The foundations of a great base map

The MDS Foundation Map brings an accurate, high quality digital base map to Australia and New Zealand. With the flexibility to work with other platforms such as ArcGIS Online.

Setting up the MDS Foundation Map to work with ArcGIS is a relatively simple process.

Create/Login to ArcGIS account

First we need to head to From here we are able to either log in to an existing account or create a new one. Creating a new account is simple with the option of a 30 day free trial.

Sign up for ArcGIS Online trial

Open a new map

Once you have signed up or logged in your next step will be to open a new map. To do this you will find a ‘Map’ link on the top left navigation bar.

Open a new map

This takes you to a map editing page with many map options including the ability to style, save, or share maps.

Map editing page

Add tile layer

To add a Foundation Map tile layer, select the Add/Add Layer from Web option from the top menu.

My map

Fill in the marked boxes with the supplied URLs and sub-domain sets – each of the variants has its own URL but will share a common referrer key and sub-domain set. Tick the ‘use as base map’ if you wish the MDS Foundation Map to be used as the default base map for your new web map. You MUST also file in the title and credits boxes to be able to add. In the credits section please paste Copyright MapData Services, PSMA 2014.

Add layer from web

Save, share or reuse a map

Your new map will appear. Save this map to share or reuse it during the BETA period. Repeat for each variant you are testing.

After saving the map it is simple to share it with either everyone or just the people with access to your ArcGIS account. Sharing can be done via a link or created web application or embedded into a website.


Creating maps or adding tile layers and sharing the final result is simple with ArcGIS Online. Why not test it out and let us know what you think.