Map Service - Instructions


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General information about the service
Helsinki Map Service is powered by SpatialWeb by Sitowise. It offers an interactive way of using maps and inspecting map features. You can navigate freely between different map and data layers, use search functions, change layers and choose what kind of data you want to be shown on the map.
It also offers various functions such as: measuring distances and areas, downloading data, sharing links and creating embedded maps.

Technical requirements
The service has been tested to ensure functionality on the following browsers: Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari. The browser must support JavaScript and cookies must be enabled. The service works without plug-ins, such as Java Virtual Machine.
It also supports mobile versions, and the UI scales responsively.

We recommend using the service with Google Chrome.

Quick start and navigation
Default language of the service is Finnish, but the user can change the language to their preferred one from the language menu which is located on the top right edge of the page.
The service will open on the start view with the Helsinki Guide Map as the background map and with the view centred on southern Helsinki. The various tools offered by the service will also be immediately visible in the start view. The most notable difference compared to the previous service is that the layer tree is not open all the time; instead, you need to open it through the menu on the left side to browse the layers. The map will show various map tools on a grey background.

Overview of the new user interface

Navigating on the map
You can navigate around the main map by dragging it with your mouse. You can move the map by holding the left mouse button and dragging the map to the desired direction. You can change the focus of the map window by clicking on a new location on the minimap in the lower right corner of the page. There is a zoom in/out tool in the upper right corner of the map window. You can zoom in on the map by clicking on the ‘plus’ button and zoom out with the ‘minus’ button.
You can also zoom in and out by scrolling forwards or backwards with the mouse wheel. You can also focus the map window on the desired location by double-clicking. You can focus the map on the north by clicking on the arrow in the middle of the tool.
You can also rotate the map by dragging the N button, signifying north, around the perimeter of the circle. The minimap window in the lower right corner provides a view of a larger area so that the user can better see which area they are looking at in the closer view. The area being viewed is marked with a black rectangle on the minimap. When zooming the map in and out, the rectangle’s size will change with the size of the area shown on the map.

Map tools

Picture of the map tools

The map view has tool icons on a grey background in the upper left corner. When you place your cursor on a tool, you will see what the tool is used for. Image of the map tools With the Dim Map tool, you can adjust the opacity of the map layers. With the Measure tool, you can measure distances and areas freely on the map or based on the geometry of the target. With the Names tool, you can show the naming information included in vector-form data for the objects. With the Fit View tool, you can adjust the view so that the selected layers are shown on the map in full. With the Coordinate tool, you can receive the coordinates for the selected point in two available formats (EPSG:3879 or WGS84).


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You can select the map layers and object groups to be shown on the service on the Layers menu on the left side of the page.

Image of the new layer menu

Showing and changing map layers
You can open a map group by clicking on the arrow on the left side of the map group. You can change the background map by clicking on the map’s name on the list. In this case, you will only see the background map in question. If you want to have multiple layers on top of each other, you need to mark the checkbox in front of the desired layer. You can view the maps on top of each other by selecting multiple layers at the same time. When you remove the checkmark from a layer, you will also remove the layer from the map window. You can also adjust the map layers’ opacity freely. You can find the instructions in Now on map.

In the example below, an aerial orthophotograph and a white base map are being viewed simultaneously:

Image of two layers on top of each other

Background information (metadata) of the layers
Each layer has an info button next to it in the map layer menu. By clicking this button the user can open a metadata window, which fetches the metadata from the city of Helsinki's GIS register. The register is updated by the data provider if any changes are made to the layer.
If the layer is a "map set" consisting of multiple layers, it will not have an info button, but the metadata of each separate layer can be accessed through the Now on Map listing, which will show the info buttons.

Image of the new layer menu

Map features
It is possible to view multiple map features on the map at the same time. The user can select an object by clicking it or by hovering the mouse pointer on top of it. If multiple objects cover the same location, a list will be shown so the user can choose which object's information they want to view. Mouse hover usually shows basic information such as the name of the object, but clicking often opens up an info window which provides additional information.

Picture of mouse hover tooltip

If a more detailed information window is enabled for the layer, clicking an object will open a window, often to the right side of the browser window.
For example, in the picture below a layer "Buildings (areas)" is active, and the building visible in the picture has been clicked. The information related to the particular building has been pulled from the city's building register.

Picture of a property's information window

If there are multiple features on top of each other on the map, a menu will be shown from which the user can choose which object they want to examine. In the example below, multiple layers are active and their names are shown. After clicking the menu, another window is shown which shows only the layers which provide additional information when clicked on their features. In this example three different layers have this "additional information" function attached to them.

Picture of a menu to choose features

Now on map

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The Now on map window is in the lower right corner of the page. It lists all selected background maps and layers. Below this window, you can see the Minimap with a broader map view and a black rectangle showing the size and location of the current view.

Image of the Now on map and Minimap windows

Now on map
You can view the metadata of the layers by clicking on the information icon next to the layer’s name. You can adjust the opacity of the layer by clicking on the cogwheel icon. You can remove the layer from the view by clicking on the X icon. The window also shows the drawing order of the map layers, which you can adjust.

Adjusting opacity
You can adjust the opacity of a layer with a slider, which you can access by clicking on the cogwheel icon. On the right side of the slider, you can see the opacity percentage of the layer (1 % being the dimmest and 100 % being the most opaque).

Drawing order of the map layers
The layer on the bottom of the list will be drawn first, and the subsequent layers will be drawn "on top" of it in their order from bottom to the top. The user can change the order of the layers by dragging and dropping them to their desired places.


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The menu bar on the left includes the Share function. By clicking on it, you see the tool window (shown below) on the map view. With this function, you can either create a link to the current map view or create an embedded link with which you can display the map view on a website.

Image of the Share tool

Create a link
With the Create a link function, you can create a map link to the map view shown on the screen. You can include the location of the map, the base maps and layers on top of it, comments and a drawing (dot, line or area) in the link. You can copy and share your link with others or write it down for yourself.

Create an embedded map
You can also create an embedded map. You can add various UI components to the map, and you can also adjust the map’s size. In the preview window, you can see how the embedded map will look and how it will work. You can copy the HTML embedding code to use it on a website.


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The print tool can be accessed through the left menu.

Kuva tulostusyökalusta

Select paper size.
Select paper orientation.
Select scale.
Write a comment if wanted. It will be shown in the printout.
If "Include Now on map" is selected, a list of active layers will be included in the printout.

After the settings are correct, the user can select the area to be printed in the map view. An orange rectangle demonstrating the paper size will appear. Clicking the area into place and then clicking print will create a .pdf file, which can then be printed to paper if wanted.


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Download tool can be accessed through the left menu. After pressing the menu button a new tool window will open on top of the map view.

Image of the download tool

The tool allows the user to download data, if the layers support downloading. The data to be downloaded can be selected with a few filters.
No selection will download all available data.
Visible area will download data currently in view in the map view.
Radius will let the user click on the map to determine a circle buffer around a point, which will show the area from which feature information will be downloaded.
Line buffer will let the user to draw a line with a buffer zone from which feature information will be downloaded.
There is also a free-draw option so the user can draw an area which is shaped however the user wants to be used as the boundaries of the download.

The file format of the export can be selected from multiple different formats. With some of the file formats the creation of the file can take some time, so the user is kindly asked to wait patiently for the file to be available for download. However, if the download is not starting after waiting for a couple of minutes, an error/feedback report is greatly appreciated to ensure smooth operation of the Map Service and its functions.

Nature information

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The Nature information tab is in the tab menu in the top bar of the service.

Image of the nature search tab

The button will open the Nature objects button in the left menu bar. You can enter the nature object search via this button. For the search, the Layers menu will open the tabs under the title Environment and nature, the information related to which you can search and filter with this search function. When the Nature information tab is active, the search function will also include advanced search, with which you can search nature objects with various criteria. You can search for specific species or valuable natural sites, for example.

Kuva laajennetusta hausta, lupaSearch


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The Plans tab is next to the Nature information tab. With it, a list of as-of-yet unapproved plans will open on the right side of the browser.

Image of the Plans tool

When you click on a plan, you can see more detailed information on it. When you open the information, you can see which processing stage the plan is at and by which date you need to file a reminder if you want to influence the plan’s progress.