Styling hints and tips for LINZ basemaps

Learn some styling hints and tips to best display data overlaid LINZ basemaps in web, mobile and GIS applications.

LINZ basemaps provide an excellent backdrop for the visualisation of information about New Zealand and New Zealanders. Here we provide some tips and hints to best display data overlaid on our basemaps and map services in web, mobile and GIS applications.

The same general styling hints and tips apply to all LINZ basemaps and map services, unless otherwise specified.

Best fit colours for data overlays

  • Warm colours, like reds and oranges, work best
  • Greens and blues will also work for data overlays with hues moving away from the earth tones

Suggested colour palette

Check out the table below for some colour suggestions for data overlays. The colours provided are not definitive, but are a great place to start. They are useful for point, line, or polygon data and are designed to work best with the NZ Aerial Imagery basemap.

HexidecimalRGBColour sample
4e1a0f78,26,15 
8E2F1C142,48,28 
a33620163,54,32 
ce4429206,68,41 
7a372a122,55,42 
B3513D179,81,61 
c15d49193,93,73 
ce7f6f206,127,111 
63351499,53,20 
8E4C1C142,76,28 
a35720163,87,32 
ce6e29206,110,41 
d2b137210,177,55 
E0C975224,201,117 
e5d18a229,209,138 
eee1b3238,225,179 
211e3f33,30,63 
3D3673361,54,124 
463E8870,62,132 
594ea789,78,167 
172c3b23,44,59 
2C567244,86,114 
33648451,100,132 
4180a965,128,169 
31163749,22,55 
622C6D98,44,109 
72337f114,51,127 
9342a4147,66,164 
8486d3132,134,211 
BCBDE7188,189,231 
cfcfee207,207,238 
f4f4fb244,244,251 
27522039,82,32 
41893564,137,53 
4a9b3c74,155,60 
5fbb4f95,187,79 

If you’re interested in developing your own palette or expanding this palette, check out the following sites.

Paletton – for a colour wheel find similar colour values in the same shade and hue
ColourHexa – for suggestions on colour gradients
RGB to Hex – for converting RGB to Hexadecimal and visa versa

Types of data overlays and how to style them

  • LINZ basemaps perform best with overlays of point and line data – our upcoming Terrain basemaps are ideal for displaying heat maps and polygon data
  • When overlaying line data use a heavier line weight to avoid pixilation
  • Line data also shows well when repeated and layered with the bottom layer being slightly thicker than the top
  • Make slight modifications to transparency settings to allow subtle blending of points into the terrain
The NZ Aerial Imagery basemap overlaid with styled road data

And more…

  • If using a GIS application, adjust the brightness and saturation to help colour balance the imagery 
  • Topographic maps may be blended with relief shading enhancing terrain contours  
Reference Category: Basemaps
Reference Tags: Palette, CartoCSS, Colour, Cartography
Last Updated: 
11 October 2018