MIDA - The Marine Irish Digital Atlas
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  Using the MIDA Interactive Map

This page presents a brief description of how to use the Marine Irish Digital Atlas interactive map. The description applies to the Internet Explorer browser running on a Windows operating system. There may be slight variations with other browsers and other operating systems. (See video to learn how to open the interactive map.)

Page Layout
    interactive map

Overview Map

The overview map presents a simple map of Ireland with a red box indicating the area which is visible within the main map. You can move to another location on the main map by clicking within the overview map; the main map is re-drawn at the current scale, centred on the mouse-click location.

Main Map Window

The layers turned on for display in the layer list are presented in this window. Vector layers are presented on top of raster layers. If you turn on more than one raster layer, only the last one loaded will be visible. The cursor changes to a hand when in the main map. The coordinates (in Irish National Grid) under the cursor location are reported in the Status Bar. Use the tools to navigate within the window or to query vector features. The window is watermarked with "MIDA".

Layer List

The Layer List displays the names of the layers that are currently loaded in the interactive map. A layer can be turned on or off for display in the map by clicking on the check-box next to its name. Once you change the status of the check-box, the map reloads automatically.

Layers have a particular "scale" at which they are displayed; this is done so that a highly detailed data layer is not displayed at a broad scale (zoomed out), where the detail would be lost, and it would take a long time to draw. Layers with a low level of detail are not displayed at high scales (zoomed in). The scales at which data layers display are set at the time the map is configured, and cannot be altered by the users.

A default set of layers is provided when the dynamic mapping system is started. These may be turned on by clicking on the check-box next to the name. The coastline layer is permanently turned on for display and its check-box is shown in grey, which indicates that its display status cannot be changed.

Click once on a layer name to see information about it in the Information tab. This information may be viewed irrespective of the display status.

add/remove layers   To add or remove layers from the Layer List click on the Add/Remove layers button. (See video to learn how this button works.)

add layers  

A new pop-up window opens. All data layers are organised in a hierarchical system of folders organised in four major categories. To open a folder, click on the folder name. To add a layer to the interactive map, click on the check-box to add a tick. To remove layers click on the check-box to remove a tick. When you have chosen all layers to add and/or remove, click Update. To close the window without updating the layer list click Close.

The legend appears as an integral part of the Layer List and is indicated as a + beside a layer name. To view the legend for any layer, click once on the + and the legend will open directly below the layer name. To close the legend click once on the -. (See video to learn how to display the legend.)


Navigational Tools

The toolbar underneath the main map window contains a number of mapping tools. A brief description of each follows:

zoom-in   The zoom-in tool allows the user to draw a box, with the mouse, on the main map and the map is redrawn for just the region in the box. Alternatively, clicking with the mouse will zoom and recentre to the mouse position. (See video to learn how to use the zoom-in tool.)

zoom-out   The zoom-out tool is the reverse of zoom-in, and allows the user to redraw the map for a larger region. Clicking with the mouse will zoom and recentre to the mouse position. (See video to learn how to use the zoom-out tool.)

default area   This zoom to full extent tool redraws the map for the whole of Ireland and surrounding waters. (See video to learn how to use the zoom to full extent tool.)

recentre   The recentre tool redraws the map at the current scale, but centred on the location of the mouse click. (See video to learn how to use the recentre tool.)

identify   The identify tool allows selection of vector features in all the visible layers. It returns the features and their attributes for all layers at the location of the mouse click. (See video to learn how to use the Identify tool.)

inactive active When a tool is chosen it changes its colour from light orange to dark orange.

Status Bar

When the mouse is moved within the main map window, the geographical co-ordinates, in Irish National Grid (metres), of the current mouse position is shown to the left of the status bar. When layers are being loaded in the map, progress can be seen to the right of the area.

Information Area

By clicking on one of the four tabs different functionality may be accessed.

    information area

info tab   General information about the content of the layer, currently highlighted in bold in the Layer List, is shown.  
Additional information on the thematic area to which the layer belongs may be accessed via the INFO button. (See video to learn how the Info button works.) info

The following icons provide access to additional functionality:

  Metadata   Download  
Abstract and Discovery metadata can be viewed for each layer. Full metadata is available only if the data owner supplied it.(See video about metadata.) Download geospatial data from the MIDA or from the data owner’s website. Data downloaded from the MIDA is stored in a compressed file. This file contains the data, the Discovery metadata and the full metadata (if it exists).
metadata: island of Ireland Discovery metadata for a layer covering the island of Ireland. download: island of Ireland Download data for the island of Ireland.
metadata: Rep. of Ireland Discovery metadata for a layer covering the Republic of Ireland only. download: Rep. of Ireland Download data for the Republic of Ireland only.
metadata: N.Ireland Discovery metadata for a layer covering Northern Ireland only. download: N.Ireland Download data for Northern Ireland only.
metadata: sea areas Discovery metadata for a layer covering sea areas. download: sea areas Download data for sea areas.

zoom to tab   The user may zoom to a specific geographical area or may automatically load all layers associated with a number of predefined thematic areas.

  Geographical areas include: (See video)
  • The Island of Ireland
  • The Republic of Ireland
  • Northern Ireland
  • The four provinces
  • The 18 coastal counties
  • Seven city and county Buroughs
  • Five sea areas
  Predefined thematic areas include: (See video)
  • Biology/Habitats
  • Boundaries
  • Imagery
  • Infrastructure
  • Oceanography
  • Physical Features
  • Protected Areas
  • Tourism/Leisure
  • Wildlife

links tab   The links tab provides quick links to other parts of the atlas.

search tab   The search tab provides a tool to search the Discovery Metadata database for data layers. You can search on the following fields within the metadata database: (See video to learn how to use the search tool.)
Title: The title by which the data layer is known
    Keyword: One or more keywords are associated with each data layer
  Theme: One or more thematic areas are associated with each data layer
  Region: A named geographical region which is fully contained within the data layer
  Downloadable: A list of all the layers that can be downloaded from the MIDA or from the data owners’ web sites
  Area: Select a geographical area which is fully enclosed within the data layer
You can also carry out an advanced search, which allows combinations of the above fields or the possibility to search for any words within the Discovery Metadata records.

Comprehensive help is available for the search facility.

Your multimedia resource for coastal and marine data in Ireland