The below details help explain how to use various parts of the Wales Activity Mapping GIS system.
The GIS web mapping site was developed to be user friendly and we hope this tutorial page provides all the information needed to access and use all of the features. Should you require any further help or information after reading this section then please contact us.
We are using OS maps which will bring a familiar feel to most users. You can use the zoom and pan functions found on the left of the map, or click, hold and drag the mouse to pan the map. A useful feature is the shift and drag design which allows you to hold down shift while dragging/panning the map to zoom into a desired location.
On the top right of the map a base layer function allows you to switch between the OS map and a coastal outline (Image 1). This is particularly useful when you have a number of activity layers open which can be hard to distinguish over OS map colours. The coastal outline also speeds up moving around the map. We suggest using this feature as much as possible when switching on layers for the first time and when zooming and panning around with lots of layers open.
The find tab allows you to search for a place name or post code. If you are viewing GIS layers they will stay open if you use this feature.
Some of the activity layers and reports have been deemed sensitive by the WAM steering group and are thus hidden/disabled unless you have a username and password. The login can be found in the top right of the screen. Please contact us for more details.
There are a number of GIS layers available to view and they have been placed under appropriate headings; Coastal Land based; Water based; Boat based; Other layers; Conservation layers; Marine Code layers. Switching them on/off is with a straight forward tick/un tick of the appropriate box. All layers can be unticked via the ‘Untick all layers’ check box. Please be aware that the more layers you display at any one time will increase the amount of time for the map to update when zooming/panning.
Interpreting the layers:
Three spatial map views are available:
‘Current 2019 data’: It is possible to view the most current spatially mapped data, collected in 2019, which will be displayed in the colours shown under the Layers legend.
‘Historic 2008 data’: By checking this button, you are able to view the historic data from the first project iteration, collected in 2008
‘Both’: Both data sets (2008 and 2019) can be viewed together. This view enables the user to see:
- where there are new areas, which will be shown as the colour in the layer legend
- where activity areas have changed in size or location over time, with red areas depicting a decrease in size. Please view the below video for further clarification.
Video. Interpreting the layers
A two minute video showing the three spatial map views on the WAM GIS
Many of the activity layers are displayed as points when zoomed out above the 1000 meter scale found in the bottom left of the map (image 2). The points are linked to a usage scale giving an idea of user numbers for a particular activity at the location shown. As you zoom in to the 500 meter scale and below the points turn into polygons giving a more precise activity area. Some activities are not suited to be displayed as point data and are shown as polygons and lines.
This section contains GIS layers on land ownership, beach awards, dog ban areas, lifeguarded beaches, climbing restrictions, car parks. To see more information, which is displayed in a pop-up box, then left click on the area.
The pop-up display
More information can be provided by left clicking on the GIS layer of your choice. When choosing an activity layer this provides a pop-up with details on location, activity layer, map confidence, usage scale, 5yr trend, data confidence and seasonal usage. Each of these terms is explained by clicking on the appropriate heading (Image 3). Details are provided for each project data collection iteration, 2010 and 2019, allowing comparisons between the periods to be made. Other layers e.g. lifeguarded beaches, dog ban areas have less information.
If the activity did not occur at the location when contacts were surveyed in the 2010 project, the pop-up box for 2010 will be blank. Example shown for Stand up Paddleboarding (SUP) in Image 4.
If there is no data for 2019 in the pop-up box the location was unable to be surveyed in the 2019 project iteration, or the activity has been determined by contacts as not happening at that site.
Four separate mini-reports can be found below details of seasonal usage in the pop-up and can be opened by clicking on the hyperlink. They contain more in-depth information on the activity layer, infrastructure at the location, location management including issues and data suppliers. Two of the reports can be viewed without logging in. The information can be exported in Excel, PDF or Word format. If supplementary reports are available and relevant for the location they will also be displayed at the bottom of the pop-up e.g. Coast Path counter numbers and RNLI beach reports. You may have to scroll down to view them.
The pop-up also has a feature enabling data collection. The email comment tab is linked to a position on the map and the activity layer you are viewing. If you have more updated information about user numbers of the chosen activity you can provide these details by simply adding your email address, comment and clicking send message. We will then contact you to confirm the details. This feature will also work if you left click anywhere on the map and will allow us to build a more comprehensive picture of coastal recreation (Image 5).
The filter feature allows you to filter the data and layers by map confidence, data confidence, five year trend and usage scale (the 2019 summer usage scale is used for the filter feature for each activity). The filter can be a good way to view data that you are most interested in e.g. if you are looking at the coasteering layer and you only want to know the locations where more than 26-50 users are carrying out this activity you can use the filter feature. Just select > and the usage scale of your choice and click on the filter button. This will then hide any coasteering line that does not match your filter choice. Keep the usage scale blank and click the filter button again to remove the filter.
Printing the map
The data and GIS layers may be useful for reports and presentations. To print the map, use the print screen function found on your computer and paste into a suitable software program. You can then save as a format you desire.
A 10 minute tutorial on how to use the Wales Activity Mapping GIS website including all of the built in features.
A 5 minute tutorial on how to use the coasteering feasibility GIS layer on the Wales Activity Mapping website.
A five minute tutorial on using the Public Rights Of Way layer on the Wales Activity Mapping website.
A ten minute tutorial on how to use the Pembrokeshire Marine SAC plans and projects GIS section on the Wales Activity Mapping website. (Please note, this layer has not been updated)