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Using NationalMap

What is the NationalMap

The NationalMap is a website for map-based access to government spatial data.

It is designed to:

  • Provide easy access to data for government, business and the public
  • Integrate datasets into a ‘front end map’ for
  • Provide an open framework of geospatial data services that supports commercial and community innovation
  • Provide agencies with an easy map to embed on their own websites
The NationalMap homepage shown with Australia set as the location

How do you use the data?

To view a data set on the NationalMap, go to, select Data then National Data Sets. This will display a list of available data topics.

Other tips:

  • To zoom to a data set’s area on the map, click on the name of the data set.
  • For detail about specific information captured in a data set, click on the specific point, line or area on the map.
  • For detail about the entire data set, click ‘info’ next to the name of a data set for more information, conditions of use and a link to download the data.

NationalMap is best used with a browser with WebGL support such as the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer 11. It will work with limited functionality in older browsers such as Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10.

Possible uses for the NationalMap include:

  • Finding data sets and services (for any data set or service visible in the NationalMap, click "info" to view how to access the data set/service directly).
  • Set up a Web Map Service (WMS) or Web Feature Service (WFS) and load the URL for that service into NationalMap. For example, you can use the open source software Geoserver to do this or use one of many commercial GIS systems such as ESRI ArcGIS Server, Pitney Bowes' Mapinfo or Google Maps Engine and enable WMS and/or WFS services from it.
  • Build a website that uses the value-add service API. Email to find out how.

How do you add data?

Government data can be added to the NationalMap by uploading it to in a common spatial data format. The main data formats supported by the NationalMap are GeoJSON, KML, KMZ and CSV (with latitude and longitude columns).

The NationalMap routinely harvests spatial services from and FIND. It takes between 24 - 48 hours from when a spatial data set is uploaded to for it to appear on the NationalMap. If the issues is not resolved, email

A data set can be added to NationalMap for a single session by dragging it on to the map or clicking on ‘Add Data’ under the Data tab. This is particularly relevant when working with personal, private or temporary data that cannot be uploaded to Data added to a map in this way will not be saved on the NationalMap and cannot be shared using the share button on the site.

For large data sets that are better streamed than uploaded, email to discuss options for making data available in more detail.

How does the NationalMap work?

The NationalMap is a fully open architecture that provides a direct link between the user and the government department or agency who is the custodian of the data. For example, if you access data relating to "broadband availability and quality", you are accessing that directly from the Department of Communications and the Arts; when you access data relating to surface geology, it is accessed directly from Geoscience Australia.

The NationalMap itself does not store any data - it provides a map-based view to data that is stored by a growing number of government bodies.

Open source software

The NationalMap was created with the following open source software. The developers contribute back to the software projects as appropriate.

See the Data61 Github page for more information about the NationalMap