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Identifying Features' Attributes for an Active Layer

The introduction to GIS Concepts section discussed layers and how features have attributes in a GIS.

Suppose you are interested in the ecosystem status of a section of remnant piece of renosterveld. You can open the relevant map by clicking on the , choosing "Cape Lowlands Renosterveld" and then choosing "Map 3 Renosterveld Ecosystem Status". By now choosing the layers tab, the layer list will look as follows...

Click on the next to "Renosterveld Ecosystem Status" to make the layer active the changes to .

Zoom into Cape Town and the move northwards to Wellington. You will need to use the pan tool quite a few times until you find a stretch of renosterveld that interests you. Note you can remove the background map to increase speed by clicking thetickbox next to background map layer.

Now click on the tool and then click on the map anywhere in the coloured areas, e.g. the large red area near Wellington. The attributes for that feature are displayed in a new window which will be similar but not necessarily the same as below (layers get revised and new fields can get added). If the window does not appear, make sure that the feature you are clicking on is part of the layer that is active.

Now select the from the Tab Bar and you should get a legend similar which shows the meaning of the symbols and colours shown on the map.

Please note that even if you have all of the legends turned off, the legend will display automatically in any PDF maps that you generate. When you print a map, this legend is automatically added to the map.

To get back to you layers section just click on the Layers Tab Function Bar. Most of the time when working with BGIS Maps you will toggling between the Layer and Legend settings.

You might ask why not combine Legend/Layer into one system? The answer lies in the dynamic nature of the BGIS maps - depending on both the scale and which layers you have selected the legend needs to continually be changing. Further since you can actually customize the BGIS maps with your own colour renderings and symbols this becomes even more difficult to keep a track of. Consequently the Legend is actually "rendered" that is to say produced as an image at the same time each map is "rendered".

NOTE:You can also use the on the layer list to provide us with you comments, based on the form below.