@Daringpeter Matt

When I select some maps, I find that the current view on the screen is somewhat opaque, ie 'grayed out'. Doesn't happen always. When I select the map with the mouse to move it, the new part of the view has good contrast. When I release the mouse the display reverts. I have had that happen with other GIS-type sites. Why is this? I have an image I could send.
I find Mapspast fascinating, having been a 'mapophile' all my life. Thanks.
(2020/08/06 07:09)
@Matt Hi Peter,

There are two ways to switch maps in mapspast and I need to know which you are using when this 'greying out' occurs.

1) You can switch basemap series using the layers icon on the map. Maps should never be greyed out.
2) You can use the maps menu and select national basemaps (e.g. 'NZMS13 - 1899').

If you use the second option you can further select a single sheet within that basemap (e.g. CB106). If you select a single sheet within a basemap then all other sheets on that basemap are greyed out and the single sheet you have selected remains clear (i.e. highlighted). If you want to return to the full map series then select the full series again on the left panel (e.g. 'NZMS13 - 1899') and they greying/highlighting will be removed.

Is this the behavoiour you are seeing? If so it is as-currently-designed - but may need to be made more obvious/intuitive.

Or is they greying out occurring at other times? In which case it is a bug I need to fix.

Let me know some details of when it occurs. You can email me if that is easier - at



(2020/08/29 22:23)
@Peter dare Hi Matt
I will let you know about this 'greying out' problem. haven't noticed it lately.
I do find Mapspast of great interest- thank you for your efforts! Now, not a criticism, but if you go to the trouble to scan a map, do you scan the whole sheet? A very good enhancement to each map would be the 'reliability' information, formerly (but not now) provided on the old L&S topo maps. Date of photography and compliation etc. Probably not so important on modern maps, but very useful on older ones.
(2020/09/26 06:49)
@Matt Hi Peter,

Where maps are included as single sheets the full sheet (front side) is shown including keys, reliability info and all. Any info on the rear of the sheet is not shown.

However, for the 'basemap' series the single map sheets have been cropped to form a continuous mosaic covering the whole country.

For these, you can still access the original scanned map with all its additional details by drilling down to the individual map sheet under 'Maps' -> 'National Basemaps' and clicking on the 'Original scanned map' link.

These original map images are mostly hosted by other sites (Auckland Uni and the National Library), meaning that URLs may change - so let me know of any broken links.


Having written all that it occurs to me you might be suggesting I include the reliability info as textual metadata, rather than part of the image. That would be quite a bit of work to look up that info on all the map sheets - and would only give part of the picture as most sheets have only partial re-surveys (and sometime multiple survey dates per map) the extent of which are indicated in a small inset map. So I suspect that a single text field with update date would not do this justice - the image would be necessary.

More thought/suggestions on the subject welcome though.

(2020/10/10 09:32)
@Peter dare Thank you
No, I think you have worked hard enough! without recording the reliability data! Yes, the original data shows the whole of the map (although as a TIFF...it seems. Hard work for me...). Scanned sheets- I wonder what happened to the original digital files (when available) produced by L&S? Are they still readable? I still have a collection of topoplots from the old days, no doubt made mechanically and dyelined.. But LINZ must still have the original base data, in some form or other, to tweak into the latest series. Interesting.

(2020/10/18 22:23)