Introduction to Web Map Display

Web Maps are interactive maps that are accessed through web pages. Web maps support interactive features such as zooming in and out that require a live Internet connection. Using Mapping Toolbox™ software, you can:

  • Display web maps in a browser

  • Select the maps to display, called base layers or basemaps. The webmap function provides a set of basemaps from which you can choose, such as, 'Open Street Map'. You can also use WMS Layers and define custom basemaps.

  • Add vector data, called overlay layers, such as lines and markers

  • Share your results, using printing capabilities or the MATLAB® publish command.


To display a web map using the toolbox, you must have an Internet connection. MathWorks® cannot guarantee the stability and accuracy of web maps, as the servers are located on the Internet and are independent from MathWorks. Occasionally, maps may be slow to display, display partially, or fail to display, because web map servers can become unavailable for short periods of time.

As an example, the following figure shows the default web map display. The webmap function displays the map in a browser that includes a pan and zoom controls. Also included is an expander that you can use to display the Layer Manager. You can use these tools to choose which base map layer to display, add overlay layers to the map, and customize your view of the map. The toolbox displays the web map in a browser window, not a MATLAB figure window. The graphics in web maps are not part of MATLAB graphics.

The following figure shows the Layer Manager expanded.

Web Map Coordinate Systems

When displaying named base layers, or a WMSLayer array in a coordinate reference system of EPSG:900913, the projected coordinate system is "Web Mercator". Otherwise, when displaying a WMSLayer array, the projected coordinate system is EPSG:4326. These projections include a geographic quadrangle bounded north and south by parallels (which map to horizontal lines) and east and west by meridians (which map to vertical lines).

See Also

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