Moon Over the MountainsVermont Agency of Natural ResourcesANRA Title Text Vermont.gov
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What do I need to use the Natural Resources Atlas?
Does the Atlas run on my mobile device? Android? IOS? Blackberry? Etc.?
If I need Microsoft Silverlight, will it work on my MAC?
Why is my map not printing?
I use Linux, how do I use the Atlas with Silverlight?
I have downloaded Silverlight, but it still asks me to install it. I cannot access the Atlas. What do I do?
What is this Web Mercator projection and why does the Atlas use it?
What year are the Aerial Photos/Bing Basemap
Parcels, where are they, why aren't they lined up correct, and why are they not accurate?
My Private Well is not where it's supposed to be! Why?
When I zoom in on the map, it looks fuzzy/distorted
What do I need to use the Natural Resources Atlas?
At the very least, you need a personal computer with an internet connection, a web browser, and the Microsoft Silverlight Plugin. The Atlas is compatible with PC and MAC computers. A broadband internet connection is not a requirement, but it STRONGLY recommended.
Does the Atlas run on my mobile device? Android? IOS? Blackberry? Etc.?
Currently, the Atlas is not supported on mobile devices running a mobile OS. However, look for a mobile based viewer in the very near future! It's also possible to consume the Atlas map services in your own application. Contact ANR GIS for details.
If I need Microsoft Silverlight, will it work on my MAC?
Yes, Silverlight is now available for the MAC.
Why is my map not printing?
One of the most popular questions for the site... First of all, it's important to mention that the tool is actually creating a PDF of your map that you can print. So simply pressing the print button is not going to send something to your printer. It will simply open a window with a PDF that contains the map that you can then send to your printer. If you cannot get this far, the most likely answer is that you need to disable your popup blocker. This site uses pop-ups to communicate with the user. You don't need to enable popups for ALL sites, only ours. So please, before you ask ANR GIS about why when you click the "Open File" button at the end of the print dialog nothing happens... Check to make sure you aren't blocking the popup that spawns the PDF file.
I use Linux, how do I use the Atlas with Silverlight?
You can use a Netscape plug-in called "Pipelight" that embeds the Silverlight plugin into a Linux browser.
You can install Pipelight on ubunto by following this link: http://www.ubuntugeek.com/pipelight-using-silverlight-in-linux-browsers.html
I have downloaded Silverlight, but it still asks me to install it. I cannot access the Atlas. What do I do?
This can be due to a few potential reasons... I'll try and outline a few of them here:
What is this Web Mercator projection and why does the Atlas use it?
Web Mercator, more specifically the NAD83 (the datum) Web Mercator Auxillary Sphere coordinate system has become the web standard coordinate system for web mapping applications, as it is a global projection that allows the developer to leverage 3rd party basemaps. Since all map services like the Atlas need to use the same coordinate system to display their maps (map services do not reproject on the fly), there needs to be a common standard. Web Mercator is now that common standard that allows us to display our ANR data on basemaps like BING, USGS Topos, and other map services published that are NOT VTANR. This coordinate system is great at offering us the flexibility to add endless amounts of content from other sources, but it does come with a price. With every projected coordinate system, the further you move from the origin, the more the accuracy degrades. Since this global projection originates at the equator, accuracy degrades the further you move up in latitude (North). Since Vermont is nearly halfway between the equator and the pole, our accuracy for measuring is poor. The good news, is that fixing accuracy issues is relatively easy. For any particular latitude the scale of the Web Mercator projection and the actual measurement is proportional to the secant of the latitude. Since the secant is equal to 1/cos, you can multiply any measurement by the cosine of the latitude and get a fairly accurate value back. With the Atlas, we have manually calculated the ratio required for re-calculating the scales in printed maps to ensure accuracy. We also re-project all measurements and location values in real-time on the map to our State's standard coordinate system (NAD83 State Plane Meters) which is the most accurate coordinate system for our state. For this reason, users can rest assured that all measurements in the map are accurate.
What year are the Aerial Photos/Bing Basemap
This is probably the MOST asked question regarding the Natural Resources Atlas and one that does not have a good answer. Our current default basemap is Microsoft's BING basemap. Bing does not have accurate metadata for the aerial photos for identifying dates of aerial images. It is not as simple as obtaining a date for aerials of the state either, as basemaps contain aerial images flown from a range of dates and resolutions. These varying datasets are stitched together as a mosaic which makes it difficult to discern origin.

With that said, VT ANR will make every effort to provide more aerial photo options in future releases. These releases will include the USDA NAIP Aerial Images that are flown in specific years. It's our hope that the user will have the ability to select the year in which they are interested in viewing, so there are no questions as to what date you're currently viewing.

Parcels?
We see a lot of questions about Parcels on the Atlas. Let's clear some things up:
My Private Well is not where it's supposed to be!
ANR relies on the Well Driller to report the coordinates of the drilled well. In some cases, this reported location is not accurate, and/or the location was submitted to the best ability of the driller which in the case of high-precision mapping, is not up to a held standard. If you questions regarding the location of a particular drilled well, please call ANR DEC's Drinking Water Division: 802-828-1535
When I zoom in on the map, it looks fuzzy/distorted.
Aerial imagery is limited to its resolution. For the same reasons you cannot enlarge a low resolution photo to an 8x10, or why you need a 10 megapixel camera so that you can create large photos, you cannot zoom in on imagery that has lower resolutions. When you surpass the point of resolution on an aerial image, it will continue to zoom, however the image will not refocus, but simply blow up the pixels for the image, creating a fuzzy/distorted view.
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