ESRI Base Maps Available on BGIS Website

esri base maps on bgisThe Biodiversity Geographic Information System (BGIS) unit has added the following Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) base layers to the Municipal Biodiversity Summaries and Plan Index interactive maps: World Street, Map World Imagery and World Physical Map.This allows users to access more information about their areas, from aerial photos to road names.

Providing biodiversity information is central to the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s (SANBI’s) mandate. BGIS is an online tool that assists in biodiversity planning and decision making by offering comprehensive and freely accessible spatial biodiversity information. 

The Municipal Biodiversity Summaries and Plan Index allows users to locate available biodiversity datasets and statistics for biodiversity features occurring in each municipality in South Africa. Paper size A0 portable document format (pdf) maps depicting biodiversity features occurring within each municipality are available for download. This tool is of instrumental use to the SKEP partnership and the Namakwa District, which has six local municipalities located within its jurisdiction.  

Instructions to access the index are as follows:
1.Go to the BGIS home page bgis.sanbi.org  
2.Click on the Services tab
3.Under the Decision Support Tools menu on the left-hand side of the About the Services Page, is a “Municipal Biodiversity Summaries and Plan Index” link. Click on it.
4.A map depicting the nine provinces of South Africa will appear. Click on the province in which you municipality of interest, is located. A map depicting the municipalities in that province will be displayed.
5.Select the municipality of interest by clicking on the map or selecting it from the “Select a municipality” dropdown menu.
6.The website will display a summary of biodiversity statistics for that particular municipality. Below the summary, there is a map, a link to the full biodiversity statistics and a link to a list of all the biodiversity information available for that particular municipality.
7.Click on the “view interactive map” link to view the data.
8.The World Physical Map will be automatically switched on. You can change the transparency of this layer or switch it off.
9.To switch the layer off, click on the arrow head on the upper, left-hand corner of the map.
10.A list of map layers should appear. Scroll down until you see “Base Maps”. Uncheck to remove a layer from the view.  

Please note that the ESRI base maps have only been added to the Index maps. Work is being done on integrating these to all the interactive maps.

If you have any questions regarding this mapping service, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional information