Next generation NSW basemaps released


New NSW basemaps are here! These restyled and digitally enhanced basemaps provide a suite of functional, intuitive and authoritative foundational datasets, for deployment within a variety of GIS web applications. The new basemaps deliver high-level precision accuracy for geospatial intelligence operations.

Most basemap options are designed to provide a foundation for users to complement their own data or theme combinations to create a customised view. DCS Spatial Services’ original raster basemap offering served end-users well, however, with the demand for higher resolution imagery, our new vector basemaps will help to improve the way NSW is visualised on a map through capturing the natural landscape and enabling a greater level of customisation.

Learn more about how the newly available basemaps are used in real-world scenarios and the benefits for users who are seeking authoritative locational analysis.

Older versions of the raster-style basemaps remain available for our customers and are still widely utilised for analysing data including, elevation, depth and more broadly, storing aerial and satellite imagery information.

This upgrade supports a significant technological expansion within DCS Spatial Services and will underpin spatial initiatives across NSW Government, industry, academia  andacademia and also benefit the public.


Click here to start exploring NSW basemaps today

Raster versus vector


Raster data imagery is made up of pixels suitable for larger file sizes. Raster files can become distorted or blurry as the file is manipulated, for example, zoom in or out.


Vector data stores basic geometries (made up of one or more interconnected vertices), with three key types:

  • Points - single vertex, for example, a house.
  • Lines - two or more vertices where the first and last vertex are not equal, for example, a road.
  • Polygons - three or more vertices with the last vertex equal to the first, for example, a boundary.

Where raster basemaps use cached images, vector basemaps render cached layers dynamically and are symbolised by an accompanying style file. Because of this, vector tiles have numerous advantages over traditional raster tiles, including significantly smaller file sizes, better interoperability and high-resolution display at various scales.

Vector basemap styles available

Explore a sample of the basemap styles available via DCS Spatial Services:

Topographic style (non-relief and relief

Below is a Topographic (relief) map, which captures roads, terrestrial waterbodies and vegetation, it additionally illustrates the hill shade layers to depict the contouring, elevation and depth of the surrounding landscape.

Note: at present, dynamic rotating labels are not a feature within the ‘panning’ function of our maps, however, this and other enhancements are on our future roadmap developments.


Please click here to begin exploring the full scope of the new topographic basemaps.


The enhanced navigation basemaps are designed to ensure a seamless user experience, offering a mobile friendly design and high-resolution display for ease of use.

The new navigation maps display the standard features expected to be seen on any modern digital street map and include buildings, water features and administrative boundaries to name a few.


Light grey canvas

The restyled light grey canvas basemaps are an excellent way to accentuate any desired thematic through the use of neutral tones and a minimalistic feature layer set. Only the key information is represented to clearly illustrate geographic context, enabling datasets to be more prominent on the map.


Dark grey canvas

Similar to the light grey, the dark grey canvas helps to ensure datasets are brought to light, with a neutral tone and minimal colours, labels and features. 


Note: the topographic theme will be the default for viewing the NSW Foundation Spatial Data themes in the Spatial Collaboration Portal.

Who can access NSW basemaps?

NSW basemaps are a publicly available web service, freely open to all citizens. Please refer to the licensing and copyright information below.

Where to access new basemaps

The new basemaps options are available in our online viewers, for example, the Spatial Map Viewer as a web map service. Select your preferred option to then import your own data to create a custom view.

The vector basemaps can be accessed by API to utilise in your own GIS software, providing foundation data from the NSW authoritative source. 

Licensing and copyright

DCS Spatial Services provide datasets to private and government clients under the Creative Commons licensing agreement, in line with the NSW Government and NSW Department of Customer Service Open Data Policy. Read more about DCS Spatial Services copyright information here.


“Beautiful basemaps! I just wanted to pass on praise for the excellent selection of vector tile basemaps. Our solution engineering team are very impressed. I am torn between topographic and greyscale for a favourite. Congratulations, I am looking forward to using these.” (Simon Jackson – Esri)


We value your feedback.

If you notice any anomalies when exploring the new basemaps range, please let us know via the Spatial Services Customer Hub.

Terms of use

By accessing any of the available Spatial Web Services you acknowledge acceptance of Spatial Web Services Terms and conditions.

Contact details

If you have any questions about the basemaps or require further information, please contact the Spatial Services Customer Hub.