Frequently Asked Questions
- Button Bar - includes paning and zooming tools with options for showing photography in the background.
- Locator Map - displays the region currently displayed in map view area relative to the surrounding area.
- Map Scale - includes a map scale bar and scale bar ratio.
- Map View Area - displays the region currently mapped.
- Map Contents - includes the Choose Map Theme, Find Address, Find Place, Find Longitude/Latitude, View Map Legend, and Print Map functions
- Theme Visible Bar - displays the visible scale range for the current map theme
- Zoom Bar - zooms the map in and out
In the Map Contents area, click Choose a Map Theme to open a list of available map themes. First select a map theme by clicking on the circular radio button to the left of the theme's name, as shown below for the Farmland Soils map theme. Then click the Refresh Map button to redraw the map and display the chosen theme. There are two Refresh Map buttons located above and below the theme list. The name of the current map theme is always shown above the Map View Area. When the Simple Map Viewer is first opened, the Connecticut Streets theme is displayed by default. Also be sure the map is zoomed within the scale range appropriate for viewing the map theme. If the map is zoomed outside the range depicted on the Theme Visible Bar, the the map theme will not appear. In this case, zoom the map within the map theme's scale range to display the information.
For information and links to documents describing the current theme, open the corresponding Basic Data Guide by clicking on the theme name listed in the Map Contents area. The Basic Data Guide describes the nature and purpose of the information shown on each map along with any limitations on the use of the information. The Data Guide also includes links to additional documentation including the Complete Resource Guide for a more thorough description of the map legend and GIS metadata for learning about the underlying GIS data used to generate the map.
Below clicking on Farmland Soils opens the Farmland Soils Basic Data Guide.
In the Map Contents area, choose View a Map Legend to access the legend for the current theme. Only one map legend is visible at a time because the Simple Map Viewer only displays one theme at a time. Note, it is sometimes useful to press the Choose a Photo Base button to remove photography from the background in order to easily compare the current map theme with the colors shown in the legend.
Two links below the legend open online documents that describe the current theme, Farmland Soils.
- Basic Data Guide - provides basic information including a description, purpose, use limitations, data date, link to GIS metadata for technical documentation of the underlying data source, and link to the related Complete Resource Guide.
- Complete Resource Guide - provides a description, purpose, use limitations, data date, detailed map legend description, link to the corresponding Basic Data Guide, link to GIS metadata for technical documentation of the underlying data source, links to related online information resources, and contact information for additional questions you might have.
Legends for the Street and Photo background information are also available.
- Streets opens the legend for the highways, local roads, water bodies, town lines shown in the background.
- Color Photos opens Basic Data Guides for color photography that may be in the background.
- Black & White Photos opens Basic Data Guides for black & white photography that may be in the background.
Pan the map
Zoom In (draw a rectangle on map where to zoom in)
Zoom Out (draw rectangle on map from where to zoom out)
Show Latitude and Longitude at location clicked on map
Zoom to State
Pan to Last or Next area viewed.
Clear Graphic markers placed on map by other tools.
Open Overview Map.
Close Overview Map.
To pan the map, select the pan map tool below and the click and drag the map with the mouse while holding the left mouse button down.
There are many ways to zoom the map in and out.
- One way is to use the Zoom In tool. Activate the tool by clicking on it in the button bar, as shown below. Notice the grey outline around the Zoom In tool icon, indicating it has been activated and ready for use.
Now, using the the mouse draw a rectangle around the area you want to zoom in to see more detail. Start by positioning the mouse at one corner of the rectangular area, click and continue to hold the left mouse button down while dragging the mouse (diagonally) towards the opposite corner of the rectangle. Release the left mouse button to finish drawing the rectangular area, as shown below.
As shown below, once the mouse button is released and the rectangle is defined, the map zooms in to the area.
- One way to Zoom Out is with the zoom out tool. Activate the tool by clicking on it in the button bar.
Now, using the the mouse draw a rectangle around the area you want to zoom out. Start by positioning the mouse the mouse at one corner of the rectangular area, click and continue to hold the left mouse button down while dragging the mouse (diagonally) towards the opposite corner of the rectangle. Release the left mouse button to finish drawing the rectangular area, as shown below.
Once the mouse button is released and the rectangle is defined, the map zooms out from the area drawn.
Zoom Bar - Use to zoom the map in and out. Click higher up on the bar to zoom the map in. Click lower on the bar to zoom the map out. After you click on the zoom bar, the square on the bar slides to where you clicked on the bar, and the map zooms in or out. Click directly on the zoom bar rather than slide the square on the bar.
Theme Visible Bar - Indicates the map scale range for which the map theme is visible on the map. Unlike the Zoom Bar, the theme visible bar is not clickable. Its length changes in relation to each map theme's visible scale range. Some themes are inappropriate to use when zoomed in or out too far and are meant to display at different map scales than other themes. For example, all map themes that include soils information are only visible within a narrow range between 1:12,000 and 1:50,000 scale, whereas the aquifer protection area map theme is visible within a wider range between 1:6,000 and 1:200,000 scale. The length of their Theme Visible Bars reflects this difference. Be sure to click the Zoom Bar within the range depicted in the Theme Visible Bar in order to display the map theme you have chosen. A blue marker along the Theme Visible Bar denotes the recommended or Intended Map Scale for viewing the map theme. Clicking the Zoom Bar next to the Intended Map Scale marker displays the map theme at a scale appropriate for interpretting the information. For reference, hovering the computer mouse over the Intended Map Scale marker, displays the intended map scale ratio (e.g. 1:24,000) as a mouse tip. Compare this value to the current map scale displayed in the lower left corner of the map to be certain the map is displayed at the scale recommended for the current theme.
Yes. In the Map Contents area choose Find Address and enter a Connecticut address including a street number and name, Zip code or town. Then press the Locate button and the map will zoom to the requested address with the location displayed as a red marker that is labeled. For best results, include a street number and street type along with the street name such as 79 Elm Street. Be sure to enter a Zip code or enter a Connecticut town. It is recommended to use a Zip code rather than specifying a town. Also, you can find the intersection of two streets by inserting the word and between their two names such as Elm Street and Clinton Street.
Below is an example using a Street Address with Zip Code, which is usually more reliable than specifying a street address and town. Using a zip code rather than specifying the town is the recommended method for finding an address.
Below, is an example using a Street Address with a Town, which may not yield the best results. Using a Zip code is more reliable.
Yes. To go to a known place in Connecticut, in the Map Contents area choose Find a Place. Then enter the full or partial name of the place you are looking for and press the Find button. As shown below, all places in Connecticut that include the name that was entered are presented in the results list. For example, searching for a place such as Round Hill finds a number of hills with the same name in Connecticut. The place name and the town in which each is located appear in the results list. Click on a place name in the results list to zoom the map to its location. Note, the Find a Place function only searches for town, village, and borough centers, or the location of natural features such as rivers, streams, brooks, reservoirs, lakes, ponds, hills, beaches, bays, coves, and harbors. Find a Place does not locate private, commercial or public facilities, buildings and complexes such as stores, recreational sites, hotels, retail centers, hospitials, schools, universities, parks, etc.
- Enter the full or partial name of the place you are looking for and press the Find button.
- As shown below a results list appears that lists the places with names that match what you entered. Click on one and the map will pan to it.
Yes. In the Map Contents area choose Find a Place.
- Enter the full or partial name of the populated place you are looking for and press the Find button.
- As shown below a results list appears that lists the places with names that match what you entered. Click on one that corresponds to the populated place and the map will pan to it.
- After the map pans to the populated place, you are able to remove the red marker by pressing the Clear Results button.
Yes. To find a Connecticut town, in the Map Contents area choose Find a Place.
- Enter the full or partial name of the Connecticut town such as Durham and press the Find button.
- As shown below, a results list appears with town names matching what you entered. Click on one and the map will pan to and shade it in green.
- After the map pans to the town , you are able to remove the green area by pressing the Clear Results button.
Yes. To go to a longitude and latitude in Connecticut, in the Map Contents area choose Find a Latitude/Longitude. Enter the latitude and longitude in decimal degrees or degrees, minutes, and seconds. Then press the Find button and the map will zoom to and display a red graphic at the longitude and latitude coordinate location you requested. Remember in Connecticut, the longitude is a negative number such as -72.6822 decimal degrees or -72 minutes, 40 minutes and 56 seconds.
Decimal Degrees (DD)
- Click on the Decimal Degrees tab, enter the latitude and longitude values in decimal degrees, and press the Find button.
Degrees, Minutes, and Seconds (DMS)
- Click on the DMS tab, enter the latitude and longitude values in degrees, minutes, seconds, and press the Find button.
- To remove the red marker from the map, press the Clear Graphics button on the menu bar.
Activate the Show Latitude Longitude tool by clicking on it in the button bar, as shown below.
Click on the map to retrieve latitude and longitude information for a location. Latitude and longitude is shown in both decimal degrees (DD) and degrees, minutes, and seconds (DMS). In Connecticut, longitude is a negative decimal degree value and is west of the Greenwich Meridian.
The Overview Map displays a small index map showing the region currently displayed in the Map View Area relative to the surrounding area. On the Button Bar, click Overview Map to open and close this tool. As shown below, the Overview Map opens in the upper right corner of the map view area. The gray rectangular area shown in the Locator Map represents the region currently mapped. You can click and drag the gray rectangular area in the Locator Map to pan and re-position the map.
Click on the State button in the button bar, as shown below.
To go return back to a previously viewed area, click Last on the Button Bar. After having gone back, press Next to go foward.
Yes. To enlarge the Map View Area, you need to enlarge the Simple Map Viewer's Window by clicking the Window's Maximize button located in the upper right corner, as shown below. This operation enlarges the map view area and leaves the Map Contents area unchanged. The Map Contents area in the Simple Map Viewer is not resizable and is always displayed so that it can be used at any time.
Note, enlarging the map may have a negative impact on performance and slow down the Simple Map Viewer because a larger Map View Area covers a larger geographic area, resulting in more information involved with every pan and zoom. Depending on your Internet connection speed, keeping the Map View Area to a moderate size by not maximizing the Simple Map Viewer's Window may yield faster results.
No. The Simple Map Viewer does not include a tool for measuring distance directly on the map. However, it is possible to estimate distances by using the map scale bar and map scale ratio located at the bottom of the map view area. Use the measure distance tool in the Advanced Map Viewer to measure a linear distance or geographic area directly on the map.
No. Only one theme may be viewed at a time. Most map themes include highways, local roads, water bodies, town lines, and labels in the background for reference. Use the Advanced Map Viewer to view more than one theme at a time.
There are three possible reasons why you do not see the map theme after using the Choose a Map Theme function.
- Depending on the map theme you have chosen, information may not completely cover the entire State. If this is the case the Map View Area may be display a region where features in the map theme do not exist, in which case a street map appears. A good example is the Aquifer Protection Area theme. Below is an example area in Greenwich where aquifer protection areas are not present.
- You may have forgotten to press the Refresh Map button after clicking on a theme's circular radio button. If this is the case, click the Refresh Map button and, if necessary, zoom the map within the theme visible range so that the theme appears on the map. Note, in the example below the Farmland Soils radio button is selected, but it is clear the Refresh Map button was not pressed because the name of the current map theme shown above the Map View Area is Connecticut Base Map, not Farmland Soils.
- Another reason why you may not see the theme is due to the map scale not being within the range depicted on the Theme Visible Bar. Some themes are not shown at all scales. If this is the case, the map needs to be zoomed in or out so that it is within the theme visible scale range. For example, below the map needs to be zoomed in to see the Farmland Soils map theme. This is done by clicking higher on the Zoom Bar in the direction of the red arrow, as shown below.
Below is the resulting map once the Refresh Map button is pressed with the Farmland Soils as the current theme.
Below is the resulting map once it is zoomed in to within the Theme Visible range for Farmland Soils.
Depending on the year, black and white or color photography can be shown in the bacground using the Choose a Photo Base option. Below is an example of the Farmland Soils theme with 2010 Color Statewide photography.
Choose the No Photos option from the list to not not displayed aerial photography in the background, as shown below.
Note that not all photography covers the entire state. For example, at the bottom of the list there are two options for showing photograhy that is only available in certain regions in the State - 2009 color photography for the Capitol Region (greater Hartford), and 2008 for the greater Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven urban areas. If you choose to display either of these two regional photo base options and you are not viewing in the region of the state where this information is available, you will receive a warning message similar to what is shown below.
Yes. To only display streets (without an additional environmental theme), in the Map Contents area, click Choose a Map Theme and select the Connecticut Base map, as shown below.
No. The Simple Map Viewer does not include a tool for getting specific database information about individual features shown on the map. However, features in some map themes are individually labeled with database information when zoomed in. A good example of this is the Soils theme where each soil map unit is labeled with the corresponding Soil Map Symbol. Use the Identify tool in the Advanced Map Viewer to retrieve database information for individual features appearing on the map.
Yes. In the Map Contents area choose the Print a Map function and enter a map title, if desired. Then press the Print Preview button and the map with a legend and the title you entered will open in a separate window, as shown below. As an alternative, you can capture a computer screen shot of the Simple Map Viewer and copy it to the Windows clipboard by holding the Alt key and then pressing the Print Screen key. Then, using the paste operation, you can place the screen shot into another program such as MS Word, MS Powerpoint or Paint and print it.
Map (printed on the first page)
Map Legend (printed on the second page)
No. All you need is a current Internet Browser like MS Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox to use the Simple Map Viewer. The Complete Resource Guide that describes each map theme is in portable document format (PDF) and requires Adobe Reader.
The Simple Map Viewer is designed for viewing one map theme at a time. Each map theme such as Inland Wetland Soils or Aquifer Protection Areas covers a single topic or theme. These are commonly referred to as thematic maps. The Simple Map Viewer is relatively easy to use and provides a fixed list of thematic maps to choose from.
The Advanced Map Viewer is designed for viewing a map theme you author yourself by including the individual data layers that best suit your need. The flexiblity of combining different data layers to create your own map theme differentiates the Advanced Map Viewer from the Simple Map Viewer. Although slightly more complicated to use, the Advanced Map Viewer will show more information on a map than the Simple Map Viewer. For example, with the Advanced Map Viewer, you may combine Aquifer Protection Areas, Water Quality Classifications, and Elevation Contours into one map theme and display it with or without photography in the background. Additionally, you can elect to not display certain background reference data layers such as local roads, waterbodies and labels if this information interferes with you ability to read the map.
Orthophotography available from CT ECO covers the entire state or a particular region in Connecticut, depending on the type and year of the aerial survey. For example, statewide orthophotography is available for 1990, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010 in either black or full color and either taken during the summer or early spring, depending on the year. Orthophotography for the Greater Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven urban area is available for the spring of 2008. Orthophotograhy for towns covered by the Capitol Region and Plainville is available for the spring of 2009. Photography taken during the summer is generaly referred to as "leaf on" orthophotography, and photography taken during the early spring is generally referred to as "leaf off" photography. Leaf off photography is captured immediately after the snow cover melts and before stream levels rise and leaves blossom on the trees. It is ideal for observing features on the ground surface in developed, open or wooded areas. The leaves on trees and shrubs that would normally obstruct the view from above during the Summer are largely absent in the early spring, allowing for the observation of features such as stone walls, roads, and structures in wooded areas, lawns and yards.
Refer to Connecticut Digital Orthophotography for a list and brief description of orthophotography available from CT ECO.