User Guide 1:


There are a few ways that you can find species recorded in your area using VAL.


Method 1:


  • Type a location or address into the search bar and use the "Display records in a __ km radius" to select 1, 5, or 10 km radius surrounding your location of choice. 


  • On the left hand panel under "Group," you can select specific groups to view a list of the species recorded in the mapped region. You can click on each species listed under "Species" to see where they were observed on the map (and click on each map location to pull up information on the record). Additionally, you can view the species profile or see a list of records. The example below shows the list of amphibians recorded within 5 km of the location on the map. The map shows the records of the selected species, Plethodon cinereus, within this radius. On the map, one of the observations has been selected, listing more information on the record.

  • Additionally, you can select "View all records" next to the radius selection drop-down. When this is selected, you can view the data as a list, within the map you generated, view a number of interactive charts, and see images of records containing images.


Method 2:

  • Start on the VAL homepage. Select "Search and Map by Polygon."


  • Using the +, -, and drag features, zoom to the region of Vermont you are interested in. From here, use the polygon tool on the right-hand side to draw a circle, rectangle, or polygon shape of your dreams on the map. This area will then populate with all of the species recorded (that we have in VAL) within that polygon. If you draw your own polygon, you must start and end at the same location to close the polygon.


  • From here, you can click "Search for records in this area" to pull up a searchable list of occurrence records, or you can click "Remove this area" to start over. If you selected "View all records," you can view the data as a list, within the map you generated, view a number of interactive charts, and see images of records containing images. 


You can also use the "Import an existing GIS layer" feature within the "Search and Map by Polygon" feature to search for occurrence records within a GIS area you are using or have created. 

  • Import an existing GIS area (currently supported formats: Well Known Text (WKT) POLYGON shape)

    To search with other spatial file formats (shapefile, KML, etc.), please use the Spatial Portal - via the "Add to Map" ➜ "Areas" menu.

    Copy & paste a WKT POLYGON string into the box and click "Add to map":



Material adapted from the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia by Atlas of Living Australia for the Vermont Atlas of Life.