Help Page

Before using the MPA Mapper please read the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Conditions


General layout information
Using the map tools
Tab information
        Layer tools
        Adding layer(s) from other mapping portals
Information for WMS clients
Contact details

General layout

The co-ordinates (as decimal longitude and 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.
Clicking and dragging in the main map window will pan the map. The +/- buttons in the top left of the mapping window or scrolling with a mouse zooms the map in or out.
Clicking the left mouse button on a feature in a map layer will bring up information about that feature in a pop-up window. You can also send us emails with any questions or problems using ‘email comment’ tab in the information pop-up.,/div>
Four hyperlinks are available in the upper right corner of the window:

Tool buttons

A row of tool buttons is available above the mapping window:
Full extentPrint to pdfPrevious extentFilter button
Full extentZoom to extent: Clicking this button redraws the main map at its full extent.
Print to pdfPrint map to pdf: This tool allows you to export a printable version of the current map view. A new browser window will open, prompting you to add a relevant title. There are three Report Types to choose from; Map with Legend, Map Only and Legend Only. Creating a map and legend separately may be useful if you have included many layers, to produce a legend that is legible.
The order of the layers of the printed map is set by the order in which the layers were turned on. The last layer selected will appear on top. The drawing order on the mapping portal is pre-set, therefore the printed image may differ from what is seen in the current map view. All layers will have no transparency in the printed map view.
Previous extentPrevious map view: These buttons allow you to step backwards and forwards through previous map views.
Filter buttonFilter MPAs by protected features: Clicking this button opens a pop-up window. There are different categories of filters that can be applied such as Protected species in Special Areas of Conservation. Multiple features within each category can be selected by holding down the ctrl button on the keyboard while clicking options from the list. Clicking the “Filter” button to the right of the category applies the filter. MPAs which are designated for at least one of the chosen features will be highlighted.
The pop-up can be closed using the “x” in the top-right hand corner of the pop-up and the filter layer will still be visible on the map.
More than one filter category can be applied at once. They all highlight MPAs in a different way, so it is possible to see which MPAs are included in which filter.
The legend for the filters will be visible on the Key tab of the main map page.
All filters will remain on the map until the “Remove Filter From Map” button at the bottom right of the Layer Filter pop-up is clicked. Clicking this button will remove all filters that have been applied.
Search for MPA boxSearch for MPA: There is a search box above the mapping window to the right. Type the name, or part of the name, of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) you are interested in and a list of search results will appear below. Click the name of the MPA you want and the map will zoom to the site (depending on the dimensions of your screen, you may need to scroll the page towards the right to see the full names of the search results). If the relevant MPA boundary layer was not already turned on, it will come on automatically.


Three tabs offer you 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. The legend for that layer will appear once it is selected.
Layer tools
Zoom to extent icon for the MPA webGIS Zoom to layer: Clicking this symbol will zoom and centre the map to completely encompass the relevant layer.
Toggle all layersToggle all layers: Clicking this symbol will make all the layers in that subfolder visible.
Layer helpLayer help: Hover over for a longer description of the layer or click to view information on the JNCC website about that layer.
Download layerDownload layer: If this symbol is visible next to a layer then it is downloadable. Click to download the layer as an ESRI shapefile.
button to adjust transparency on MPA MapperAdjust Layer Transparency: If this symbol is visible next to a layer, the transparency can be altered. Clicking on the symbol will bring up a pop-up containing a transparency slider. The pop-up is closed using the “x” in the top right hand corner.
Adding layer(s) from other mapping portals
Using the UK MPA Interactive Map it is also possible to view layers from other Interactive Maps, such as MESH Habitat data. This is achieved by clicking on the Add more Layers button at the bottom 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 layer in a simpler format.
Layers will appear in a new folder below the permanent layers folders. Sliding bars beside the layer name allow the transparencies to be changed.


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

Web Map Service (WMS)

If you would like to display UK MPA Interactive Map layers on your desktop GIS application or on another mapping portal you can use this WMS URL:\Websites\MPS\map_64\


For help adding WMS layers to ArcMap see: for ArcMap version 9.2 for ArcMap version 10.1
For help adding WMS layers to QGIS see:
For help adding WMS layers to Map Info see:

For more information

If you have further questions that are not answered by either this page or our FAQs then please .

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