On those pages, you will find the WINS User Guide to help you using this plateform, whether you are an unregistered user or a regular contributor.
Launched in January 2017 by UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the Water Information Network System (WINS) is a user-friendly, participatory, and open-access online platform offering water-related data and information.
Its primary objective is to foster knowledge sharing and access to information. By making information freely available to anyone. The platform is contributing to close the gap between North and South in terms of access to knowledge. Overall, it aims to support decision-making and build capacity. WINS allows storing, combining from several sources, and sharing open data on water resources, at all levels (from local to global).
The IHP Secretariat makes WINS freely available to Member States, water stakeholders and partners, with the aim of encouraging contributors to share data on water.
WINS offers different sets of spatial information (i.e. layers) that can be overlaid to create tailored maps. WINS also consists of a larger knowledge-sharing platform, which brings together information on national water policies and any other water related publications, in various formats. Finally, WINS is a networking hub that connect water stakeholders and promote experience-sharing.
On WINS, transparency and respect of authorship is guaranteed as all information shared by contributors benefit from metadata in a standardized format and from a UNESCO Digital Object Identifier (DOI). This allows for an accurate identification and crediting of any contribution, and easy later sharing.
This section will guide users towards:
Users can use different routes, filters and search functions to find information on WINS, whether it be layers, maps, and documents. To access layers, maps, and documents, use the quick-link Layers/Maps/Documents in the menu bar in the header.
Specific layers, maps, and documents can be found by typing in the Search-field (e.g. a country name or thematic area) in the header.
A list of results of layers, maps, or documents will appear (Figure 1). This list can be sorted according to when the data was shared (Most recent and Less recent), alphabetically (A-Z and Z-A), or by order of importance (Most Popular).
I.1.a. Filtering layers, maps, or documents
Using the left-side panel, layers, maps, or documents can be filtered according to:
I.2. Accessing and understanding information of layers, maps, and documents
Once you have found the layer, map, or document you are interested in, you can click on it to access the content and its related information. Visualization of documents and of layers and maps differ slightly.
I.2.a. For documents
On the page of a document, the resource is either directly displayed on the page or accessible by clicking on the link provided under the tittle (Figure 3).
There is also a tab section below the document, where you can first view Info about the document, i.e. its metadata. The metadata consist the ID card of the document, by providing its tittle, abstract, date of publication, source, etc. The metadata also indicates the user who is responsible for uploading and managing this content on WINS, as well as the group to which it is linked.
The tab section also allows you to Share the document through social media or email, use the Ratings system, and leave Comments.
I.2.b. For layers and maps
The page for a specific layer or map offers two distinct spaces (Figure 4):
The Viewer provides different tools for displaying the layer or map (Figure 5):
The Viewer also provides two tools for analyzing the layer or map. The first one is the Get feature info which retrieves any information available for a dedicated object of a layer or map upon clicking on this element, by opening a pop-up window with the information (Figure 6).
The second analysis tool is the Measure one, to evaluate distances or areas (Figure 7).
I.3. Downloading documents and layers in different file formats
Unless otherwise specified, all information shared publicly on WINS is available for download by users of the platform, whether they have registered an account on the platform or not.
I.3.a. For documents
You can download document simply by clicking the blue button Download document in the right corner of a document’s page. It will automatically download the content to your computer. You can also download a document’s metadata by clicking the Download metadata button (Figure 8).
I.3.b. For layers
It is possible to download data of vector layer in different file formats (KML, GeoJson, Excel, CSV, Zipped Shapefile, etc.) as well as the data of a raster layer (GeoTIFF, ArcGrid, KML, PNG, JPEG, etc.), by using the blue button Download Layer at the top right corner. This allows you to use offline with other GIS software. You can also download a layer’s metadata by clicking the Download metadata button (Figure 9):
I.4. Using published layers to create maps, saving and printing maps
All the layers shared publicly on WINS are available and can be used by the users to produce maps, whether they have an account or not. Those maps can be saved and printed.
I.4.a. Select one or many layers to produce a map
In order to produce your map, you have to choose the layer(s) which interests you (See Section I.1.). In order to choose the layer(s), two options are available:
From a layer’s page. On the right side of the page, click on the blue button Create a Map (Figure 10). This give you access to the Map Viewer, where you can find your selected layer.
From the Layers menu. Click on the Select button that can be found on the right top corner of each layer’s miniature. You can choose as much layers as you want. The selected layers are located on the top left corner of the page in the Selected Layers tab. You can unselect layers by clicking on the cross on the right side of the layer’s title. Once the selection is done, use the button Create a Map, which is below the selected layers’ list (Figure 11). Thus, you will access to the Map Viewer, in which you will find the selected layers.
I.4.b. Producing a map
The map creator contains different elements (Figure 12). We can distinguish the Map Viewer, the Toolbar and the Edition column.
The Viewer permit the display of georeferenced information. It provides tools on the top of the map that allow zooming in and zooming out on the layer. Changing scales can also be made thanks to the different levels of scales that are providing on the bottom right corner of the map.
The toolbar provides different possibilities:
Map: permit the WINS registered users to save their modifications on a new map that they can publish on WINS with the Publish Map option. A title and an abstract should be provided with the map during it registration. Then, the metadata has to be filled. The contributors can also download their map with the Save Map option;
Print: permit to all the users to export the map that they are creating in a PDF file and then print it if necessary. In the Print Preview (Figure 13) the users can also change the PDF file, the resolution, add a title and a comment and choose to make appear the legend or not. With the four arrows on the top left side corner of the map or with the mouse, users can move the map. The scale bar on the bottom right side corner permit change the scale of the information. Once the map is done, click on Print on the bottom right corner or the window;
Identify: open the Get Feature Info tool that permit to retrieves any information available for a dedicated object of a layer or map upon clicking on this element, by opening a pop-up window with the information on the selected layer. This tool is also in the layers’ Viewer (See Figure 6 above);
Query: Open the attribute table from the selected layer in a new window on the bottom of the page. Thus, the user can read the attribute table and doing researches thanks to the Query tool. This tool permit to make a query by attributes from the attribute table with the different modes (equal to, between X and Y, greater than, lesser than, etc.). Once your query is done, click on the Query button at the bottom of the page. Thanks to that, your attribute table will only be composed by the elements of your query. Different data are present on the table and permit to obtain information on a layer’s element. The attribute table is composed of several pages. If you want to change the page, click on the blue arrow Next page. You can select an element in order to highlight it on the Viewer by clicking on it. To deselect the selection and your request elements, click on Cancel (Figure 14);
Measure, to measure the lengths or the areas.
The Edition Column of the map make a list of the the layer(s) that you have selected to create the map and their corresponding legend. The user can display or not the layer(s) on the map by clicking on the small box next to the title in the Overlays tab. The user can change the base map. Seven choices are at disposition in the Base Maps tab.
The different layers are automatically include in the Edition column. You can change their orders to make appear a layer on the foreground or in the background, depends on your needs. To do that, select a layer by clicking on its title, then make it move with the mouse to the top if you want it to be on the foreground (Figure 15).
A layer can also be put as a base map. In order to do that, select the layer by clicking on its title, and then make it go to the Base Maps tab. If you want to put back the layer in the layer’s box, select the chosen layer by clicking on its title then make it go to the Overlays tab (Figure 16).
Some other tools are available on top of the Edition column (Figure 17):
Add new layers with the Add layers tool. With the Add layers option, the user can search a layer. An abstract of each layer is available by clicking on the + logo. To insert a new layer, the user can whether double clicking on the selected one or selecting a layers then clicking on Add layers on the bottom of the column. Once the layers are selected, you can click on Done. You can also filter the layers by clicking on Find layers, then writing some keywords in the search bar (Figures 18 & 19);
Remove Layer, to delete layers that you have selected. Once you have clicked on the layer you want to remove, click on the Remove layer tool (Figure 20);
Layers properties, to change the layers display. Click on the layer then on the Layer properties tool. Different tab sections will appeared. On the first one, Aboutyou can change the layer’s title. On the second one, Display you can change the display, the opacity of the layer or its format, by choosing or not to have a transparent layer (Figures 21);
The user can also filter the layer’s information by clicking on the Limit with filters case. At first, choose the element you want to filter in the attribute table. Then, chose a mode from those who are proposed (equal to, between X and Y, less than, greater than, etc.), then chose the limit value that you want. You can click on Query on the header on the top of the page (Figure 22) to help you in the selection of data and to know the codes and values in the attribute table.
The scale can also be used in order to filter the information by clicking on Limit by scale. Then you will be able to enter a minimal value (Min Scale) and a maximal value (Max scale) in which the layer will not display on the viewer during your changing scales. The layer will only be displayed with the selected values with this tool (Figure 23);
The registered user on WINS has the possibility to share layers and documents on the platform and to make them available to everyone. In this section, we will see how to:
II.1. Uploading a layer
Before uploading a layer on WINS, you have to configure it on a GIS software. We recommend the use of the free and open-source software QGIS (Downloadable here). Other GIS softwares can also be used.
II.1.a. Creating a SLD file for the layer using QGIS
In order to upload a layer, you first need to create and save the file that will code the style of the layer in a SLD file. To do so, open your layer in a QGIS. For a vector layer, go to Layer properties and click on the Style tab. On the bottom left, click on Style then Save the style and SLD Format (Figure 24). For a raster layer, use the plug-in SLD4Raster to create a SLD file.
Your layer is now ready to be uploaded on WINS.
II.1.b. Uploading a layer on WINS
Once on the Layers page, click on the blue button Upload layers on the top right corner of the page. On the Upload layers page, you can either drag and drop the files that compose your layer from a folder to the Drop files here box, or search for them in your folders by clicking on Choose Files and then selecting them (Figure 25). For a vector layer, the following files should be uploaded: .dbf, .prj, .shp, .shx. For a raster layer, only the .tif file needs to be uploaded.
Once your files are selected, they appear on the page and can be deleted individually (by clicking on the Remove link on the right of each file) or all at once (by clicking on the Clear button on the bottom left of the page).
Unless the layer contains Latin lettering with accents, it is preferable to let the default charset (UTF 8/Unicode).
To upload the chosen files, click on Upload files. Once the upload is done, a new page appears (Figure 26).
Once the files are uploaded, you have to upload the layer's style file (.sld file), which has been previously set with the GIS software. To do so, click on Upload SLD (Figure 27).
As previously, you can drag and drop the SLD file on the Drop files here box or retrieve it from a folder on your computer by clicking on Choose Files. Once the file is selected, click on the red button Upload files. Once the SDL file is uploaded, click on the green button Layer Info. Your layer appears in a new page: it is now on the platform.
/!\ The map legend may not be displayed at first. In this case, simultaneously press Ctrl and F5 keys to refresh the page and make it appear. /!\
II.1.c. Editing the uploaded layer
The information of the layer are not yet completed. In order to finalize the layer, go to Edit Layer (Figure 28).
The pop-up window gives you several options (Figure 29).
Through the Edit Layer window, you can:
In order to complete the metadata, open the Wizard by clicking on Edit Layer then on Wizard. A new page opens (Figure 30):
Two progression bars on this page let the user know about the advancement level of the metadata completion. Editing a layer's metadata is done in four steps (Basic Metadata, Location and Licenses, Optionnal Metadata and Dataset Attributes). The first two steps are mandatory (no layer will be published if information required on those two pages are not provided) whereas the next two are optional:
Once all the fields are filled, click on the blue button Next >> in the bottom right corner of the page (Figure 31).
Once all the fields are completed, click on the blue button Next >> on the bottom right corner of the page (Figure 32).
Once the fields are completed, click on the blue button Next >> on the bottom right corner of the page (Figure 33).
Once all those information are completed, click on the blue button Update in the bottom right corner, then click on the green button Done! in the top right corner to save the changes made. You are redirected to the layer page. Complete metadata are now available below the Viewer.
II.1.c.ii. Editing the layer style
WINS offers several tools to edit the style of a layer and its legend entries, i.e. change colors, display, add labels, filters, etc.
Via Edit Layer, you can access the Edit tool under the Styles tab (Figure 34). You can also access the Style Edition menu by directly clicking on the paint brush icon above the viewer.
Through this pop-up window, under the Rules section, it is possible to add legend entries (by clicking on Add)and to delete a legend entry (by selecting an existing entry, and then clicking on Remove). You can also duplicate a legend entry by selecting it and clicking on Duplicate.
To edit a selected legend entry, click on Edit: a new pop-up window appears. The first tab of this window, Basic, allows to edit the color, the opacity and the stroke (Figure 35).
With the second tab, Labels, it is possible to add, set and edit labels for each legend entries. To do so, check the Label Features box (Figure 36) and configure it as you wish.
Finally, the Advanced tab allows to edit the display of a legend entry through a filter by scale and filters by conditions.
You can save or cancel your changes by clicking on the Save and Cancel buttons in the bottom right corner of the pop-up window.
The Change Layer Permissions button at the bottom right of the page (Figure 37) allows to set up who can:
WINS encourages to publicly share and make available for download information uploaded on the platform. By default, anyone can see and download a layer. However, the layer responsible can choose to limit access to the layer to some contributors and/or groups.
It is recommended that editing of metadata, editing of data, editing of style, and management of a layer, remain with the responsible of the layer, i.e. the contributor who uploaded it and who has those permissions by default.
Once the permissions are set, click Apply changes to save them.
II.2. Uploading a document
WINS allow to share reports, conceptual notes, posters, spreadsheets, etc. A wide range of documents file can be hosted on the platform, including text files (.doc, .docx, .txt, .odt), spreadsheets (.xls, .xlsx, .ods), presentations, (.ppt, .pptx, .odp), images (.gif, .jpg, .png, .tif, .tiff), PDF, zip files (.rar, .zip, .gz), SLD, XML or QML files.
II.2.a. Uploading a document
In order to upload a document on WINS, click on Documents Documents in the menu bar in the header. Then, click on the blue button Upload documents on the top corner right of the page. On the new page that opens, you can upload a document by selecting it from your files or by entering a URL address if the document is stored on the internet.
You can also indicated if the document is linked to one or several layers already published on WINS.
Once the document is selected or the URL is filled, click on the red button Upload on the bottom of the page (Figure 38).
II.2.b. Filling the document's metadata
On the new page, you can fill the metadata of the document. Metadata contains all the information related to the document: they are its ID card. They provide essential information for its identification and its comprehension. Metadata also make the document more easily retrievable through search by other users.
Editing a document's metadata is done in three steps (Basic Metadata, Location and Licenses, Optionnal Metadata). The first two steps are mandatory (no document will be published if information required on those two pages are not provided) whereas the last one is optional:
Once all the fields are filled, click on the blue button Next >> in the bottom right corner of the page (Figure 39).
Once all the fields are complete, click on the blue button Next >> on the bottom right corner of the page.
Once the fields are completed, click on the blue button Update on the bottom right corner of the page, then on the green button Done!on the top right corner to save the changes made. You are redirected to the document page, where the complete metadata are now available.
II.2.c. Saving the document's thumbnail
In order to save the thumbnail that will be displayed in the document list, click on the blue button Edit document, then on Set (under the Thumbnail). On the new page, chose the image that will illustrate your document. You can either drag it and drop it in the Drop files here box or selecting from your folders by clicking on Choose files (Figure 40). Once this done, click on the red button Upload files. The thumbnail has been successfully uploaded: you can see it by coming back on the document list.
II.2.d. Changing the document's permissions
WINS encourages to publicly share and make available for download information uploaded on the platform. By default, anyone can see and download a document. However, the document responsible can choose to limit access to the document to some contributors and/or groups.
The Change Document Permissions button at the bottom right of the page (Figure 37) allows to set up who can:
It is recommended that editing of metadata and management of a document, remain with the responsible of the document, i.e. the contributor who uploaded it and who has those permissions by default.
Once the permissions are set, click Apply changes to save them.
You have successfully uploaded a layer or a document on WINS, or created and saved a map. For the moment, your layer, document or map is not yet published (i.e. made visible and accessible for all, contributors or simple users).
For now, your item is only visible by yourself, the manager of the group to which the layer, document or map is linked (this information is filled in the metadata, See Section II.1.c.i. of the User Guide), the members of this group, and the WINS Administrators.
Before being published, the layer, document or map will follow a two-stage review process, which are described below (Figure 41):
III.1. The group Manager approbation
Here, the role of the Manager of the group to which your layer, document or map is linked is to check that the uploaded item is correct. Particularly, in the case of a layer or a map, it consists of checking that the chosen cartographic representation and the style are fitting but also that the discretization is appropriate.
The Manager must also check that the metadata are properly completed and that the mandatory information (Title, Abstract, Edition, Keywords, Category, Group, Region) are filled.
If needed, the Manager can contact the contributor responsible of the layer, document or map in order to report potential comments or request clarifications.
Members of the group can also take part in the reviewing process and give some potential inputs to the responsible of the layer, document or map.
When the Manager considers that the layer, document or map is ready to be published, he should approve it. To do so, the Manager goes to the layer, document or map page, then opens the Wizard in order to edit the metadata. In the Settings tab, the manager checks the Approved box, and then updates the metadata and saves the changes (Figure 42):
Following this approval, the WINS Administrators receive a notification informing them that an item is now waiting for publication (Figure 43):
III.2. The publication by the WINS Administrator
Prior to the public release of an approved layer, a document or a map, the Administrator of the platform performs a final validation of the item and its metadata, notably to check that it is in line with UNESCO policy.
If needed, the WINS Administrator can contact the Manager who has approved the layer, document or map, as well as its responsible.
Once the layer, document or map is validated, the item is made public by the Administrator. It can now be viewed, accessed, and downloaded in accordance with the Permissions set by the responsible contributor (See Section II.1.c.iii.).
To access your profile, click on your user name on the top right corner of the IHP-WINS main page. A pop-up window will open then click on the quick-link Profile, which will guide you to another page (Figure 44). Your personal informations will appeared on this page.
IV.1. Updating the profile
To complete your profile, click on Edit Profile (Figure 45) in the tab section on the right. On this page, you can fill your First name, Last name, Email address, Organization Name, Profile, Position name, Voice, Facsimile, Delivery Point, City, Administrative Area, Postal Code, Country, Language, Timezone, Recommendations and Keywords. Once this is done, click on the blue button Update profile at the bottom of the page.
IV.2. Connecting the WINS account with social networks
You can link your IHP-WINS account to social networks. On your profile, click on Connected social accounts. You can link the IHP-WINS account with your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts by clicking on Connect with LinkedIn/Facebook then by authorizing the link and by entering your logins (Figure 46).
IV.3. Associating the WINS account with an e-mail
Your WINS account is automatically associated with the e-mail that you used to register yourself on the platform. By clicking on Associated e-mails in the tab section on the right of the page, you will have the possibility to fill up a new e-mail and make it primary if necessary, in order to receive the notification on this address (Figure 47). To do that, select the e-mail that you want, then click on Make Primary.
IV.4. Changing the password
To change your password, click on Set/Change password password in the tab section on the right of your profile page (Figure 48). Your current password will be ask as the new one. Once this is done, click on the blue button Change my password on the bottom of the page.
IV.5. Inviting other users to join WINS
You have the opportunity of inviting users to join the WINS platform. In order to do that, click on Invite Users in the tab section on the right of the page (Figure 49). On this new page, you can invite up to 200 users. You have to fill the email of your contacts by separating them by a semi-colon (;).
The IHP-WINS platform allows you to communicate by message with other users and groups of users. To send a message from your profile, click on Message user in the tab section on the right of the page. You can also click on the envelope logo on the top corner right of the page (Figure 50).
The user can also contact directly another user by clicking on People in the menu bar in the header. All of the registered users are displayed on this page. To contact them, click on their profile or use the search tool on the left of the page and write the username you are looking for (Figure 51).
The user’s profile who you want to send a message will appear. Click on the tab section Message user to contact him/her (Figure 52).
The user can also send messages to a group or groups. To do that, the user has to be a member of this/these group(s) (Figure 53). Once your message is written, click on the blue button Send message.
To reach your message, click on the mailbox which is on the top right corner of the main-page. You can also click on your username on the top right corner, then on the Inbox link on the new pop-up window (Figure 54).
A new page will open and will permit you to consult your messages. Click on the subject of the message to open it. Then you will be able to reply to your correspondent thanks to the text window just below the message. Click the blue button Send Reply to send the message (Figure 55).
Only the unread messages are displayed on the Inbox Inbox tab on top of the page. To access to all of the messages, including the already reading ones, click on the All tab. The user can also send a message from his/her mailbox by clicking the blue button Create Message (Figure 56).