Providing a preview of your data can be a great way to engage users and save them time. For restricted datasets, it can help potential users get a better idea of what to expect before they contact you about access.
If you choose to add a preview to your dataset, a Preview Data button will appear between the Access & Use Information and the Data and Resources on the dataset page.
If you make your dataset openly available via the Shared Location Information Platform (SLIP), then you may not need to manually add a preview.
What is a dataset preview?
Spatial datasets can be hard to wrap your head around until you’re looking at them in map form. When a dataset is large, complex, or restricted, it can be a real investment of time and effort to get it into your GIS software or web map to take a look.
Even a small screenshot showing some data displayed visually can be helpful. To get started, try taking a screenshot of your dataset’s map service over a contrasting background. For an even better example, try including the attribute table for one of the features.
Example data is from Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) Signage (DPIRD-054), published by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (CC BY 4.0).
Tip: Looking for a simple, free basemap to display behind your dataset? Natural Earth is a collaborative volunteer effort supported by the North American Cartographic Information Society. The map data they provide is in the public domain.
Choosing a format for your preview
The Preview Data button works by opening the resource in a new tab. This means that your preview needs to be in a format that most web browsers can display. Common image formats such as jpeg and png should work, as well as pdf.
If you already have a good visualisation of your data hosted elsewhere on the internet, a website URL will also work. Just be sure to use a page that has your dataset as the first thing the user sees. No one wants to click on a ‘preview’, and then have to go hunting for the actual preview!
Info: Data doesn’t have to be spatial for a preview to be useful. If you think your non-spatial dataset would benefit from a preview, go for it! Make sure you use a screenshot or web page though – not all browsers can display excel files and other non-image formats.
Adding a preview resource
To add a preview to your dataset, you first need to add the file or URL as a resource.
1Go to the dataset page on data.wa.gov.au and select Edit. Select Resources, then select Add new resource.
2Upload the file or add the URL, and fill in the resource details. Select the Preview data checkbox, then select Add.
3Check that your new preview looks OK. Go back to the dataset page and select Preview Data.
Help: Your browser should open the preview in a new tab. If it does anything else, such as downloading the file, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Previews of public SLIP datasets
If you make your data available via the Shared Location Information Platform (SLIP), and you don't place login restrictions on it, then we've done heavy lifting for you.
Open SLIP Web Map Service (WMS) resources are automatically selected as the preview. They look and behave a little differently to a preview you’ve added yourself.
Warning: Automatic previews only apply when the SLIP WMS resource is Open. If the resource is Open - Login, you’ll need to create a data preview yourself. For more information about the difference between Open and Open - Login, see Understanding access to data.
When the resource selected as the preview is a WMS, the Preview Data button will be replaced by the Preview in NationalMap button.
Instead of opening the resource itself in a new tab (which won’t work for a WMS), the resource page will open in a new tab.
The resource page holds metadata specific to the resource, and is usually accessed by selecting the name of the resource. For Open WMS resources, the page also displays the dataset using NationalMap.
Time: It takes 24 hours for a new WMS to be available in NationalMap. If your dataset is brand new and you can't see the data yet, please check again the following day.
NationalMap is an initiative of the Australian Government. To learn more, visit nationalmap.gov.au.