Systematics Collections Data

Map view

The map view allows you to view the distribution of the "mappable" records in your search results. Mappable records are those specimens and cultures that have valid georeference coordinates. Above the map there is a tally of total search results, the subset of those records that are mappable, and the subset of the mappable results that are visible within the map extent. The currently visible count will update as the extent of the map is changed.

Interacting with the map

Moving and zooming

You may change the centre of the map by clicking and dragging the map to your location of interest.

The scale/zoom of the map can be changed by either using the + and - in the map, or by using the main scroll wheel on your pointing device (or similar).

By default the extent of the map is set to ensure that all the records, selected by the active search and filters, are visible. You can return to this default extent at any time by using the "fit to extent" button.

A scale is shown in the bottom of the map. However, care should be taken when applying the scale, particularly when the map displays a large latitudinal (vertical) range as the scale may not accurately reflect distances across the vertical range of the map.

Changing map layers

The map allows you to select between two base layers, and optionally allows you to add one additional layer. The base layers are currently:

  1. OpenStreetMap: is obtained from OpenStreetMap under the Open Database License details are available at Open Street Map Copyright and License.
  2. NZ Aerial Imagery Basemap is obtained from Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand under a CC-BY 4.0 license.
    Attribution: Sourced from LINZ Data Service for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence. To see a full list of sources please visit

The additional layers are currently:

  1. Native lands: Is made by Native Land Digital, and made accessible via their website and API at The layer is made available under a CC0 License.
  2. NZ Area Codes
  3. : Crosby et al. (1976) subdivided the New Zealand mainland (North, South, and Stewart Islands, plus nearby inshore islands) into 29 approximately equalsized areas, and defined two-letter codes for each. for more details see . The layer is made available under the Landcare Data Use License.
  4. NZ Land Districts
  5. : is obtained from Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence. Land Districts are administrative areas that titles and surveys were registered against prior to Landonline.
  6. NZ Ecological Districts: is obtained from the Department of Conservation under the CC BY 3.0 License. Ecological districts are subdivisions of New Zealand into that have relatively homogenous physical (climate, soil, topography, geology) and biological characteristics (including cultural pattern, i.e. land use). For more details see Ecological Districts summary.
Selecting records

Using a pointing device, you can click on records of interest. This will result in a popup that allows you to view a brief summary of the details of the records at that location. When the number of records at the point is low, you will be able to scroll through all the records. However, if the number of records is greater than 50 there is an option to apply a spatial filter based on the location you clicked. If you apply this filter you will then be able to view the records in the List or Grid views.

Downloading the map

You can download an image of the map you are viewing by clicking on the download button within the map. This will generate a png file that includes a map of the same extent and the legend but excludes the navigation and tool buttons within the map.

You are welcome to use the downloaded maps for any purposes under a CC-BY 4.0 license, but, in keeping with that license, we ask that you acknowledge the source of the image. You must also comply with any requirements that accompany the layers you have selected to be displayed.

Classify records

You can use the classify record options to change the colouration of the maps according to six classes:

  • Collection: colours indicate which of the five collections hold the specimen record.
  • NZ orgin: main taxon: colours indicate whether the main taxon on the specimen is indigenous, endemic, indigenous non-endemic, exotic or uncertain
  • Main taxon: colours indicate the taxon to which the main taxon on the specimens has been identification. This options is only available when there are 10 or fewer taxa in the search results.
  • Collection month: colours indicate the month of the year in which the specimens was collected.
  • Collection year: colours indicate the year during which the specimens were collected. This is on a continuous colour gradient. The frequency of collection in any year is indicated in the hisotogram associated with the legend.
  • Collection decade: colours indicate which decade the specimens were collected.

When a classification is applied you may click on a legend item (discrete) to filter the map to records that match that category, or, for continuous categories, you may click and drag on the legend to select a range.

Colour options

Default colours for the classifications have been based on a schema to assist people with colour-blindness. The default colour of the outlines has been set for clarity against the background and will change depending on which base layer is selected. However, you may also change the outline colour by click one of the preset options (Grey, White) or chose you own using the colour selector.


While you are using the map you can continue to apply facets to the data. Applying a facet will refine the search results for all the result tabs, and the map being re-drawn.

Note that you can also filter the map data by clicking on a legend item once a classification has been applied. This does not result in a change of the full result set.

Citing and attribution

We recommend the following format to cite a map:

  • Manaaki Whenua — Landcare Research (YYYY) Specimen distribution map data of specimens from the . Accessed through Systematics Collection Data, YYYY-MM-DD.

To attribute a map that is included as an image we recommend the following Creative Commons guide for attribution text:

  • "Untitled distribution map" (c) Manaaki Whenua — Landcare Research is licensed under CC-BY 4.0.
  • Optionally, you may include the url to the map as a hyperlink for the title text, however as this resource is dynamic anyone using this link is likely to obtain a different map. The URL can be copied from the address bar of your browser when the map is displayed, for example, the following is a URL for a map showing the distribution of records containing the search term "kowhai":¤tDisplayTab=map&back=false

Cancelling a load

If your search results in a large number of records being returned loading the map can take time. You can cancel loading the map at any time during that process using the "Cancel load" option at the top of the map. This will stop the loading of the map at the next block of 2000 records. Note - at this point it is not possible to re-start loading the map. If you stop a search, then want to see all records displayed, you will need to invoke the search again.