Map Viewer Help

The EMODnet Seabed Habitat map viewer displays and gives access to the "EUSeaMap" broad scale predictive habitat maps produced as part of the initiative and collated seabed habitat maps from surveys within Europe's marine waters. More information about the EMODnet seabed habitat project can be found in the About section of this website.

The portal allows the viewing, querying and downloading of seabed habitat maps for European marine waters. The map viewer works in conjunction with a metadata catalogue, which is maintained by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES).

Click on the section headings to expand and contract the respective sections.

  • OGC Web Services

    The data that are viewable through the interactive map are also available as OGC Web Services. More more information, please visit the Web Services page.

  • Toolbar

    A toolbar is available within the mapping window, it is movable by clicking and dragging the orange tab at the top. The following tools are available:


    PanPan: Select this tool then click and drag the map in any direction to move the view to a new location.

     Zoom inZoom in: This tool allows the user to zoom in to an area or point to show greater detail. Select the tool and then either click on a point for a fixed zoom, or click and drag the mouse to create a 'zoom box' where the area within the box will become the full extent of the map view.

    Zoom out Zoom out: This tool selects an area or point of the main map to zoom out to a less detailed view. Select the tool and then either click on a point in the main map for a fixed zoom out, or click and drag the mouse to create a 'zoom box' where the area of the current map view will be fitted into the zoom box.

     Full extentFull extent: Clicking this button redraws the main map at its full extent.

    Export Export: This tool allows the user to export a printable version of the current map view. A new browser window will open, prompting the user to add a relevant title.

    Set FilterSet Filter: This tool allows the user to filter certain layers to only show records matching the selected criteria. Layers that are currently filtered by one or more criteria will appear blue in the Map Layers tab, with a preceding small blue filter symbol (blue filter symbol).

    Previous / next extent Previous / next extent: These buttons allow the user to step backwards and forwards through previous map views.

  • General Layout

    The co-ordinates (as decimal longitude & latitude) of the cursor on the main map are shown in the taskbar at the bottom of the page. The map page uses the WGS84 datum, also known as EPSG: 4326. Four hyperlinks are available in the upper right corner of the window:


    map help - this help page

    new map query - page in which to pre-select data to view according to location, habitat type and other attributes

    metadata search - page in which to search for data and metadata using free text

    metadata catalogue - ICES GeoNetwork catalogue containing more information on all datasets in the interactive map

    download map data - the data download page from this portal containing spatial data downloads.

  • Tabs

    Three tabs offer the user different functions without having to re-draw the main map page:


    The Welcome tab is shown on entering the webpage, which gives an introduction to the interactive map.


    All map layers are listed on this tab with the layers grouped into folders and subfolders. Clicking on a folder or subfolder will display the expandable list of layers within it; clicking the folder again will collapse the layers. Make a layer visible by clicking the check box next to its name.

    Layer tools

    Zoom to layer: Clicking this symbol will zoom the map to the full extent of the layer.

    Toggle all layersToggle all layers: Clicking this symbol will make all the layers in that subfolder visible.

    Download layer: If this symbol is visible next to a layer then it is downloadable. Click to download the layer.

    Layer helpLayer help: Hover over for a longer description of the layer, or click to get full layer metadata.

    Set filterSet Filter: And alternative location for loading the set filter dialog (also accessible via the Toolbar), allowing the user to filter certain layers to only show records matching the selected criteria. Layers that are currently filtered by one or more criteria will appear blue in the Map Layers tab, with a preceding small blue filter symbol ().

    Adding layer(s) from other mapping portals

    Using the interactive map it is also possible to view layers from other online interactive maps, such as the other EMODnet portals. This is achieved by clicking on the Add layer(s) from other mapping portals link at the top of the Layers tab.

    Portals can be chosen from the drop-down list, or if a Web Map Service (WMS) address is known, using the Custom... option. If the WMS server has arranged layers in groups, the Use layer groupings tick-box may be ticked to view the layers in a simpler format.

    Layers will appear in a new folder below the permanent layer folders. Sliding bars beside the layer names allow the layer transparency to be changed.


    This tab displays a key/legend for the map layers that are visible.

  • Technical Issues

    Why does the Interactive Map run slowly on my computer?

    The time it takes for layers to load on your computer will depend on the speed of the internet connection. Apart from this, the Interactive Map works better on some internet browsers than others. For example, some issues have been encountered with Internet Explorer version 7, while earlier versions have not been tested. We recommend using the most up-to-date version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer.


    Why when I zoom to the full extent () can I not see the full extent of the layers?

    The extents of the layers were configured using a particular screen resolution. If your screen resolution is lower than this or if your browser window is not maximised, you may need to zoom out (Zoom out) to view the full extent.


    Sometimes when I switch layers off they do not disappear from the map, why is this?

    If layers are switched on and off too quickly in succession, the map may confuse the information it is receiving and fail to work out whether layers are supposed to be on or off. To rectify the situation, please press the "Refresh Map" button on the Map Layers tab on the left hand side of the map.

  • Acknowledgement in publications

    Please include the following citation when data is used in publications:

    "Information contained here has been derived from data that is made available under the European Marine Observation Data Network (EMODnet) Seabed Habitats project (, funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE)."



  • For more information