • Using the Zoom button, click the plus 
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    or minus - signs to zoom in or out.
  • Magnify button can be used to zoom to a particular area on the map:
    1. Click Magnify
    2. Click at the top left hand corner
    3. Click at the bottom right hand corner

  • Using the mouse:
    • Move the map: hold the left-mouse button down and move the mouse.
    • Zoom in and out: use the mouse's scroll wheel.


Example 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.


NVCL Boreholes: Details of graph controls

NVCL Borehole Service View

In Step 7 above, you can click on a thumbnail in the AuScope portal and get a high resolution image of the borehole drill samples from the relevant NVCL service website.


NVCL Borehole Service detailed image and spectral data plots

Example 2: Filter By Geological Province

Step 1: Filtering by name, add geological province layer
Step 2: Click on layer


Step 5: Add NVCL borehole layer, using the "Polygon BBox" filter, making sure "Apply clipboard BBox" checkbox is ticked.


5 Glossary




Catalog Service for the Web (Catalog Service - Web)


Geoscience Australia


Geography Markup Language


Open Geospatial Consortium


Spatial Reference System


Web Coverage Service


Web Feature Service


Web Mapping Service


Extensible Markup Language