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C-Maps is a web mapping service used to display some of the geographic information held by Colchester Borough Council. The mapping used in C-Maps cannot be used in the submission of planning applications; nor should the mapping be screen captured and used elsewhere. This guide aims to highlight the main features of C-Maps.

Searching for an address

To search for an address within Colchester simply enter part of the address in the text box. The first five results are returned underneath

Using 'Find my Nearest'

Depending on the type of map you are looking at, after selecting an address the Find My Nearest option will be displayed. Find My Nearest is a method of returning what other features are located within a set distance from the address selected. To view these simply click the link related to items of interest:

Using the 'Map Legend'

The Map Legend can be accessed from the top right corner of the map window.

Layers of different mapping can be made visible/invisible in the map legend using the check box next to the layer name. The layers available in the map legend will differ from map to map depending on their intended use:

The Map Window

Items that are visible in the map legend can be viewed in the map window. Clicking on an item will return the detailed held information at that point. Note: data will be returned for all the layers which are currently switched on. If you only want to view data for one particular layer make sure all other layers are unticked:

There are two types of underlying mapping available; which can be switched on/off using the Base and Aerial buttons in the top-right hand corner of the map:

Base contains contextual mapping from the Ordnance Survey; these maps are zoom layered and change depending on what level of zoom the map is currently at. Aerial contains borough-wide aerial photography.

You can also use the zoom features in the top-left corner of the map in order to see the map at various levels of detail:

There are fifteen available zoom levels; level 1 is small scale / borough-level mapping and level 15 is large scale / building level mapping. You can also right-click with your mouse in the map window to zoom in and out of the map.


The link feature above the top-right corner of the map provides a way of linking to a specific area in the map:

An example URL is:

This can then be used in an e-mail, document or presentation. The URL is quite long so below is a breakdown of the parameters:

Part of URL


Calls the map


The map configuration to use


The map language to use


The eastings and northings co-ordinates to use


The zoom level to use


Which base map to use


The layer(s) to add to the map


These parameters can be changed to alter the look of the map, for instance changing &zoom=9 to &zoom=5 will cause the map to open at a smaller (more zoomed-out) scale.

Further Reading

For more information and help regarding cmaps you can access a full User Guide by clicking on the Help button on the Map toolbar:

If you have any further queries about cmaps then please send an email to the team at and they will be happy to assist in any way they can.