Frequently Asked Questions

This page answers frequently asked questions. If you need further assistance, please email Top of the South Maps.

For  known issues with the main application please see our issues section

Q: What is Top of the South Maps? 

A: Top of the South Maps is a collaboration between Nelson City and Tasman District Councils. It aims to provide comprehensive access to Council data. Top of the South Maps was originally launched in December 2010, and last upgraded in October 2017.

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Q: What is new? 

A: The October 2017 upgrade provides improved functionality and additional data. New features in this release include:

  • Mobile device users (tablets and phones) now have access to url:;
  • Historic aerial photography from 1940s and 1980s now available;
  • Draw Tool added;
  • Coordinates Tool added;
  • My Location available on mobile devices;
  • Ability to add your own layers to the display - for example, drag and drop gpx files;
  • Variety of sharing options increased;
  • Removal of reliance on Adobe Flash software.

If you'd like to see other changes or additional datasets on Top of the South Maps in future, please let us know.

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Q: Why not use Google Maps? 

A: We have adopted the navigation and search style of Google Maps to ensure the site is easy to use, but improved on Google Maps by providing information about your Council assets and activities.

Having our own system also means, in time, we will be able to use Top of the South Maps to quickly respond to civil defence emergencies.

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Q: What data is available? 

A: Five key sets of data are available – property, services, recreation, planning and hazards. The data includes property boundaries, water, wastewater and stormwater features, pipes and drains, rubbish and recycling collection days and bus routes. Recreation information includes national parks, reserves, places of cultural interest, walking and cycling tracks and dog exercise areas, Planning includes links to resource management information, while hazards include Tsunami evacuation zones.

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Q: How can I use Top of the South Maps data? 

A:  Start by searching for a property or a keyword, query features using the info tool and measure distance or area.  

Get help with individual tools

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Q: What about the maps? 

A: You can create maps to print or save in multiple formats, paper sizes and orientations. Layers can be turned on and off, and you can use the legend to identify features on the map. Maps can be shared by generating a web link, or creating an embedded map for your own website.

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Q: Why isn't the Info tool working? 

A: If the info tool isn’t working, try zooming into the map. The Info tool changes at different scales and on different layers. For example, the National Parks and Council Reserves are initially part of the background. When you zoom in to 1:17,500 or closer, the Info tool will give results for these two layers.

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Q: How do I download data? 

A: Data is available for download in a range of formats including webservices. Please Read the download help for futher details about map webservices.

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Q: I printed a map, but the PDF didn’t appear. What happened? 

A: Maps are printed by first creating a file eg. a PDF or JPG. The print tool displays a pop-up window. If your browser does not allow pop-up windows, you will need to right click the error message at the top of your screen and select ‘Always allow pop-ups from this site’. Create the map again, and you should see the PDF in a pop-up window. You will only need to allow pop-ups once.

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Q: My Web Map Service (WMS) connection no longer contains Aerials, How do I get them back? 

A: As at the November 2013 upgrade, we had to split out the base maps from the main Web Map Service, Check out the download section for new URLs for all of the Base Maps.

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Q: When will more data be available? 

A: Please do take a moment to send us your feedback and tell us what you would like to see added to the site.

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Q: Are there any known issues with Top of the South Maps? 

A: For known issues with the main application please see our issues section

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