Documentation

The Maine Coastal Atlas is designed to provide easy access to critical coastal resources and reference materials. Accompanying the Maine Coastal Atlas are two additional tools, designed to provide greater access and control of coastal data.

The Advanced Data Viewer provides more traditional GIS functionality; allowing users to view attributes and organize a more custom view of coastal data resources.

The Coastal Data Repository allows users to browse all the data, view summary metadata information for each dataset, and download each dataset in a shapefile or GeoJSON format for use in external analysis.

For additional Maine GIS reference data, users should visit the Maine Office of GIS Data Catalog.

Maine Coastal Atlas

The Coastal Atlas is designed to provide quick access to a number of pre-formatted coastal data map themes. Common map navigation controls are available to make the user experience as straight forward as possible. Users interested in more specific combinations of information or specific map layers can work with the Coastal Atlas data in the the Advanced Data Viewer.

To turn on and off Coastal Atlas map themes, users should click one of the navy blue theme categories in the left side control panel. With a theme category now expanded, users selectively turn on and off each available theme by clicking the gold map theme panel.

Only one theme can be viewed at a time in the Coastal Atlas. Users interested in viewing multiple themes together should visit the Advanced viewer, which is accessible using the Coastal Atlas resource tabs at the top of each page.

Data Download

Users interested in getting access to the raw data in a shapefile format should follow the process below.

Navigate to the Coastal Data Explorer using the navigation tabs in the header. Then use the available search and sort tools to locate the dataset of interest. Then click the download button.

Advanced Data Viewer

The Advanced viewer is intended to provide users with traditional GIS style layer control and the ability to investigate dataset attribution. With over 100 datasets available in Coastal Atlas, there is quite a number of combinations and organizations that could be of interest to users. For the most responsive Advanced Viewer users experience, users should limit the number of actively drawn layers at any one time.

The underlying functionality is provided by GeoExplorer, an open source web-based tool. Highlighted below you will also find are the most commonly used tools and actions in the Advanced Data Viewer. This is not a comprehensive list and more details and functions can be found by reviewing the GeoExplorer documentation

To protect the integrity of the underlying data, some of the GeoExplorer tools have been removed or password protected.

Adding Layers

Locate the Green Add Layers Button. Using the find layers option search for the data of interest. When the data you would like to add is returned in the search results window, press the Green Plus next to that layer once. You can continue searching and adding as many layers as is useful for your analysis. When you are ready to return the main layer list, click the "Layers" link next to the "Search for Layers" text in the left panel header.

Re-Ordering Data

When many layers are viewed at the same time, the order in which each layer is drawn is important. An expansive polygon layer can easily obscure a point layer if presented in the wrong order.

The top layer in the overlays category has the highest priority and the order, top to bottom, determines the relative priority of each subsequent layer. To revise the order or a layer, left click and drag the layer to the desired location in the overlay list. A dotted line will appear to indicate a position available for the layer being dragged. Release the click and the layer will be reordered and drawn based on the revised layer prioritization. Transparency control is also available on a layer by layer basis under the layer properties display controls, which is accessed via a right click on the layer of interest.

As the number of layers drawn at any one time increases, users should expect increased load times.