Walking Access Map of Aotearoa

A useful tool that has just become available in beta is the New Zealand Walking Access Commission’s online public access mapping system. This tool has been developed to help people identify NZ land that is open to recreational access on foot.

The system has three base layers: cadastral, topographical and aerial photography. The cadastral or map layer is based on land title and boundary data derived from Landonline, which is the authoritative titles register and digital cadastre held by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). The topographical layer is derived from the topographical database held by LINZ. Tracks and other routes shown on the topographical layer are not necessarily legal access ways. The aerial photography is provided by Terralink International Limited.

The heart of the WAMS is the colour coded public access information that shows the land that can be expected to be open to public legal walking access.

The last bit there is the most useful for NZ geocachers. The site easily helps to identify areas that are likely to be open to cache placement. In using the site I have already identified two relatively obscure areas in the Dunedin region that I will now check out physically in the hope of placing a cache there. Considering the fairly high level of cache saturation in some areas this tool could be very useful for the squeezing in of a few more caches.

Both the property boundary information and the topographical maps have limitations on their accuracy inherent in the data from which they are derived. There are also some technical limitations to the accuracy with which these separate datasets can be superimposed. Nevertheless they provide a good indication of the location of land open to public walking access. Read more about Survey and Database Errors and Accuracy on our website.

Not a big deal that the accuracy is not 100% on the boundaries but worth knowing that your cache placement should be away from the edge.

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