We are pleased to announce the release of a new version of Australia’s Virtual Herbarium (AVH). The new version comes with significant interface improvements and additional querying capability, as well as a new responsive design that ensures AVH also works on small screens.

New base map

The map in the new version has a new default base map, which provides a cleaner image of the occurrences. The familiar Google Maps layers are still available under the layer switcher on the left-hand side of the map. The drop-down with environmental overlays has been omitted to allow for a cleaner separation between AVH and the Spatial Portal; this will hopefully encourage AVH users to follow the link and take their search results into the Spatial Portal, where there is a plethora of environmental layers and analytical tools.

AVH map
Spatial search

A new spatial query tool allows searching AVH by drawing a circle, rectangle or polygon on a map. The spatial query tool can be used to initiate a search, by accessing it under the ‘Spatial search’ tab on the Advanced search page, or to refine the result of an earlier search, by using the buttons in the map on the search result page.

Spatial query tools


The filters on the left-hand side of the page have been organised under headings to make them easier to find and use. Many of the filters have been renamed as well. If you’re used to scrolling to the filters you want, it might help to use the ‘Customise filters’ option at the top of the page to see which group the filter you are after is listed in.

AVH filters

Feel free to contact us at avh@chah.org.au if you have any questions about the new interface.

4 comments on “New version of AVH

    • Thanks for letting us know, Kevin. The underlying map is provided by CartoDB, and this issue has been reported to them a couple of times. Hopefully it will be fixed before too long.

  • Hi. I have just looked at the map for coachwood in the Wollongong area. I know how hard it is to create a map that is Australia-wide but accurate at zoom-in. But maybe there needs to be a comment with the map that fine detail is not exact. The coach woods are shown on the coastal plain at Austinmer and Thirroul but in fact they are high on the Illawarra escarpment. Also, when I clicked on the red dots, no detail came up for the specific site. Should it have done so?

    • Hi Ann, that information is in the data, in the coordinateUncertainty field to be exact. AVH data is mostly historical data from herbarium labels that has been geo-referenced using a gazetteer, so the coordinates can easily be a few kilometres out. We count on users who are able to pinpoint more accurate locations to report them to us by flagging an issue from the occurrence detail page.

      Clicking on the map is indeed supposed to bring up an info window with some summary information about the records and links to all the record detail. If there is a lot of traffic on the server, it may take a long time and your computer might close off the connection before results have been displayed. I have noticed it not always working in the past, but it is working for me at the moment.

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