About Our Environment

An Online Atlas of our Land Resources

Launched in 2011, Our Environment is an interactive map viewer for New Zealand land-related environmental information.

Manaaki Whenua is the custodian of a number of nationally significant biological and land resource collections and databases.

With a thematic focus Our Environment is designed to provide quick and easy access to maps of aspects of the New Zealand land environments and environmental data.

Our Environment comprises two tools. An interactive mapping tool and a landcover explorer. The interactive mapping tool can be used to views maps, query features shown on the maps, and follow links to explanatory information.

Using the NZ Land Atlas you can:

  • Use online, interactive maps to learn about your local environment and regional differences.
  • Select particular data themes to view as maps.
  • View detailed information from a particular data theme for a location and area.
  • Obtain further details about particular data themes (metadata).
  • Create high quality, custom PDF maps for printing.
  • Connect through to Manaaki Whenua's LRIS Portal to download the data you are viewing.

Using the NZ Landcover Explorer you can:

  • explore New Zealand's land cover and how it has changed over time (1996-2013), by exploring different versions of the NZ Landcover Database.

Our Environment complements the sister site, S-Map Online, by providing useful context data for understanding soils.

Our Environment eliminates the need for desktop geographic information system software, or advanced technical expertise, by processing and presenting data for you.

Maps and reports are available on:

  • land use capability,
  • land suitability,
  • vegetation,
  • surface geology,
  • erosion,
  • ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, grassland and protected land.

Our Environment provides:

  • details about particular data themes and their provenance,
  • supporting material to help you understand the meaning of particular environmental terms used in describing the information shown on the maps and in tables.

Over the coming years additional data and information will be added to Our Environment so that it becomes a comprehensive land atlas of New Zealand.