BioNet vegetation maps

BioNet vegetation maps data supports discovery and access to NSW vegetation map information.

The BioNet Vegetation Maps collection, which was previously known as the Vegetation Information System Map Catalogue, has now been integrated into the SEED environmental data portal.

In SEED over 800 vegetation maps can be discovered, downloaded or viewed in context with other environmental map layers. Work is underway to enable map views for all map products.

If available, the following resources are included for each map:

  • web map services (VMS)
  • downloadable geographical information system (GIS) data
  • metadata, including technical reports
  • images of cartographic map products

Vegetation type maps

Vegetation type maps classify and map vegetation by communities, floristic or structural typologies. The BioNet Vegetation Map collection includes vegetation maps of varying quality, currency and typology. You should choose maps from the collection that are appropriate for your needs.

The collection includes both non-standardised historic and contemporary vegetation maps, and standardised plant community type maps that conform to the BioNet Vegetation Map Data Standard. This standard is designed to support vegetation type mapping at regional, local and property scales.

Since 2020, work has moved away from maintaining a catalogue of non-standardised maps because map custodians are now well equipped to publish their own maps through SEED.

Standardised regional scale maps are produced under the State Vegetation Type Mapping (SVTM) program. Access these products by entering the search term SVTM in SEED.

Vegetation extent and condition maps

As well as vegetation type maps, there are a number of important ancillary vegetation data products now available from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (the Department). These include vegetation extent, vegetation condition, ground cover and biomass. Visit Vegetation extent and condition products for an overview and access.

Metadata, standards, guidelines and licensing

Primary custodianship (or ownership) of datasets may be held by the Department, local councils, catchment management authorities, other government agencies or private individuals. Data is held, displayed and distributed under appropriate licence agreements with the relevant custodian.

We make relevant datasets available under Creative Commons (CC-BY 4.0) licence in line with the NSW Government Open Data Policy. If you have concerns about how data is displayed or distributed please contact

All map products have ANZLIC compliant metadata (AS/NZS ISO 19115:2005) available. This metadata is publicly searchable through the SEED environmental data portal and is copied through to the Data NSW portal.

The BioNet Vegetation Map Data Standard sets out the data fields and terminology required for standardised vegetation mapping in NSW at a regional, local and property scale. This standard provides guidance for organisations and consultants needing to produce vegetation maps in NSW that maximise alignment with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 assessment methods, and maximise integration with BioNet data products and BioNet web services.

The Native Vegetation Interim Type Standards (PDF 1.6MB) provides general guidelines for the survey, classification and type mapping of native vegetation.

The Vegetation Map Catalogue: Map Layer Naming Protocol (PDF 114KB) outlines the convention used to name map data files held in the VIS.

The National Vegetation Information System

The National Vegetation Information System (NVIS) and the Attribute Manual (version 6) that were developed by the Australian Government in partnership with the States aims to standardise a variety of vegetation maps and products. The NSW instance of VIS uses the NVIS Framework in the following ways:

  • NVIS levels 5 & 6 attributes have been adopted in all relevant modules of BioNet and are used to standardise the description and representation of vegetation types, based on relationships between structural and floristic information. This simplifies data transfer between systems and ensures maximum extensibility of the type classification.
  • A NSW instance of the NVIS system (referred to as nswNVIS) has been installed by the Department. New maps that describe vegetation types according to NVIS (levels 5 & 6) attributes are periodically loaded into nswNVIS and exported to the national NVIS to meet a range of national reporting requirements.

How can I contribute?

We rely on contributions and feedback from data custodians and users to maintain and improve the map collection.

If you would like to add a dataset, contact SEED.

To provide feedback on an SVTM product contact the BioNet team.