Map Service - User Manual

General information

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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, 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 on the following internet browsers: Internet Explorer 11 and newer, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari.
It also supports mobile versions, and the UI scales responsively.
The browser must support javascript and cookies.
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 opens in a default view with a Guide map as the base map. The view is focused to southern Helsinki, centered to the city centre. The various tools the service offers are also visible when the page is loaded.
Tools related to the map can be seen on a gray background on top of the map view. Other tools are located in the left side panel. The user has to open the Layers menu to be able to access and change map layers.

Yleisnäkymä uudesta käyttöliittymästä

Navigating on the map
Navigation on the map happens by dragging it. The user can drag the map by holding down either the left or the right mouse button while moving the pointer. It is also possible to change the view by using the minimap and moving the map frame there. The black rectangle in the minimap window resizes according to the scale of the map view.
It is possible to zoom in and out by scrolling the mouse wheel, or by using the navigation buttons on the compass located in the upper right corner of the map view. The user can also rotate the map by moving the north arrow alongside the compass circle. It is possible to return the map to north orientation by clicking the arrow in the middle of the compass.

Map tools
There is a map tool toolbar in the upper left corner of the map view. The label of the tool is shown when hovered over.

Picture of the map tools

The dimming tool alters the opacity of the map layers on the map. The measuring tool allows the user to measure distances and areas: both by free hand and also by selecting map features, if the map layer allows it. The naming tool shows object labels if the user has a map layer with features which support labels. The fit view tool fits the map view so that all the features on the map can be seen at the same time. The coordinate tool allows the user to view the coordinates of a selected point on the map in two different coordinate systems (EPSG:3879 or WGS84).


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Layers to be viewed in the map view can be chosen from the Layers menu.

Kuva uudesta aineistopalkista

Viewing and changing layers
Map layers and data sets that are shown in the map windows are chosen from the menu tree. The user can choose layers to be active by clicking their name or checking the box next to the layer name. Multiple layers can be active at the same time and they will be drawn on top of each other. The layers can be closed by unchecking the box.
The opacity of the layers can be changed, so it is easy to view them simultaneously. Instructions for this can be found at Now on map.

Layer search
Now the Map Service also has a layer search functionality!

In the example below a white base map is drawn on top of an ortophotograph.

Kuva kahdesta aineistosta päällekkäin

Each layer has an info button next to it in the map layer menu. By clicking on this button the user can open a metadata window, which fetches the metadata from 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.
Kuva uudesta aineistopalkista

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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In the bottom right corner of the map view there is a Now on Map window. It lists all the active map layers. Below it there is a minimap, which shows a map of whole Helsinki and a black rectangle representing the area which is viewed in the map view at the time.

Kuva Now on map -ja Lähestymiskartta-ikkunasta

Now on map
Metadata related to each of the active layers can be viewed by clicking the info button next to the layer name. From the cogwheel symbol the user can access opacity setting of the layer. From the X symbol the user can remove the layer from the active ones. Also the drawing order of the layers is shown from top to bottom.

The user can change the layers' opacities with a slider which can be accessed through the cogwheel. On the right side of the slider there is a numerical representation of the opacity (1 % = transparent, 100 % = completely 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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Share function can be accessed through the left menu. By clicking on the Share button a window opens providing some settings for the sharing function.

Kuva Share -työkalusta

Create a link
With this function the user can create a hyperlink to the current map view. Drawings and a comment can be added before sharing.

Create an embedded map
The user can also create an embedded map. The tool can be accessed through the button, which will open another window. There the user can select some UI components to be shown in the embedded map, also the size of the map can be set. In the preview window it is possible to get a glimpse of how the embedded map will look like.
After the settings have been set correctly, the user can then copy a HTML code snippet to be included in their web page.


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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 print.
If "Include Now on map" is selected, a list of active layers will be included in the print.

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.

Kuva lataustyökalusta

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.


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3D map navigation tools enable the user to do all this: zoom in and out, tilt up and down, and rotate the map. Additionally, the slider below navigation tools allows the user to switch between top-down view (2D) and perspective view (3D).
navigation and 2d-3d-switch
You can switch between the 2D and 3D views by using the slider under the navigation wheel. Clicking the slider switches between the 2D and 3D views.
Image: control buttons and the 2D–3D selection slider
2d-3d- switch on

Image: control buttons in 3D view; zoom, positioning buttons and angle adjustment (up and down arrows)
More detailed 3d-manual can be found here

Statistic themes

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The map services includes a few special layers implemented with the thematic map application. Many of these are found under the Statistics (Tilastot) main heading. A variety of ready-made views from the Helsinki Region Area Database have been compiled under this heading and sorted by area based on statistics.

For now, the statistical themes area datasets are available for the materials shown in the image.


You can select the one you want in the materials tree. The area values pertaining to the theme are highlighted on the map using various colours, which are explained in the ‘On the Map Now’ (Kartalla nyt) window. The settings and time can be adjusted using the dropdown menus and slider. The setting parameters and their number vary based on the each specific material. Generally speaking, a yearly dataset is available, which means that the timeline slider can be used.

The settings of the thematic map can be hidden and displayed with the button that appears in the toolbar.
Thematic maps settings
You can open an info sheet on the areas shown on the map, which typically includes a line diagram that depicts temporal variation and reference diagrams (bar chart or pie chart, depending on the materials) linked to the data of other areas.

Move the mouse cursor over the diagrams to display more detailed information.

Cookies and data protection of the Service

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