This section will guide users towards:

  • Navigating IHP-WINS independently to find layers, maps and documents by using different routes, filters and search functions (Section I);
  • Finding and understanding detailed information of layers, maps and documents, such as metadata, responsibility and usage (Section II);
  • Downloading layers and documents from IHP-WINS in different file formats (Section III);
  • Producing maps using already existent layers, as well as saving and printing maps (Section IV).


Section I- Finding layers, maps and documents

Users can use different routes, filters and search functions to find information on WINS, whether it be layers, maps, and documents. To access layers, maps, and documents, use the quick-link Layers/Maps/Documents in the menu bar in the header.

Specific layers, maps, and documents can be found by typing in the Search-field (e.g. a country name or thematic area) in the header.

A list of results of layers, maps, or documents will appear (Figure 1). This list can be sorted according to when the data was shared (Most recent and Less recent), alphabetically (A-Z and Z-A), or by order of importance (Most Popular).

Figure 1: Sorting information (also applies to Maps and Documents)

Filtering layers, maps, or documents

Using the left-side panel, layers, maps, or documents can be filtered according to:

  • Categories: There are nine Categories on IHP-WINS. Seven of them correspond to the IHP’s work areas (Ecohydrology, Groundwater, Water Education, Water for urban and rural settlements, Water quality, Water scarcity, and Water-related disasters). Two categories were added to them: SDGs, and Cross-cutting (for content that falls in neither of the other eight). The number next to the name of the category indicate the number of layers, maps, or documents that fall within this category. Click/unclick on one or more category name(s) to filter the results.
  • Text: In the field, enter text to filter out the results. As you enter text, you will get a list of the layers/maps/documents that match you text search.
  • Keywords: Several keywords can be used to describe a layer. Click/unclick one or more keyword(s) to filter the results. Selecting several keywords will refine your search.
  • Extent: You can filter results y zooming in on your area of interest. The system will retrieve any layer, map, or document containing information on this area (Figure 2)
  • Figure 2: Filtering results with the extent tool)

  • Responsibles: Here are displayed the name of people who uploaded the layers, maps, or documents.
  • Date: This filter allows user to restrict results to a chosen time period. The system will retrieve any content with available information in this time period.
  • Regions: Using this filter, user can enter the name of their continent/region/country/location of interest.
  • Type (only applies to layers): IHP-WINS hosts both vector and raster layers.


Section II- Accessing and understanding information of layers, maps, and documents

Once you have found the layer, map, or document you are interested in, you can click on it to access the content and its related information. Visualization of documents and of layers and maps differ slightly.


For documents

On the page of a document, the resource is either directly displayed on the page or accessible by clicking on the link provided under the tittle (Figure 3).

Figure 3: A document's page

There is also a tab section below the document, where you can first view Info about the document, i.e. its metadata. The metadata consist the ID card of the document, by providing its tittle, abstract, date of publication, source, etc. The metadata also indicates the user who is responsible for uploading and managing this content on WINS, as well as the group to which it is linked.

The tab section also allows you to Share the document through social media or email, use the Ratings system, and leave Comments.


For layers and maps

The page for a specific layer or map offers two distinct spaces (Figure 4):

  • a Viewer which allows you to visualize the georeferenced information;
  • a tab section below the Viewer where, as for any document, you can first view Info about the layer or map (i.e. its metadata). The metadata consist the ID card of the content, by providing its tittle, abstract, date of publication, source, etc. The metadata also indicates the user who is responsible for uploading and managing this content on WINS, as well as the group to which it is linked. The tab section also allows you to Share the layer or map through social media or email, use the Ratings system, and leave Comments.

Figure 4: The Viewer and tab section on a layer's page (also applies for map's page)

The Viewer provides different tools for displaying the layer or map (Figure 5):

  • the Layer switcher, to choose between different base maps, including satellite imagery of roadmap;
  • the Pan map tool, to move the layer or map around by holding down the mouse button and moving the cursor. This is also possible by using the arrows on the left side of the map;
  • the Zoom in/out buttons and Zoom to previous/next extent. Note that you can also zoom in and out by using the Zoom slider on the left side of the map, or by selecting a scale with the Scale bar in the bottom right corner;
  • the Zoom to the max extent tool, to display the entire layer within the Viewer;
  • the Show legend option, to open a pop-up window with the legend.

Figure 5: Viewer tools for displaying the layer/map

The Viewer also provides two tools for analyzing the layer or map. The first one is the Get feature info which retrieves any information available for a dedicated object of a layer or map upon clicking on this element, by opening a pop-up window with the information (Figure 6).

Figure 6: How to get feature info from a layer or a map

The second analysis tool is the Measure one, to evaluate distances or areas (Figure 7).

Figure 7: How to use the Measure tool


Section III- Downloading documents and layers in different file formats

Unless otherwise specified, all information shared publicly on WINS is available for download by users of the platform, whether they have registered an account on the platform or not.


For documents

You can download document simply by clicking the blue button Download document in the right corner of a document’s page. It will automatically download the content to your computer. You can also download a document’s metadata by clicking the Download metadata button (Figure 8).

Figure 8: How to download a document

For layers

It is possible to download data of vector layer in different file formats (KML, GeoJson, Excel, CSV, Zipped Shapefile, etc.) as well as the data of a raster layer (GeoTIFF, ArcGrid, KML, PNG, JPEG, etc.), by using the blue button Download Layer at the top right corner. This allows you to use offline with other GIS software. You can also download a layer’s metadata by clicking the Download metadata button (Figure 9):

Figure 9: How to download a layer