Back to Map Project is a project inspired by the Finnish MapAnt website. The ambition is to create a highly detailed (1:10,000 scale) map that covers at least 80% of New Zealand.

Currently, 50,000sqkm has been processed. The size of New Zealand is approximately 260,000sqkm.

Using the Website

Several options are available for navigating the map. You can scroll using your mouse, zooming in and out using the mouse wheel or +/- controls. You can also enter in WGS84 (Google Map) coordinates for a desired location in the url.

A useful feature is the Google Maps marker tool. To use this, click 'Find on Google Maps'. Choose a spot on the map and a Google Maps window will open with a marker which (within 50m) corresponds to this position.


You can also export up to 5sqkm at a time of the map as georeferrenced PNG files. To export an area, click the export button and select an area using the rectangle box. The area will download as a zip file with both files requires to load the image into GIS/mapping software. Large areas will take longer to export.

To export areas larger than this, please contact as on Facebook.

How and Why?

This project was dreamed up during the 2020 COVID 19 lockdown, after it was confirmed that LiDAR coverage would be expanded to cover >80% of New Zealand by 2023. The contours and vegetation are generated from said LiDAR data - this data essentially consists of high density laser points scanned from a plane with returns classified for example as vegetation or ground points.

Jarkko Ryyppo's Karttapullautin tools have then been used to autogenerate 200m x 200m orienteering map tiles using this LiDAR data and road/building/path data from OpenStreetMap.

This process is controlled using QGIS, Python, a web server and finally batch scripts.

To process 1000s of square kilometers of this highly detailed LiDAR data requires a huge amount of computer processing power. To save money, processing has been done by a large group of volunteers in the NZ orienteering community offering their PCs. Thank you to all those who have contributed and continue to contribute to making this project happen.

Why are there weird colours/seams/holes in the map?

The nature of this project with many computers processing immense amounts of data unfortunately means that some errors have occured. Most of these errors are slowly being corrected

When will my area be mapped?

Areas are processed as they become available. You can track this progress on the LINZ website

New data is received and processed monthly.

Licensing is licensed Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC). Orienteering clubs affiliated with Orienteering New Zealand are welcome to use the map as a background map for mapping work free of charge. Individuals may use the map for non-commercial recreational activity. For licensing to use the map commercially, please contact