The National Map Viewer Quick Start Guide

This document provides an overview of The National Map Viewer platform and highlights a few of the primary tool areas users will most likely want to interact.

Viewer Quick Guide
Viewer Quick Guide

Visualize with Base Maps

Base Map Toggles
Viewer Quick Guide

Base maps provide a visualization background for a variety of uses. Currently, the viewer includes the following base maps:

The Topo, Imagery and ImageryTopo base maps are new composite base maps available in the viewer by clicking the corresponding base map buttons. These can also be added as standalone map services that can be used in other applications via the following service URLs:

See the Service List for a listing of dynamic and cached map service endpoints used by The National Map.

For more information see: 3.0 TNM Base Maps.


Search Input
Search Input

The Search box serves two purposes. Enter a street address, feature name, or coordinates into the input box and click the Search button to locate a Place of Interest (POI). Or, enter a map service URL into the input box and click the Search button to add map content to the existing map display.

Locate Place of Interest (POI) Examples:

NOTE: The current search behavior is to only "Zoom To" the result if only one result exists or the results are all contained within the current view. It may be best to zoom to the full extent when search results are expected to be outside the current view extent.

Add Map Content Examples:

Added map content will be found under the User Added Content panel within the Overlays-Content tab.

For more information see: 6.0 TNM Searching.

Investigate Data with Overlays

Overlay Panel

The Overlays panel allows users to select specific data content to visualize and reorder on the map.

Available data layers are grouped under the following panels:

The Overlays tab consists of two sub-tabs: Content and Reorder Layers. When the Overlays tab is expanded, the Content sub-tab is active by default. This is where you can choose which data layers you would like to visualize on your map in The National Map Viewer. The Content sub-tab contains panels that group data thematically.

The Reorder Layers sub-tab allows you to change the order in which layers are displayed on the map viewer. You can move layers up and down within the reorder list. This upward and downward movement changes the visibility of map layers on the map display. A layer higher in the list will draw on top of lower layers. All layers that are loaded during the current National Map Viewer session are added to the Layer List. If the layer has been loaded, but is not currently visible, it is grayed out and marked as hidden in the Layer List.

The User Added Content panel contains data layers that you have added to the map as well as any annotation features you have drawn on the map. Layers can be added to the map using the Add Data tool or the Search field.

The Favorites panel contains layers that have been marked as favorites by a user because he/she frequently accesses them. These layers are grouped in the Favorites panel so that the user doesn't have to search through the accordion panes to find the layers he/she wants to access. Highlight the star next to a layer in the Content sub-tab to mark it as a favorite.

A Shortcut Menu is available for each layer and contains helpful tools for working with layers. Tools available in this menu include Zoom To Initial Extent, Zoom To Full Extent, Zoom to Visible Scale, Transparency, Delete, Edit Symbol, Move Annotation, Reshape Annotation, Map Service Metadata, Filter, Select All Layers, Deselect All Layers, and View In. However, not all tools are available to use on every layer. Tools that are not available to use on the desired layer will appear grayed out and marked as hidden. To access the Shortcut Menu click the down-arrow next to the desired layer name.

Additional Information

More detailed information is available in the following User Guides: