Frequently asked questions about the HELCOM map and data service
Why there is a new map service?
The previous service was based in ArcIMS, a technology which is gradually been replaced by ArcGIS Server. ArcIMS was becoming old-fashioned both visually and technically. One of our goals was to create a map service which is easy to use, intuitive and attractive and that keep user expectations in mind when using web map service (Google Maps, Bing Maps, etc).
What are the main changes?
The main change you notice is in the visualization. There is a brand new way of navigating and access the information from the map. All icons are placed at the top of the site. You can see all the sub menus just by placing your mouse on the icons. This icons open the so called widgets on the right side of the map which contain all the information.
Another significant change is that we have joined all former map (MARIS, Nutrient) services into one single service. This way it is easier to combine and analyze data.
We now provide OGC compliant Web Map Services (WMS) so you can access all layers from your GIS software.
What are the requirements to see the map service?
To view the new HELCOM maps service you need to have Adobe Flash player installed in your computer. If it is not installed you will automatically be redirected to the Adobe Flash player home page to download it. Note that you must have administrative rights in your computer to install it. If you fail to install it ask your IT administrator.
Why a map service with flash?
With flash we are able to provide a map service which is easy to use, fast and intuitive. The new map service has been developed using Flex programming language which has several advantages: relatively straight forward development process, easy to deploy applications and is well integrated with ArcGIS Server.
What flash version do I need?
The latest version of flash is needed if you want to take advantage of all the functionalities like save drawings or download layers.
Questions about map and navigation
Where is the legend?
The legend can be viewed by clicking on a icon on the top of HELCOM maps widget.
Where is Metadata?
The metadata for each layer can be opened from the button on the right hand side of each layer. Note that at the moment the metadata is best viewed in Internet Explorer.
Where are the navigation tools to zoom, pan, etc?
The map navigation tools are now on the left hand side of the map. You can also zoom in and out with the wheel mouse.
Where can I find information about a feature on the map?
The identify tool allows to identify features on the map. You can open it either from the Tools menu which allows identify layers on top, visible or all, or from the shortcut on the navigation menu on the left hand side.
Can I save a map in png, jpeg or svg?
Yes, There is a tool called “Export map” from the Tools menu. Be aware that svg files are usually quite large and they can take a while to download.
How can I Download a layer?
You can either download a layer in ESRI shapefile format from the Data Delivery menu or access it via WMS.
How can I query a layer?
A layer can be queried from the Query builder which is under the Tools menus.
How can I give feedback?
Contact us with any request, bug, problem or compliment with the Feedback form in the Help menu.
What is the projection of the map and layers?
All layers and maps in the HELCOM map service are in ETRS_1989_LAEA. ETRS89 is the EU recommended frame of reference for geodata for Europe.
Last updated 13 September 2010