Metadata for map layers


The map layers are presented to aid the user in finding the relevant data. They are not meant to be comprehensive topographic layers, particularly at large scales, where gaps in road and drainage networks may be evident.

The layers have been primarily chosen for speed and best representation of features at different zoom levels. Also, the mapping has been done at different scales, so discrepancies between layers may exist.

Base layers


The Australian coastline is the Geoscience Australia's GEODATA Coast 100K 2004 product.
More information.

Australian off-shore territories are from Geoscience Australia's Global Map Australia 1 M 2001.
More information.

The other countries are from the ESRI Data and Maps 9.3 dataset of Countries 2008.
More information


The elevation dataset is from the Geoscience Australia's TOPO 10M 2002 product. The contours from the layer, aus10cgd have been converted to polygons and the Coast 100K 2004, as described above, has been used for the coastline.

Average annual rainfall

The grid representation of average annual rainfall is based on rainfall records from more than 6000 stations over the period 1961 to 1990.
More information.

Average annual daily maximum and minimum temperature

The grid representations of average annual daily maximum and minimum temperatures are based on records from more than 600 stations over the period 1961 to 1990.
More information.

Annual average daily solar exposure

Annual average daily solar exposure is derived from satellite imagery processed by the Bureau of Meteorology from the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite and MTSAT series operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and from GOES-9 operated by the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the Japan Meteorological Agency.
More information.



The roads layer is sourced from the road transport data layer of Geoscience Australia's GEODATA TOPO 2.5M 2003 product. Only Class 1 roads and Class 2 roads with National Road Numbers (NRN) are displayed at scales greater than 1: 4,000,000. Class 1 roads are defined as "Dual Carriageway: divided highway, freeway or tollway with separated carriage ways in opposite directions" and Class 2 as "Principal Road: highways, major through routes and major connecting roads". At larger scales, all roads with NRNs are shown.
More information.

Lakes and Rivers

The rivers and lakes layer is sourced from Geoscience Australia GEODATA TOPO 25OK 2006 product. Only named lakes are shown. For the river layer, only major named rivers with feature types of "Watercourse" and "Connector" are displayed at scales greater than 1: 4,000,000. At larger scales, other major named waterways (e.g. creeks, watercourses) are displayed.
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The catchments are the Australia's River Basin 1997 data layer from Geoscience Australia.
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Rainfall districts

The Bureau of Meteorology's rainfall district boundaries are based on climatically homogeneous areas which, where possible, have been aligned to administrative boundaries.
More information.

Nearby countries and Antarctica

The countries are from the ESRI Data and Maps 9.3 dataset of Countries 2008. Australia and its territories have been removed from the layer and substituted with more detailed data. See base layers above.
More information.


The places are selected locations from Gazetteer of Australia 2006. To provide an even distribution of locations around Australia, the sites correspond to the locations displayed on the radar maps on the Bureau of Meteorology web site. Only the capital cities are shown at scales greater than 1: 4000000.
More details about the Gazetteer.

Copyright & contact information

Please note that the copyright for any data supplied by the Bureau of Meteorology is held in the Commonwealth of Australia and the purchaser shall give acknowledgement of the source in reference to the data. Apart from dealings under the Copyright Act 1968, the purchaser shall not reproduce (electronically or otherwise), modify or supply (by sale or otherwise) these data without written permission from the supplier.

Page updated: 2 March 2011