FAQ - DWR MapViewer

Last updated on March 6th, 2018

Contacts: chris.k.brown@state.co.us or alison.keener@state.co.us 

Q: Where are my Mylar and Denver Basin Map Layers?

A: Under the Layer Catalog button, you can add those layers to the Map by clicking the + button next to the layer you’re interested in and checking the box to add it to the Map.

Q: Which internet browser works best with MapViewer?

A: We have found that people have the best experience using Google Chrome . Internet Explorer makes MapViewer pretty glitchy, so if you are having problems, try switching over!

Q: Can I use MapViewer on my cell phone?

A: Yes, MapViewer is HTML 5 compatible, so it works on cell phones and tablets. By clicking on “Find Me”, it will even use your device’s  GPS to locate you in the software.

Q: Where can I find a list of the dataset layers that are in each of the MapViewer Lites?

A: There is a Google Sheets link on the CDSS page. It will take you here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1v-k-rq7k5IdE6nva4dKRKvNGlafDfPF-0TNvL8e09DI/edit#gid=2004193601.

Q: I turned on a layer, but it’s not appearing in MapViewer, what’s up?

A: Some data layers are just too big, so we set a scale limit for them. That means, you have to be zoomed in to a certain level in order to see the dataset. In general, it’s a good idea to zoom in first before turning on a layer, it will help MapViewer run faster if it only has to load a limited amount of data.

Q: How often do these datasets get updated?

A: As of now, datasets get updated on the first of each month. We are aiming to get things updated nightly and will keep you informed of when that changes.

Q: How do I search for an address?

A: You can simply type addresses into the search bar located on the type right of the page. It will search for addresses throughout the whole country and the results will be returned in order of accuracy.

Q: What else can I use the search bar for?

A: The search bar is your friend if you know something specific about what you’re looking for. Among the things you can search for are an owner’s name, well name, WDIDs, permit numbers, receipt numbers, court case numbers, and even coordinates.

Q: How do I view more information about something on the map?

A: Use the “Identify” tool under the Home tab. Click it and then you can click on or draw a box around whatever you want the details for.  This will return information for any layer that is toggled on. Tip: you can get details for more than one item if you draw a big enough box!

Q: How do I zoom to a specific item from the details list or table?

A: Click on the row and Map Viewer will jump to that location.

Q: How do I search for things within a certain distance of a feature?

A: Use the buffer tool to search within a defined radius of a point, line, or polygon. Access this tool through the Find tab. Click on “Find D…” to buffer around a point, polygon, etc... Then click on “enable buffering”. You will then be prompted to enter a distance. Do this, and then click on the map where you’d like to buffer. Results with appear in a list on your screen. You can export these results of your search into a shapefile, or just view the results on the map and related attribute table.

Q: Can I export shapefiles (for use in other GIS software)?

A: Yes, when you are viewing a feature’s attribute data, you can select “export to shapefile” from the drop down list Tip: click the button that looks like this:


Q: To what other formats can I export my data?

A: The options for data export are CSV, XLSx, and shapefile.  


Q: Can I upload my own data?
A: Not with this current version, though we will likely have this feature coming soon (i.e. Summer 2017).

Q: Can I save a map image?

A: Yes, you can save the map image as a jpeg, pdf, tiff, or geotiff. Click on the Home tab → Export button to do so.


Q: What is the difference between a Query and a Filter?

A: Both allow you to set conditions on the data you want to see, but a query is more powerful because it will actually return an attribute table of data for you to look at the details of features. If you a simply want to view the features on the map, a filter will work just fine! Find tab → Query / Filter. Tip: You can set multiple search parameters.

Q: How do I clear a query or a filter?

A: If you have multiple conditions to your query or filter, a black ‘x’ will appear to the right of the conditions. Click it to clear that condition. If you only have one, the ‘x’ next to the condition will appear grey. In this case, simply close out of the query or filter box entirely by clicking the ‘x’ in the upper right corner of the Query/Filter box .

Q: Can I save my project and return to it after exiting Map Viewer?

A: No. Even if you are signed in (internal users only),  the markups you made will not be saved the next time you login.

Q: Can I add labels to my map?

A: Yes, however in this version, there is no way to add labels automatically. Instead, you will have to do a query search for your feature and then add a text label manually.

Q: How do I delete a measurement line?

A: Draw tab → Edit Drawings → Erase → click on the line. Tip: Clicking “Clear” will erase ALL drawings and measurements.

Q: Can I view county parcel data?

A: Only internal staff can access this data by being logged in.

Q: How do I create an account?

A: This is done through OIT for DWR staff only. If you are a DWR staff in need of an account, email Chris Brown to put in a request. chris.k.brown@state.co.us.

Q: What other datasets are available to me if I am signed in to my account (internal only)?

A: Here’s a list:


Q: Is there metadata available for the layers, describing each dataset?

A: The latest version of the software doesn’t easily allow us to share that information on MapViewer, but that feature will come back in the next version. If you would like to learn more about a layer, please email Chris Brown.  chris.k.brown@state.co.us

Q: What is the Source Water Route Framework layer?

A: This shows every stream in the state with a water right associated with it. We have assigned each stream reach a unique ID and have also calculated its length (you can see all this in the attribute table or by using the info tool). The unique ID allows us to differentiate between streams throughout the state that have the same name.

Q: Will I be able to determine Metes and Bounds in MapViewer?

A: Not directly. For the DWR staff that have been using this function AquaMap, we will set you up with a licensed tool that will allow you to get this information produced as a shapefile that can be loaded into the next version of MapViewer.

Q: Can I use metes and bounds to create/edit a parcel (Internal Only)?

A: Not directly in MapViewer, but for those of you that need this editing capability, we will have a tool for creating a shapefile from Metes and Bounds. More coming soon about this tool.  The goal is for this to replace the metes and bounds spreadsheet.

Q: What imagery is available and how do I know which I’m looking at?

A: The checkbox for “imagery” is situated under “BaseMaps”. To find out which year or what the source is, click the IDENTIFY tool, and then click on your map area. You’ll see results in the list. You probably see several things, because all are there but some only show up if you are zoomed to a certain level. Click on the imagery layer to see the “footprint”aka the area that is covered by that imagery source!.  If you need other historical aerial photos, please contact Chris or Alison and we will help you out.

More Tips:

Right click on any point, line, or polygon in a data layer to get more information.

Use Quick Tools on map to quickly zoom to specific features.

Explore the Quick Tools button to zoom to a specific location on the map.

Use the Find Me tool to center on your exact location.

Switch between UTM and LAT/LON by clicking this button  on the bottom of the screen.