Adding external maps to a project

Adding external data is extremely useful in a design activity. For e.g., critical areas, transportation plans, existing land use, slope information, etc. can act as design aids. Geodesignhub recommends a maximum of ten or fifteen map layers for each project. Normally,
Two basemap layers and five overlay layers can be added and are sufficient. We recommend the following set:

  • Geodesignhub default black and white
  • A satellite / air photo of the study area


  • Existing Roads
  • Existing water bodies
  • Protected Zones
  • Landuse / Landcover
  • Cultural sites / Landmarks

Usually these files are stored on external servers and linked in to Geodeisgnhub using a couple of methods. Linking external files means that you need to have a external server with the ability to serve WMS, WFS or XYZ files. If you cannot host this data, we provide this service as a addon. Once you have uploaded this data to a external geo-server, you will then have to link that to a Geodesignhub project. Following are the instructions.

  1. In the “Project Administration” / “Project Home” page, click on the External Layers section.

  2. In the External Layers section, you can add three types of external layers: XYZ Tilelayers, WMS maps or map / data layers from ESRI ArcGIS Servers.

  3. XYZ are normally added as basemaps, and can be added from various providers e.g. Maptiler or Thunderforest among others.

    For more information about how to add a Maptiler or Thunderforest layer, see the specific instructions below:

  • Add a Maptiler layer to your project
  • Add a Thunderfroest layer to your project
  1. Geodesignhub also supports adding WMS overlays from OGC compatible servers like Mapcentia GC2, Geoserver or Mapserver

    Normally, you will need to host a instance of these servers on your infrastructure, if you have it then you can link them here. Only https endpoints are supported.

  2. You can add basemaps provided by ESRI ArcGIS as well by selecting the ArcGIS Server option.

    Once you have selected it, you can then input the API key and the layer that you want to add. ESRI provides a number of ways to add data. To add basemaps provided by ESRI, follow the instructions here:

  1. Once these layers are added, they will appear on the geodesign page. The layer names are case sensitive and your server administrator should help you with it.